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Lecture 8

WGST 1F90 Lecture Notes - Lecture 8: British Subject, Orma 60, United Nations Human Rights Committee

Women's and Gender Studies
Course Code
Leslie Nichols

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WGST 1F90 NOVEMBER 25, 2014
Lecture Title:
Concepts and Two People
1) Anti-racist feminist theory
2) Matrix of domination
3) Marginalization/margin
4) Racist sexism
5) Squaw
6) Indian Act; Section 12 (1) (b)
7) Janet Corbière-Lavell & Sandra Lovelace
1. It is not enough to think of women solely oppressed based on sex or gender.
2. Beyond Sexism; sexualized racism and racist sexism; intersecting oppressions.
3. Matrix of domination: The overall organization of hierarchal power relations for any society.
4. “Any specific matrix of domination has 1) a particular arrangement of intersecting systems of
oppression, e.g., race, SES, gender, sexuality, ethnicity and age; and 2) a particular organization of
its domains of power, e.g., structural, disciplinary, hegemonic and interpersonal” (Patricia Hill
Anti Racist Feminist Theory
1. Critical Race Theory emerged in a response to feminist and civil rights movements around 1960s-
2. Critiques traditional feminists who constructed "race" as one category.
3. Assumption that women’s experiences were universal thus ignoring individual experiences of women.
(We cannot universalize the experiences of women, we need to look at racist sexism).
4. Interconnection of racism and sexism is key.
5. The starting point was challenging racism instead of challenging patriarchy.
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WGST 1F90 NOVEMBER 25, 2014
From Margin to Center (bell hooks)
1. hooks argues that the traditional feminist theory lacks wholeness and broad analysis because it has
"emerged from privileged women who live at the center“ (1984, p. ix)
2. Traditional theory lacks knowledge and awareness of lives of both women and men who live in the
‘margin”. (hooks says feminism is living in the centre, we need to reach to the margin).
3. Margin: both physically and intellectually (not using their theories in the classroom).
4. Rejects the belief in a ‘common oppression’ is enough. (She said sisterhood, universal is too glossy,
we must look past this “common oppression thing”. It does not speak for all women)
Racist Sexism: Structural and Individual
1.Systems of power as intersecting and how these interact on a personal, individual, structural and
disciplinary level.
2. North America has a long history of racism; from slavery, lynching, reserves, to the denial of basic
3. Belief that certain races possess particular traits, i.e. (hooks and Collins) beliefs about |Black
Women’s sexuality (available, etc.)
4. First Nations women as sexually available, passive and “inherently rapeable” (Kim Anderson, 2013,
p. 276). (Squaw image)
5. Racist sexism has supported a legacy of oppression and exclusion that has survived both at the level
of individuals and also structurally.
6. Portrayals of women of color as inherently sexual, or insatiable encourage a form of racist sexism that
dehumanizes and also legitimizes sexual violence.
7. As Anderson notes, “whether princess or squaw, Native femininity is sexualized” (2013, p. 274).
(Princess referring to Pochihantus (the Disney princess, I can’t spell))
8. Violence against African-American women is tolerated while the same acts would not be if
perpetrated against White women.
9. First Nations women have experienced extreme violence; sexual assault, physical, emotional, and
cultural abuse.
National Film Board of Canada’s Finding Dawn (2006) Written and Directed by Christine Welsh
1. In the past 20 years, how many Native women have gone missing in Canada?
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