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Lecture 1.docx

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Women's and Gender Studies
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Jenny Janke

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Lecture 2 September 12, 2013 Feminism: Underpinning the Discipline of Women’s and Gender Studies Key concepts: 1. Feminism 2. Feminist waves 3. Patriarchy 4. Sexism 5. Misogyny 6. Gender 7. The personal is political 8. Consciousness raising 9. Essentialism 10.Binary Thinking Introduction:  Feminism underscores the discipline of women’s studies  Women’s and gender studies is the academic branch of feminism  Feminism is political, social, economic in scope and interest  No universal definition of feminism; context, time, place and particular intersections inform feminism across the globe  Negative stereotypes exist re feminism/ists – type of sexism itself  Feminism rejects hierarchy, oppression, exploitation, and binary thinking. All benefit from this Feminism: A movement to end oppression (Historical)  The term feminism emerged in the late 19 century (c. 1892) the first international Women’s Conference in Paris  Women could not: own a property, vote, have guardianship over children, access higher education  Early version of equality was “sameness”. Equality for women based on the standards granted to men  Early goal: treat women the same as men  Not all men were treated equally; certain groups of men had more access to power (white, upper and middle class men)  Feminism is a diverse, political, social an economic movement  NOT unified by one singular definition or agenda  Unified through in the foal to en oppression – originally sexism  Feminists work from various perspectives and with multiple agendas and approaches of how to achieve equality  To improve the world, conditions of women’s, men’s and children’s lives is central Important form of oppression: Sexism  Sexism is more than personal prejudice  Involves carrying into effect ones prejudices, resulting in discrimination, inequality and/or exclusion  Sexism is understood as the negative valuing and discriminatory treatment in individuals and groups on the basis of their sex  Sexism can be personal sexism (insults, harassment and discrimination directed at individuals) and institutional or systemic sexism (practices or structures of institutions that have the effect of excluding or discriminating against women)  Can be openly hostile as well as subtle and insidious Riding the Feministic Waves: Feminism has been described as operating in three waves 1. First: 18 and 19 century 2. Second: Mid 20 century 3. Third: Late 20 century 4. Fourth: the near future? We are not to ignore past fights & achievements Feminism did not disappear between the waves – just a metaphor for peaks of activism.  A singular, unified definition of feminism is not likely to sustain the waves  Feminism means different things in various parts of the world, not a universal definition ****  Feminism is dynamic and self-reflective; meaning critical self-reflection id encouraged  Move to interjectionally has been important to the dynamic nature of feminism “Feminism is a social movement that seeks equal opportunity for all people, regardless of gender. When there isn’t equality of outcome, feminism wants to know why. It is a political perspective that uses gender to critically … (Tarrant, 2013, p. 58) “Feminism is a movement to end sexism, sexist exploitations and oppression” (hooks, 2013, p. 12) Dismantling Patriarchy: 1. hooks is arguing for a dismantling of patriarchy 2. Based on hierarchy, oppression, and exclusion of women 3. Ancient Greeks, patriarchy was rule of the father and lineage followed through the male (father) line 4. Contemporary: men hold more positions of authority, power and have more access to privilege/power in both the private and public realms Three core principles of Feminism:  Tarrant (2013) identified three principle of feminism 1. Biology is not destiny 2. The personal is political & consciousness Raising (CR) 3. Feminism is a social and political movement concerned with domination and the politics of gender, race, class and sexual, orientation Biology is not destiny:  Sex and gender are not the same  Gender is socially constructed; we perform or “do” gender. Not ‘natural’ or ‘inherent’. We learn gender  Gender is taught/ communicated in many ways: family, friends, religion, education system and legal system  Words to discuss gender: femininity, masculinity, cisgender, transgender  Gender is structured as a binary either male OR female. Cannot be both in the west. Why?  When
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