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POLSCI 1G06 (280)
Todd Alway (280)

Term 1 5A Lecture Notes.docx

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Political Science
Todd Alway

Political Science 1G06 2012 Lecture 5a Feminism - Is there an inequality in the distribution of power, resources, and social benefits between men and women? - Economic: - Women comprise 50% of the world’s population. However, they only “own 1% of the world’s property and resources.” - In Canada, women who work full-time have earnings that are only 71% that of men who work full-time (2008) - Amongst Fortune 500 countries, only 19 are run by women (2012) - Political: Only 25% of the Members of Parliament in Canada are women (76 in House of Commons) o Better than the worldwide average of 19.5% (2011) - Qualitative indicators: - Cases where women are subject to social practices, often sanctioned through the law, that men are not likewise subject to - Rhetoric: - Women are frequently portrayed differently (and disadvantageously) in the world of discourse/speech - In sum, there exists an overwhelming disparity between the number of women, their representation in leadership positions, the extent of their economic reward, and the extent of their actual power - The question is why? - Why is it the case, in almost every society around the world, that women’s choices, opportunities, and power are more restricted than men? - Patriarchy – an unequal social system based upon the privileging of “masculine” characteristics and activities at the expense of those considered to be feminine. The net effect is that one gender (female) is exploited by another (male) - There are a number of different answers as to why patriarchy exists and what should be done about it: 1 - Liberal Feminism: - The Problem: Liberal equality must mean equality for all, not just for men - 1. Classical Liberal Feminism: - Agitation for Suffrage, the right to hold public office, the right to equal treatment in the economy - Equality required the right to vote – but more than this - It required the right to be treated as an equal individual no matter where in the public realm one was - Quote from Mill (The Subjection of Women) - “One thing we may be certain of – that what is contrary to women’s nature to do, they never will be made to do by simply giving their nature free play…What women by nature cannot do, it is quite superfluous to forbid them from doing. What they can do, but not so well as the men who are their competitors, competition suffices to exclude them from; since nobody asks for protective duties and bounties in favor of women” o So why all the anxiety about giving women equal rights? - The struggle for equality of rights - Canadian context: - 1918: women granted the right to vote in Fede
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