WOMENST 1A03 Lecture Notes - Lecture 2: Intersectionality

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Cultural Construction of Gender (& Intersectionality)
“Gender” instead of “woman”
- Feminist terminology since the 1980s; wants to be taken seriously
- Sounds like social science instead of strident activism
- “Gender” is objective sounding; doesn’t sound threatening
Womens Studies Departments in the 1970s and 1980s became Gender Studies
Departments in the 1990s and beyond…
- Issues discussed in these departments affect all of society, not just women.
Draws attention to the inability of considering “women” separately from men
- The category “woman” exists because there is also a category “man” and the two
are in relationship with one another
The social construction of the category “woman” implies the social construction of the
category “man”
Neither biological sex nor gendered social roles exist in a bubble; the cultural meanings
of our bodies exists as part of a discourse of sex, gender, and power in our society
Feminism in Waves:
1 (First wave feminism): 19th-20th Centuries
- Right to vote
- Right to employment
- Right to higher education
- Right to legal status as a person
oSpeak in a court of law
2 (Second wave feminism): 1960s-1970s
- Civil rights movement
- Huge protest movements
- Women were demanding that the problems in their lives should be seen as
problems of society
- Feminine Mystique
- Ms. Magazine
- Bra Burning
- Free love
- The Pill
- Women can do anything men can do
- Not pro-gay/trans
3 (Third wave feminism): 1990s
- Children of second wave feminists
- Looked at second wave and said its missing things
- Pro-gay/trans
- Sexual orientation/expression
- Women can create
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