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SDS 131R - Feminism Lecture Summary

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Social Development Studies
SDS 131R
Theresa Romkey

MODULE 8: Feminism What is Feminism? Definition • Bell hooks: social, economic & political commitment to creating an egalitarian society – without race, sexual or class domination • Adrienne Riche: An ethical methodology; how we think about/act about the world & its conditions Similarities in • Believe that society is gendered; affects social & institutional relations all feminists • Gender isn’t the only issue – racism, heterosexism, ableism, ageism, etc. • Our understanding of gender isn’t innate – it’s shaped by time period, economics, politics, religion, & culture Advocate for social change using politics and social action (praxis) Waves of Feminism • Social change comes in ebbs & flows (less national activity) First Wave • 1848: Met @ Seneca Falls (US); decide to start a social movement pertaining to women Abolition: Anti-slavery 1848-1918 movement • 1918: Most Canadian women obtained the right to vote Temperance: Making LIBERAL • Began with the abolition & temperance movement FEMINISTS o Turned into the suffrage movement; fought for their own rights alcohol illegal to prevent related social problems Second Wave • Betty Ferdan (US, 1963) – “The Feminine Mystique”; interviews with women Housewife Fatigue: 1963-1980’s o Educated, suburban 1950’s housewives aren’t fulfilled as mothers, wives, & consumers  housewife fatigueen being dissatisfied o Women recognized that the problem was systemic; Betty suggested employment to increase sense of self-with a lack of choice in LIBERAL their role; unsuccessfully RADICAL worth solved with valium. MARXIST o Only addresses the needs of middle class white women; minorities were always in the work-force (SOCIALIST) • Linked to Civil Rights movement in the US, resistance to the Vietnam War & Students’Rights Movements • Women want social change & choice in their lifestyle • Decreases when conservatism rises in the 1980’s Third Wave • Canada: December 6 1989: The Montréal Massacre (1989-Present) LIBERAL • DIY movement: Individually focused. RADICAL • Reclaiming language: previously derogatory words are used by women in an empowering/ironic way; takes their MARXIST (SOCIALIST) power away ANTI-RACIST • Race critique: Women have been the oppressor and the oppressed; we need to speak for ourselves and give all GLOBAL women a voice YOUNG POST-MODERN Strands of Feminism Liberal • Questions traditional authority, individual is rational, citizens’rights Equality: Sameness • Wants equality for all people; men & women Equity: Recognizes disadvantages imposed by • Focuses on public life & individual freedom (property, education, involvement in politics) systemic bias (racism, sexism, • Social Problem: Lack of access to institutions for women (institutions will change with public life involvement & ableism, ageism, etc.) equal policy) • Solution: Social change (social & legal reform) through social policy; government intervention
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