WMST 101- 11 Sept.docx

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Women's and Gender Studies
WMST 101
Almas Zakiuddin

WMST 101: 11 SEPT. 2012 Background to Main Arguments  It was claimed by early Western feminists that sexism is the root of all oppressions  Origins of Western feminism  European Enlightenment thought, positivism, dualism, sexism  Feminist movement assumed all women same experience as Western women “You Can’t Theorize Breakfast” (Sacks p.116)  Grim image of life in 21 Century  Women’s bodies, voices, histories  Ground realities: experience in Honduras  “I don’t care what you call it. I just want to feed my babies and maybe someday shit in my toilet” (p.116)  Academic knowledge has limits  Need to know ourselves better  Answer is messy and fluid “Paradigms of Domination” (Hooks, p.110)  Hooks discusses  Structural forces  Power relations  Patriarchal system  Exclusive focus on gender is wrong  All women do not have the same experience  She suggests we examine interlocking oppressions of gender, class, race, and other differences  Gender is primary oppression but not because it is the origin of all oppressions Sexism is Primary Oppression  Because sexism is most common of all oppressions  It is rooted in earliest relationships of power: parent-child  Dominating but also caring relationships  Emerges in intimate spaces of family life  Becomes normative  When we face outside world’s oppressions we are weaker if we have been oppressed inside our homes But Sexism Must Not Be Privileged  It must not be seen as the only oppression or even the root of oppressions  We can’t assume that if sexism is resolved, everything else will be fixed automatically  Power relations sustain all forms of oppression  Patriarchy connects with and sustains raci
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