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Lecture 2

GGR313 Lecture 2 (May 9, 2013).docx

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Jeffrey May

GGR313 Lecture 2 Femininity, Masculinity and Bodies - Ex. Jenna Talackova, Canadian transgender - There are limits to gendering and what we wear to certain places in certain contexts - ...bodies slide o Thinking of bodies beyond simple categorization (thin, fat, medium built, etc;) - Some geographers considering a body as a “space” - Quote o ‘It is vital to understand bodily experience in order to understand people's relationships with physical and social environments. Yet the word ‘body’ and the thing of ‘the body’ itself tend to be treated as obvious and requiring no explanation. Pile and Thrift (1995: 2) illustrate this point by citing the line from an old song: ‘If I said you had a beautiful body, would you hold it against me?’ which plays on the ambiguity of the phrase “hold against”, while the “it” of a “beautiful body” is cheerfully assumed’ (Longhurst, 1997). - Song called “If I said you had a beautiful body” (older song) and compared to Britney Spear’s song, “Hold it against me” o Double meaning of “hold it against me” - Dualism: a set of two things that are made to seem opposed (for instance, mind/body, or in terms of gender, man/woman, masculinity/femininity or in terms of the city, public/private place) o Much of western thinking has been structured around that idea - Feminists argue that the idea of ‘the body’ is itself gendered - The mind has been conceptualized in terms of reason, subject, consciousness, interiority, activity, masculinity - The body has been conceptualized in terms of passion, object, non-consciousness, exteriority, passivity, femininity - Another quote by Longhurst o ‘Of course, in ‘reality’ both men and women ‘have bodies’ but the difference lies in that men are thought to be able to pursue and speak universal knowledge, unencumbered by the limitations of a body placed in a particular time and place whereas women are thought to be bound closely to the particular instincts, rhythms and desires of their fleshy, located bodies (Longhurst,1997).  Men are allowed to pursue and speak universal knowledge, while women are bound by the instincts, rhythms, and desires of the fleshy located body - Embodiment o Embodiment is the unconscious adaptation of social and cultural norms and processes into how we present and think about our bodies o But embodiment is not the same for everybody  Depends on where we are, who we are, etc; o White males are usually regarded as the one who speaks knowledge - Argument from last class nd o 2 wave feminists tried to rise above their embodiment while also embracing it o They attempted to speak for the universal women o Thus, some people are stuck in their bodies while others transcend it o Ex. A lot of great roles in TV are played by white people - Bodies and geography, geography of bodies? o Bodies are spatial, bodies shape spaces o Masculinity and femininity primarily help to code bodies - Masculinity: A process that has different manifestations in different geographical areas, but which is commonly tied to how men act, what men do, how they are perceived differently from women, and how their “maleness” is imagined in the biological and social senses - Femininity: process that has different manifestations in different geographical areas, but which is commonly tied to how women act, what women do, how they are perceived differently from men, and how their “femaleness” is imagined in the biological and social senses o The definition is the same for both - Inherently geographical o About relationships in the context, who is there in the space and what you’re doing there will affect how the body behaves o Ex. Jeff and his partner going to the club, where his partner danced in a sexual manner at the club that he hasn’t seen before other than goofy dance at home - Places are not free spaces of expression, neither public or private o Being “out of place” o What you’re doing now is the expected social code; it’s not hard for you to do something out of the social code but people don’t - Sexy sax man; he’s not in place o The thing he’s wearing, the act of playing saxophone in stores or food courts - Gill Valentine article o Valentine’s main argument is that heterosexuality is powerfully expressed in space  People will deny this is the case  We are under assumptions that spaces are not categorized to heterosexuality or homosexuality  Maybe sexual places are in the private in their own homes  She argues that spaces are continually made for the heterosexual o Unbiased space? - The heterosexualization of spaces o Through both the physical design of spaces and through people’s attitudes and behaviours o Home, work, social spaces, public open spaces - Home o Physical design:  Layout suggests “asymmetrical relationships” in terms of male and female  Master bedroom, kid’s bedrooms, or the nuclear family o Emotional attitudes and behaviours  Home as a source of discomfort and insecurity for lesbians  While most people feel comfortable at home - Workplaces o Physical design  Clothing and jobs  Perception of domestic role  While men are physical, dirty work  Sexual identities o Attitudes and behaviours  Attitudes of employers  Culture of workplace  Lesbians have to adopt to the heterosexual way of relationships and therefore they feel out of place in the workplace
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