WGS200Y5 Lecture Notes - Lecture 9: Essentialism, Masculinity, Intersectionality

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Note #1
Essentialism: things are always like that, are fixed and are always going to be the same
-defined by a single characteristic or grouping of characteristics
reduce individual or group to one characteristic or set of them
-eternal, fixed, unchanging
-biologically based traits, innate
-countered by intersectionality (all men and women are not the same)
Difference ∙/∙ gender and sex:
“Sex is what between the legs, gender is what between the ears”
Sex: biological and physicological differences
determined who people are and what they could & could not, should & should not, be
and do within their society
Gender: social category imposed on a sexed body
Gender(I) — identification or presentation of self as being a woman or man
-only for individuals including femininities, masculinities
-requires both heterosexual self-presentation and activity and
stereotypical procreative and productive behaviour
Gender(S) — mode of social organization: cultural institution
a way of organizing how human beings live, how they do or do not
to interact sexually and reproductively
Intersectionality  gender and sex roles are not the only identity we have
interconnected linkages
Patriarchy: hierarchal historical system of rule and domination by men
-ensure the power of men
-valuing of masculine characteristics
-set limits on womens equality
Examples: “Taking Back the Budget”
-men received larger shares of all spending items than women
-allocations of benefits so heavily favour men that the programs are likely to
deepen womens existing inequality
-labour force sectors are unquestionably “traditional” jobs for men but are “non-
traditional” employment for women
-men gain economic ground faster than women no gender pay gaps
Feminist analysis:
-Context: particular historical moment, place and time
-Power: control, influence, strength
Whats the dominant power relationship discussed?
-Agency: ability to exert action i.e. to influence and change things
What is being proposed?
Backlash: aggressive and violent reaction to social changes that challenge the status quo
(power and privilege that dominate societies)
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