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Lecture 4

WGS365H5 Lecture Notes - Lecture 4: Patricia Hill Collins, Performativity, Heterosexuality

Women and Gender Studies
Course Code
Robert May

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WGS363: Theories of Masculinity – January 26, 2015
Lecture 4 – Gender as Performance
Two classes ago:
-Conell’s ideas of patterns of masculinity
Supports theory of patriarchy
Inferiority of particular kind of men/masculinities
Benefiting from patriarchy but not partaking in it
Based on things like race and class
-Evers’ masculinity as style
oAffective assemblages
Social and biological circuits
Masculinity is fluid and changing – similar to other types of styles
but we are affected by others and the environment
Collection of different things
-Structural and institutional masculinity
oExample of limiting number of strollers in public transit perpetuates
institutional masculinity (women are usually the ones with strollers)
Limits how women use space
Lecture Part 1
The Problem – The Universal Women in Feminism
Judith Butler’s philosophy of ‘gender performativity or ‘gender performance’ or
Gendered theories of performativity
Taking a step back…
-‘Womenhood’ as a rallying point
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oAgainst patriarchy
oDo we need to identify as women to talk about feminism
-But ‘Ain’t I a woman?’
oOften times feminists might be talking about women but this quote means
they are not always talking about all women in the same way
-Connections to Connell’s idea about the ‘science’ of masculinity or gender
-Butler asks whether ‘women’ are the subjects of feminism
-Kept masculinity in mind when talking about performativity
-Butler is reflective of a moment in time (third wave feminism mostly)
oFragmenting feminisms
We are not all women in the same way
-Bell hooks
oReacting to idea of women as a ‘sisterhood’ but this was not the same for
all women (especially black women)
-Chandra Mohanty
oColonialist move toward feminism
Suggesting western feminism sometimes talk about third world
women but do not necessarily take their ideas in mind
-Patricia Hill Collins
oThere is no black women whos experiences stand as normal (universal
only in other women)
Judith Bulter
-In this context of fragmenting feminisms, Bulter comes in, writing about
-She is also concerned about the catergory ‘women’
Two Parts to Bulter’s Argument
a) The first part is the breakdown of a dualist gender (man/women)
b) The second is break down of the use of woman as a category for feminism to
rally around
a) Breaking down dualistic gender
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