October 4: Wired Women.docx

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Women and Gender Studies
Karen Ruffle

Wgs week 4 Identity: politics and intersectionality What constitutes our identities? – multiple factors... ethnicity, family, etc. - Do we have just 1 identity? - Does it remain the same throughout our lives? Identity and intersectionality  Multiply situated  Essentialist construction: born with identity that is fixed  Non-essentialist: social construction - Constructed - Fluid - Laid upon us - Self-chosen - Contextual Difference:  Social recognition of ways in which ppl differ  Membership: similarity/difference  Ranking difference  Systems of privilege and oppression Privilege and oppression:  Privilege: advantages ppl have b/c status/position in society - Peggy mcintosh: “white privilege” “male privilege” - “invisiblke package of unearned assets”  Oppression: networks of forces and barriers that expose one to penalty, limited options - Marilyn Frye: “oppression” (1983) Marilyn Frye  Philosopher, feminist theory  Michigan state university  Written much on feminist theory  “oppression” most famous work  Argues that oppression is systemic Systems of oppression  Discriminate and privilege based on perceived and real differences between ppl  Interlinked/intersect with inequality  Multiple systems  Ex: ageism is linked to sexism and lookism  Double-blind: all potential options have limitations (frye) Birdcage metaphor  Frye “oppression”  “all avenues, in every direction, are blocked or booby trapped”  Can see intersections at MACROSCOPIC LEVEL  Inside the cage: MICROSCOPIC  Oppression: hard to see/recognize  Must see structure as WHOLE Systems of inequality:  Racism  Sexism  Classism  Ethnocentrism  Heterosexism  Ableism  Ageism Institutions  Social organizations that involve established patterns of behaviour organized around particular fuctions - Meet needs of some groups better than others - Systems subordination/domination -assign gender-based rules\ -unequal distribution of resources -intersectionality Role of language in systems of oppression  Language: sexist, racist dimensions - Can u give some examples?  Ideas/values (stereotypes. Jokes), or ideologies contribute to inequality  Role of media  Role of religion (ex. Eve as temptress)  Clichés: “self-made man”  “ghetto”: poor, urban, improvised Prejudice  To “prejudice” som
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