Lecture 2- September 17.docx

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Women and Gender Studies
Victoria Tahmasebi- Birgani

Lecture 2- September 17, 2013 Racialized and Classed Bodies Identity: Politics and Intersectionality  What constitutes our identities? o Do we have just one identity? o Does it remain the same throughout our lives?  How do we identify ourselves?- name, race, gender, occupation, religion, nationality o Reinforces stereotypes o All these identities are put on us- i.e. parents give us a name, country gives us our nationality Identity and Intersectionality  Multiply situated- changing as our lives change, change according to context o Our identities are fluid and contextually defined o We are not the same person all the time o Take into account things such as race, gender, SES, religious identity, language we speak o How these things are interacting with each other on continual basis o Our identities are dynamic o Subject to how other people view us- imposed from above  Maybe we only see one aspect of the person’s identity- can be over-determined or under-determined  Essentialist construction  Non-essentialist: social construction o Non-essentialism = social construction  The way we are born more or less makes us who we are  Belief that we are born with some sort of identity that is static, fixed  Did it happen at conception? Are you born with your nature? Or is shaped by different forces? Is it not innate? Difference  Definition: that is which is not the same, how one thing is set apart from another o Differences lead to hierarchies (rank differences) o The ways in which we socially recognize the ways in which people differ  They are ranked, named, classified  Some groups based on this difference are dominant or oppressed/ subordinate  Membership:  Ranking difference:  Systems of privilege and oppression o Privilege:  A privilege is an advantage, and opportunity  Special advantages that people are granted by virtue of their status/position in society  i.e. being able to go to school (have money or intelligence), being a Canadian citizen (vote, easier access to other countries)  an invisible package of unearned assets  Peggy McIntosh: “white privilege” “male privilege” – a white man’s knapsack of unearned assets  Is this contextually accurate? o Oppression:  Aspects of identity that may be targeted causing you to be unequal to another person  Privileges being taken away- may enter into position of inequality and therefore oppression  Being denied basic human rights  **networks, forces, and barriers that expose one to penalty and provide us with limited options**  Marilyn Frye: “Oppression” (1983)- defined oppression as “something pressed, is something caught between or among forces, and barriers that are so related to each other, that together they restrain, restrict, or prevent the things motion or mobility mold, mobilize, reduce”  Is inequality always a form of oppression?  Are women oppressed? Are women as a sex oppressed? o Have to pay attention to context Marylyn Frye  Philosopher, feminist theorist  Michigan state university  Written much on feminist theory  “oppression” (1983) most famous work- argues that oppression is systematic and doesn’t exist in a vacuum o Theory of oppression connects to theory of Intersectionality  Argues that oppression is systemic  Birdcage metaphor: o “all avenues, in every direction, are blocked or booby trapped” o Macroscopic level: only when are able to step back, we can see how these wires intersect and it is when we do this, (being within and stepping back) that we get the wholistic picture (the big picture) and you start to see how race, ethnicity, gender, sexual identity intersect o Microscopic level: from inside the cage, all you see are the bars (
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