Feminism A Transformational Politic.docx

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Women and Gender Studies
Karen Ruffle

Feminism: A Transformational Politic bell hooks Page 402-407  We live in a world of crisis—the superior should over the inferior—affects the lives of all people everywhere  Contemporary feminist thinkers often cite sexual politics as the origin of this crisis  Suggest that differentiation of status between males and females globally is an indication that patriarchal domination of the planet is the root of the problem  Elimination of sexist oppression would necessarily lead to the eradication of all forms of domination  Western white women to feel that feminist movement should be the central political agenda for females globally  Racism and class...parent system: patriarchy  Patriarchal domination is a more legitimate feminist action than resisting racism and other forms of domination  Clearly, differentiation between strong and weak, powerful and powerless, has been a central defining aspect of gender globally  Assumption that men should have greater authority than women  Women can and do participate in politics of domination as perpetrators as well as victims  Parent child relationships with its very real imposed survival structure of dependency of strong and weak of powerful and powerless was a site for the construction of a paradigm of domination  This speculation does not place women outside the practice of domination, as potential theoreticians and creators of a paradigm for social relationships  Emphasizing paradigms of domination that call attention to woman’s capacity to dominate is one way to deconstruct and challenge the simplistic notion that men have always been the oppressors.  We all have the capacity to act in ways that oppress, dominate, wound (whether or not that power is institutionalized)  First the potential oppressor within that we must resist—the potential victim within we must rescue—otherwise we cannot hope for an end to domination for liberation  By calling attention to interlocking systems of domination—sex, race and class—black women and many other groups of women acknowledge the diversity and complexity of female experience, of our relationship to power and domination  Feminists straddle to end patriarchal domination should be of primary importance to women and men globally not because it is the foundation of all other oppressive structures but because it is that form of domination we are most likely to encounter in an ongoing way in everyday life  Sexism directly shapes and determines relations of power in our private lives, in familiar social spaces, in that most intimate context—home—and in that most intimate sphere of relations— family.  It is this convergence of two contradictory impulses—the urge to promote growth and the urge to inhibit growth.  Feminist efforts to end patriarchal domination should be of primary concern precisely because it insists on the eradication of exploitation and oppression in the family context and in all other intimate relationships. Political movement most radically addresses the person. The need for transformation of self, of relationships, so that we might be bet
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