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Lecture

Lecture 1

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Department
Health Studies
Course Code
HLTC02H3
Professor
Emily Fountas

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Lecture 1
Margaret Keatings- Feminist Theory
Two premises accepted as key to feminist thinking:
oFemale and male experiences/bodies/socialization are not identical
oMale perspectives are dominant, female perspectives often marginalized, muted, simple
unrecognized
Feminist: anyone who acts to give voice to these different female, perspectives, attempts to balance
or integrate male and female perspectives, who promote feminine over masculine perspectives
Liberal Feminism
Concerned with equality of women and equitable distribution of wealth, position, power
Concerned with social, political, economic forces that channel women into roles
Affirm individual choice and urge equal rights for women and reform of systems to ensure
inclusion of women
Emphasizes rights and freedom, seeks to replace patriarchal protection of male freedoms and
limitations with equal rights for women- e.g. since men can father children late into years, women
should have right to access to post-menopausal infertility treatment
Strategies: providing greater educational opportunities for women, ensuring women have access to
male-dominated professions and implementing legislation that ensures equality for women
Social Feminism
Examine cultural institutions that contribute to oppression of women and relationship between
private sphere of home and public domain of productive work
Focus primarily on role of economic oppression in womens lives
Argue that equity will never be attained until changes made to structures such as patriarchal
family, motherhood, housework, influence distribution of power, wealth, privilege
Social and political structures must change so womens responsibilities within home, traditional
female profession valued same as men
Example: vitro fertilization (IVF)
For women in 20s to allow finish education, launch careers and have children later in life to reduce
risks of birth defects
Social feminist: educational and business institutions not structured in ways that allow women to
work and have families at healthiest time in life cycles, institution should be restructured
Liberal feminist: likely to assert rights to both as the woman herself sees fit
Radical Feminism
View women- centred perspectives and institutions as only or primary ones
1.Womens oppression cannot be explained in economic terms alone and gender oppression is crucial
variable
2.Challenge concepts and frameworks of traditional philosophical and scientific inquiry
3.Perspective challenges patriarchal underpinnings of society, since radical feminists seek analyze
and value womens experiences from perspective of female rather than male standards and biases
4.Focus on development of women-defined thought, culture, systems
Example: role of childbearing and child rearing in oppression may be concern within forms of feminism
All feminists tend to want women, not men to control means of reproduction and to have at least an
equal voice in reproductive policies
Liberal: want minimal restrictions on surrogacy, egg selling, other means of reproductive choice
Social: not only wants to change institutions that limit womens choices so that women can thrive
whether or not choose to have families, but challenges values we place on reproduction and family
life (may reject some practices- surrogacy, egg selling)
Radical: likely to characterize reproductive intervention as plot to control bodies of women
All share 3 themes:
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Description
Lecture 1 Margaret Keatings- Feminist Theory Two premises accepted as key to feminist thinking: o Female and male experiencesbodiessocialization are not identical o Male perspectives are dominant, female perspectives often marginalized, muted, simple unrecognized Feminist: anyone who acts to give voice to these different female, perspectives, attempts to balance or integrate male and female perspectives, who promote feminine over masculine perspectives Liberal Feminism Concerned with equality of women and equitable distribution of wealth, position, power Concerned with social, political, economic forces that channel women into roles Affirm individual choice and urge equal rights for women and reform of systems to ensure inclusion of women Emphasizes rights and freedom, seeks to replace patriarchal protection of male freedoms and limitations with equal rights for women- e.g. since men can father children late into years, women should have right to access to post-menopausal infertility treatment Strategies: providing greater educational opportunities for women, ensuring women have access to male-dominated professions and implementing legislation that ensures equality for women Social Feminism Examine cultural institutions that contribute to oppression of women and relationship between private sphere of home and public domain of productive work Focus primarily on role of economic oppression in womens lives Argue that equity will never be attained until changes made to structures such as patriarchal family, motherhood, housework, influence distribution of power, wealth, privilege Social and political structures must change so womens responsibilities within home, traditional
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