POLB52 – Lecture – March 14 2013.
Masculinity and Femininity
What does it mean to be a man and is manliness validated?
What does it mean to be a woman and how is womanliness validated?
There are biological and physiological differences between men and women.
There are some differences between social behaviour. Some persist over time and
society. It is socially constructive.
In a lot of places men are perceived are strong and brave but to reinforce it, it was really
what gender idea is about.
We can reinforce these things – a lot of our identities are constructed by how other
people see us and treat us.
One consequence – we have visions of what we see in a political leader, what it means
to have a weak leader or indecisive or uncommitted leader.
For a long time, men had dominated in western societies politically. Politics is a dirty
topic that men should do. We still end up have this image as political leader that is
characterized by men.
Catch 22 – if women goes into politics and behaves as men, then it violates our image.
What are some words to characterize these women? – Bulldog, tough, and not meant as
compliment which makes them feel negative.
We have six female premiers. We have an increase in representation of women in our
legislature. It’s changing and it changes slowly.
Accessibility of child care.
When someone acts different from our expectations, then we criticized them – socially
constructive. Sexual orientation –
These are our views of general life courses of men and women
There’s a great degree of discomfort of sexual orientation even at the elite level.
o Ex. Prof did a survey/statistics about Liberals – five or six journalist talks about
first female Ontario premier and not first gay female Ontario premier.
People spent their whole lives to concealing their sexual identity which is some
conscious life choice before.
Sexual orientation- people are born with it. It’s likely inheritable. It also persist in
countries expect for some countries who think there are no homosexuality in their
Challenge –to accept the unnatural ways of men to be attracted to men.
Civil rights movement – human equality in the US. We are made equal, racial segregation, in
the 60s doesn’t challenge the norms of the country but rather appeals to them. If you believe in
the American creed, then you cannot justify the serration of the African American and
segregation of the US.
Gay/lesbians and social movements in the 80s had a different approach – protest, less shooting,
it was a broad based social movement, political movement and interest groups that seek to
political objective, some are unachievable, first try to change the society in which politics plays.
out. They start small first. When we think of social movements, and social movement politics
they target cultural things, values and norms in society to political change.
How do these changes occur?
It’s not a single law that could change politics or an individual. You have to do it piece by piece
and it’s not only liberal or left wing social movements. Try to reinforce a pride and belonging in
Changing the language of discussion and casting off imposed labels. – Ex. aboriginal groups-
why do they keep changing their names?
Many small acts of symbolism
Raising awareness– Ex. Posters. People often slip bad words don’t understand what the
word means or what its consequences are.
Fostering group identity, pride, and awareness – Whether class existed in our country?
Lacking class identity in Canada. Challenge the status quo
Appeal to established principles – don’t appeal to just your own ideological
Challenge the laws of the land
The Role of the State
You have society and then a government and these are completely separate entities.
Does society shape the state or does the government shape the society? Think of the
state as separate from society which might be the first problem that causes the riddle of
whether society shape government or government shapes the states.
State is embedded in society.
When you think of states you think of buildings, prime minister, and the power, but you
really think about as just people. They are no different than any other people.
The government is just an interaction people – purely socially constructive. If people
don’t accept the legitimacy then things turn out different. People in the state are still
member of society. It’s important not to think of them as separate.
The state creates universal education and they hire a whole bunch of people to become
public teachers. Then witness 60 years ago, politicians had reached out to public
teachers as social groups in order to get votes. The state embedded in society.
State-society distinction fundamental reason of why the question cannot be answered.
CRTC – broadcasting regulations. It’s a government agency that restricts foreign ownership of
broadcasting, and allows Canadian television and media to Canadians. It forces these broad
castors to play certain contents.
CBC – state funded broad castor – promotes Can