WSTA03 Lec 3.docx

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Women's and Gender Studies
Anissa Talahite- Moodley

WSTA03 Lec 3. Jan 22/14  Tests o Need to show we understand and can formulate theory  What does “radical” mean? o Radical  extreme; non-traditional; revolutionary  Not just about getting access; it is about changing how things are organized/structures  Liberal - opening a door; radical - changing what is in the house/furniture  Not just about fitting in, about changing mentalities, mindset, etc.  Means going down to roots of the issue  Patriarchy o Social structure based on male domination  Involves economic, political, social structures (family structures) o The idea that some men rule over women and over men with lower status  Preliminary discussion o Main issues in the chapter:  Sexual violence - harassment, rape  Pornography, sex trafficking  Contraception  Ecofeminism  Subordination in institutions - medical institutions o Shifting the emphasis from the public (liberal feminism involved with how women fit in in the society) into more personal sphere o Women’s oppression not just about being able to vote; also about the private sphere  Radical feminist theory tends to focus on: o Challenging patriarchal thinking o Freeing the female body o Celebrating the “feminine”  Challenging patriarchal thinking o Historical example: the “witch craze” in Europe (1480 - 1750)  Gendercide - women were being killed o VIDEO: the burning times  Witches - represent women’s power; has been feared for 1000s of years  Women of theAllejo inAfrica - had many rituals; when Europeans took Africa over, called them heathens and witches  Women folk healers - traditional drugs were derived from these healers; many were burned and called witches o How would a radical feminist interpret the witch hunt?  Glorification of these kinds of women and their power - these women were feared  Radical feminists would say the ‘feminine’qualities were suppressed so the power of mother/mother earth (throughout patriarchal society) • These women were constructed as evil and devil worshippers because they were powerful women  The need to control these women because they were seen as dangerous - this is still seen today  Contextualization of the beginning of the Catholic church … religions were becoming more patriarchal; suppressed women to keep the hierarchal system of men at the top o Radical feminists would say these religious institutions are patriarchal; some argue that they did not begin like that, they were changed o About creating space for qualities considered feminine  Freeing the female body o Radical feminism focuses on the idea of the body; whether it is looking at the various ways women’s bodies are controlled throughout history o Important phrase for radical feminists: The personal is political  What was considered part of the private area of life, according to radical feminists are political issues  Want to bring personal to the center  E.g. domestic violence - happens in the domestic sphere and people do not want to deal with it • By making it a legal issue, expose patriarchy o Looking at how the female body has been a way of control throughout history  E.g. pornography reinforces male domination by controlling the female body o Radical feminists are interested in the ‘feminine’since the body has been the sight of difference between women and men; about figuring out how women’s bodies have become the “other” o The question of female sexuality - has traditionally and historically been regarded as a dangerous thing and must be controlled (virginity, marriage, childbirth, etc.)  Cont. o Lesbian feminism - regarded as important in contributing to radical feminism  Lesbian feminism argues that traditional ways that sexuality has been portrayed are heteronormative  This is how they argue female sexuality has been shaped; to change patriarchy, need to consider heterosexual model as not the only model available  Want to change notions of romantic love and look at friendship, love, and relationships between women  Large part of the way we understand relationships is the male/female relation  Want to bring back to the center these marginalized forms of sexuality and relationships o Within radical feminist movement, there is a marginalization because contraception and abortion rights have overshadowed lesbian feminism  Celebrating the “feminine” o Characteristics: being a woman  Maternal, passionate, compassionate, nurturing, caring o Radical feminists question the way feminine characteristics have become marginalized o With liberal feminism, these characteristics become marginalized and women are taught to act like a man o Want to make these qualities a little more central so the world is not so patriarchal o Misogyny - hating of females;  Culturally seen through jokes, songs,  E.g. Hillary Clinton - a nutcracker of Hillary Clinton  Misogynistic fear of being castrated by a woman; fear of power of a woman o Women were prosecuted when they owned property and had to pay for their own execution  Witch hunts were like a business o Idea of the witch is
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