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GGR327 Lec 2 Intro to Feminist Geography.pdf

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Deborah Leslie

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Lec 2 Intro to Feminist Geography September-16-13 11:00 AM Feminist Geography and Third Wave Feminism: Critiques by Women of colour and Postcolonial theorists - Books such as: "Man and environment", "The Landscape of Man" - Absence from these books are any account from Women travellers ○ And Little discussion about the home, office, consumption Toward a Feminist Geography - Throughout history, groups who have been disadvantaged have been hidden from history & hidden from geography - Aboriginals, women, and minority = hidden from geography - Zelinsky "The strange case of the missing female geographer" - Jackie Tivers (1978) ○ Geographers need to know how "the other half lives" (aka women) - Growing interest of women's geography and women's spaces - Early interest in how women's experiences of space different ○ Transportation use, lifestyle, - From 1980s onwards, interst in how women's experiences are not only different but unequal - How women were spatially constrained in ways men were not - Early work in 1980s, was on the fact that women relied on public transportation, and power relations (men would have the power in a home and usually if there was a car - only the man could drive) - Feminist geography concerned with the role of space in maintaining and constructing gendered differences ○ e.g. historical evolution of separate spheres ○ Public and private …. - Segregated spaces (CBD / downtown was the heart of the city, most of employment and services and offices were located) - Suburbanization took places and 70-80s - women were confined to the suburbs, and women were denied access to the CBD employment and services - Space maintained women's inequality - Gendered division of spaces - Spatial patterning of city patriarchal - Patriarchy - a system in which men as a group are constructed as a superior to women as a group and so assumed to have authority over them (Walby) - Influenced by second wave feminism - De facto inequalities as opposed to de jure (legal) inequalities that had preoccupied first wave women's movement - Focus on violence and violence against women - Feminist geography was influenced by these issues women faced - Work place gains, reproductive rights, education opportunities - "the person is political" - Inequality, the city itself was patriarchal - denied women equality - Increasing geographics - 1980s - -> 1960s, 1970s women's movement - 3 phases of women's movement ○ 19th / earth 20thc focused on getting the vote (Suffrage movement) ○ Second wave women's movement 1960-70s focused on de facto inequalities - Betty Friedan ○ Loneliness suburban women tackled ○ Spatial structure of city isolated women and led to growing frustration among women - MadMen tv show also illustrates the feminist movement - Another film on the web - CBC: Doc Zone called "the F-word" Decentering the feminist project (third wave feminism) 1990s on - McDowell ○ Decline of a shared project ○ 90s - there is a real questioning of role of feminism and feminist theory - Critique of universal notion of patriarch - Rejection of the category "woman" and prioritization of gender as an analytic category - Feminist theory see gender as the primary access or base of women's equality - - questioning and critique - This idea came from women all around the world, and all types of people - New sensitivity to the diff between women Criticisms by women of color and critical race theorists - Challenge to hegemonic discourses of white middle class womanhood by women of color, poor women - 3 themes: ○ Isolation in the suburbs ○ Birth control and reproductive rights ○ Work outside the home and have equal opportunities in the work place - Diff for diff race - e.g. African women, those themes do not affect or pertain to them, because African Americans always worked outside the home (as nannies, slaves, etc..), AA may prefer to live in suburbs or work at home, and have more kids - AA issues were poverty, crime, and social issues such as slavery(?) - Assumed a singular geography of inequality (that it is the same for women everywhere, and that the mechanisms of inequalities are the same in all places) - Space changes the role of gender: Lectures Page 1 - Space changes the role of gender: - Ex1: bell hooks ○ It's not the person that matters, it's the work of that person that matters (that's why her name / pen name is in lower case letters ○ She challenges this notion of home as a key site of oppression ○ 'Homeplace' as a site of resistance (a refuge, a place of recovery) ○ The home is not the seat of all women's problem ( for African Americans, the home can be a source of refuge) ○ 'Homeplace' = a space where African Americans could be subjects and not objects ○ Where they could restore dignity stripped away by poverty, hardship, deprivation ○ e.g. see in the movie "The Help" (Africans are nannys to rich white families, when they go home they also have to care for their own children) ○ Place where one could heal the wounds of racism (the home) ○ Without a homeplace - can not build a meaningful community of resistance - Ex2: Sojourner Truth ○ Was a slave but freed ○ In her speech "Ain't I a woman"  "That man over there says women need to be helped into carriages and lifted over ditches, and to have the best place everywhere. Nobody ever helps me into carriages, and lifts me over ditches, or over mud puddles, or gives me any best place! And ain't I a woman?" - 1851 Sojourner Truth  In this speech - she clearly shows that race really indicates one's gender  This idea is definitely geared toward white women - they are frail and in need of chivalry - Interest in intersection of gender, race, class, ethnicity, sexuality, regional modalitiestersectionality) - Crenshaw and Hill Collins (authors) - Minor (1997) intersectionality: "the way in which any particular individual stands at the crossroads of multiple groups" - Some critical of metaphor and adopt other metaphors ○ ie. Imbricated, intermeshed (Brown, 2012) - Experience of race changes gender - Identity is not a set of levels, nor is it a set of patches ○ Instead they blur into each other ○ Mutually constitute one another - Effect of different subjectivities is transformative rather than additive ○ Mutually constitute one another and not seperable within the individual themselves / "indissolvable" - Gender and race are not links in a chain, nor are they overlapping spheres of oppression - As Wendy Brown suggests ○ It is impossible to extract race from gender, or gender from sexuality or masculinity from colonialism - Politically people started questioning the feminist movement in 60s-70s - Influenced geographers Postcolonial theories - Entry of new generation of postcolonial / "third world" scholars into the North American Academy - During this time, there
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