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Lecture 3

Lecture 3 July 11.docx

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University of Toronto St. George

SOC367H1 LECTURE 3 MONDAY JULY 11 Kinsman-lacks intersectionality concepts DOMINANT NARRATIVES - Story of memory making and how we understand the nation state we live in - Ex. Africville –so few know about it - Idea of grand narratives vs. sub-textual narratives (impact grand) - Razack’s grand narrative? The idea of consent, a woman who can or cannot consent- all the subtexts tell you if consent is possible – vulnerability, beauty ideals, refugee, aggression etc. - Connecting all articles- all talking about narratives – and looking at CONTEXT – specifics, we need to think about interpersonal reactions, histories of representation and mundane unconscious responses “The truth about stories is, that’s all we are” “You have to be careful with the stories you tell. And you have to watch out for the stories that are told.” - Thomas King, The Truth about stories: A Native Narrative KINSMAN - Analysis of male privilege that disregards institution of compulsory heterosexuality (idea that most people are heterosexual) is incomplete o Shared male privilege, men (as a group) in a dominant economic position in relation to women o Shared male privilege does not reconcile power hierarchies existing among men based on intersection of sexuality o Ex. Looking at marriage laws, same sex marriage? - Anti-sexist “men’s movement” work critiqued as heterocentrist o Gayness in addition to manhood? o Analogous to Ng’s experience of gender and racial oppression as a totality (cannot be/not separate realms for Ng) of lived experience - Politics of gay liberation/lesbian feminism o Expose heterosexuality as a socialized relation  Not the only “natural” form of sexual practice/identity  Flux of human sexual desire not easily captured by rigid categories  “Our biological, erotic and sexual capabilities are only the precondition for the organization of the social and cultural forms of meaning and activity that compose human sexuality. Our biological capabilities are transformed and mediated culturally, producing sexuality as a social need and relation.” (Kinsman 1984: 169) – same point as week 2 authors: race is not a fixed entity same as class  Queer theory makes new sexuality more fluid and in tune with economic shifts o Expose heterosexuality as an institutionalized norm:  Institutional (macro: marriage laws, school/curricula, police practices, mass media  Interpersonal relations (micro): violence  Intrapersonal relations/ micro: homophobic hatred of self (internalized hetrosexism) - “Heterosexual men interested in seriously transforming the fabric of their lives have to stop seeing gay liberation of simply a separate issue for some men that has nothing to say to them. They should begin to ask what the experience of gay men can bring into view for them.” (Kinsman, 184: 167) – even though someone is queer, brings entirely new realms of meaning, love, desire, compassion - What do proper definitions mean? How tools of state that regulate our interactions with others and our understandings of self - Definition of “proper” masculinity keeps all men in line o “Gay men experience a rupture between the presumably universal categories of heterosexual experience and their own experience of the world, a rupture that denies many of our experiences…Gay men exist in social situations that allow us to see aspects of life, desire, sexuality and love that cannot be seen by heterosexual men.” (Kinsman 1984: 167) o Girls and boys grow up in a world denied images of women loving women and men loving men (no models outside (often violent) heterosexual relations) - History of heterosexuality (linking with Ng, link to Foucault) o Tied with institution of masculinity o Rise of capitalism in Europe (15 to 19C)  Need for skilled labour force  Development of wage labour and separation of “work” from home  Homosocial culture of male workers (18C on)  Class unity of bourgeoisie reliant on strict gender norms and development of individual nuclear family as consumptive economic unit  Hetero-normative masculinity  Reproductive feminity “Conservative political parties and the new right... fear of breakdown of “traditional” sexual and family relations which they associate with social and moral order, and see the challenge that gay liberation presents to heterosexual hegemony as a threat to the ways in which their lives and institutions are organized.” (Kinsman, 1984: 174) “New right and moral conservatives in their various incarnations are taking advantage of people’s fears about changes in family organization and sexual mores to campaign in support of patriarchal and heterosexist social norms. The defense of a male-dominated heterosexuality is not only central to the policies of the new right and moral conservatives regarding feminism and gay liberation, but is a central theme of their racial and class politics as well. The progressive movement’s failure to deal with people’s real fears, concerns and hopes regarding sexual and gender politics is an important reason why right-wing groups are able to gain support.” (Kinsman 1974: 177) o Homosexual representation in media? - Resistant to compulsory heterosexuality o Strict demarcation of public/private spheres?  Development of reproductive technologies, contraception  Sex beyond reproduction (for pleasure, desire, play)  Sexuality as a fluid, flexible social relation that can be made and unmade over time  Questioning the state’s regulation of individual’s sexual lives o Reclaiming stigmatized labels (queer, dyke, fag, tranny)  Define lived experience of a collective  I.e. In 1867 the term homosexuality coined by professional group of men to call for State protection on basis of shared experience/oppression RAZACK - The raise to innocent – difference impasse “A discourse across differences that highlights complicity has not strongly emerged in feminism because for the most part we continue to avoid any inquiry into domination and our role in it when we confront issues of difference and diversity. Instead, most of us feels most safe in these discussions anchored in our subordinated position by virtue of our being of colour, disabled, economically exploited, colonized, a lesbian or a woman… yet if we remain anchored on the margin, the discourse with women subordinated to ourselves stops and the different impasse prevails. We become unable to take effect collective action to change these systems.” – linking to kinsman how? With different impasse: if we remain rooted in way of subordinating, we will miss complicit in other systems of complicity Razack , 1994: 894 The difference impasse: - Tendency to focus on differences that produce disadvantage, rather than those that confer privilege - The analytical path of compound/ additive oppression - “an inability to confront how we are implicated in other women’s lives” - “When applied to law, the difference impasse means looking for how some groups of women have secured advantages in law at the expense of other women through a number of universalizing or homogenizing tropes.” (The difference impasse refers to the non-consent- consent model – some woman can and cannot consent) …. - Homogenizing/ universalizing trope (grand narratives) o Formal legal proceedings laced with subtexts that “circulate the text but are mostly unspoken…” (Razack 1994:906) - Consent framework in rape law o Rape legally defined as intercourse without consent  Whether consent was gained, issue of force  Runs counter to most women’s experience of rape as a violation  2 categories: those presume to say yes and those presumed to say no o Consent framework (“the reasonable woman standard”)  What norms do we measure consent vs. coercion by?  “All women are divided into parallel provinces, their action of consent counting to the degree that they diverge from the paradigm case in their category. Virtuous women, like young girls, are unconsenting, virginal, rapable. Unvirtuous women, like wives and prostitutes, are consenting, whores, unrapable. The age line under which girls are presumed disabled from consenting to sex, whatever they say, rationalizes a condition of sexual coercion which women never outgrew. One day they cannot say yes, and the next day, they cannot say no…” (MacKinnon as cited by Razack. 1994: 895)…”  Connecting to Week 9 reading by Razack, elaborating on idea of prostitutes and consent o Virgin / whore  Nonconsenting (Rapable) / consenting (rapable)  Meaning only found in oppositional relationship to another  Virgin, heavily racialized, class-based category to begin with  “Analogous in many ways to the situation of a prostituted woman attempting to prove she has been raped, a woman with a developmental disability must also over the background of sexual violence so common in her life before she can be seen to be vulnerable. She must, in effect, establish her virtue… the legitimacy of her claim to the court’s protection on the basis of membership in one of the last powerful (vulnerable) groups of women…” (Razack 908)  Court assumes vulnerability and yet still needs to be legitimated by law o Feminist law reform, rape shield laws  “Feminist law reform… has not ruptured the “not a prostitute” approach… “In its legal expression, this feminist flight from prostitution seems largely reactive, driven by tacit recognition that legal regulation of sexual violence and sex discrimination…always function as (the) judicial review of a man’s conclusion that a complaining woman was, in fact, a whore, and therefore a permissible target of misogynist rage, contempt and sexual use.” Restricting the introduction of prior sexual history in rape shield laws “is designed to defeat the whore status her (a woman’s prior sexual activity would ascribe to her” (Baldwin as citied by Razack 1994) “Law does not come up with answers based on the lived experience of disability.” (892) “The problem is that it is difficult to see the violation as suffered by the victim given that she is not the same kind of valuable woman as a re nondisabled women. Here disability joins gender in limiting our capacity to see her as human.” (915) Context of own lives never talked about “For women with developmental disabilities to tell their stories, we must pave way for an uncovering of the sometimes conflicting subtexts that so often remain hidden in rape trails, subtexts about the sources of violence in the lives of girls and women with developmental disabilities. Uncovering these texts means simultaneously challenging the consent framework…We need to ask why some groups of women are so routinely degraded and brutalized.” (Razack 922) “ Ya I feel like a whore but it doesn’t bother me. I am so lucky. I mean I’ve been doing this since I was little.” But why since little? This was not investigated – the grand narrative was consent and vulnerability - Grand narrative in rape trials for women with developmental disabilities (vulnerability) o Assumed inability to consent o Pity, not respect - Competing subtexts circulating in Mohammed and Glen Ridge o Plaintiffs (Virgin/whore dichotomy)  Rejected, vengeful “diseased lusts”  Fatness, beauty ideals for women  Asexuality divorcing sexual desire  Inappropriate, hyper sexuality o Defendants  Refugee claimant  Hyper sexuality, danger of black men  History of childhood bullying  Violent male culture associated with varsity sports - Questions: “Who helped C. to formulate the idea of bringing a charge and who helped her carry it through? How much previous sexual violence had there been in the past and how might uncovering this history help her to tell her present story? To grant C. the full respect of her rights, to treat her as the same kind of woman as other women, requires that we begin with the relationships that shape her life and explore the consequences of her disability not just in the specific incident at hand but also historically. For C to tell her own story, a full contextualization of her life as a woman with a developmental disability needs to be introduced. IT is possible that to introduce these stories in a rape trial may damage C’s credibility even more, but without them, she may not have a voice at all. And we cannot begin to untangle the relations out which the allegations emerged nor fully assess C’s responses…We need a theory that can account or the structure of violent relationships in women’s lives and expose the social conditions that limit what can be said in the rape script.” (Razack 921) Grand rounds “Disability serves in this instance to desexualize what would otherwise be a sexualized act of violence because women with disabilities are often considered asexual. The act of public stripping of women with disabilities on grand rounds serves to preserve not only male supremacy but also nondisabled superiority … Public stripping in clubs, porn, and prostitution are also tolerated and not viewed as violence b/c these activities are viewed as entertainment, art, free speech and employment. The toleration of these types of public stripping makes it easier for individual doctors, medical schools, hospitals and our society not to see the violence on grand rounds…(The) advantage of money (Vs.) the advantage of medical treatment…Without a multidimensional perspective and appreciation of the interrelationship of seemingly unrelated activities and unrelated women, however, we will fail to see the full implications of the law’s and society’s narrow definition of violence (Razack 897)” NELSON (2002) “In drawing continuities along a chain of evictions, burials, denials, and complicities through time, their logical sequence becomes evident: depriving the community of essential services; defining the community as slum-like based on the conditions this deprivation promotes; dislocating both persons and space, claiming the inevitability of destruction: altering the space and redefining its purpose and use by opening a park: installing a monument to suggest a sense of reconciliation: suppressing the true story when its resurfaces, and legislating restrictions on protesters who resurrect it.” (Nelson 232) Africville (present day Halifax, NS) - White panic over enduring black presence/sovereignty - Continual project of rezoning, relocation, memory, erasure- how indigenous social issues discussed in Canada - “The nation makes itself not through exclusionary practice alone, but through “geographies of exclusion… Like the proverbial lie, once told, the story necessitates the telling of a chain of “maintenance fictions,” complete with the management of space in such a way that the fictions prevail and that oppositional stories remain buried.” (Nelson 227, 231) - Our assessment needs to be economic in nature (Ng similarity) - Oppositional story: Africville - Dominant” Sea view memorial” Standpoint theory: “As a white writer, I believe it is important to make clear my choices in directing the study’s conceptual bent towards whiteness-as-dominance, rather than attempting to replicate “the black experience” of Africville, a story which is not mine to tell.. It is the practices of the dominant group that we must critically examine if we seek to educate for change among a white community that is accountable for things done to Black communities” (Nelson 214) “Standing in the park attempting to feel som
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