WGS200 Lecture 2.odt

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University of Toronto St. George
Women and Gender Studies
Karen Ruffell

WGS200 Lecture 2 (Sept 20) There are 2 stories aboutAdam and Eventually 1) Male comes first- female is created out of male -story explains that men and women are different. History tells a very different story iclicker question 1 Can one write a biography of the vagina? a)yes b)no c)whose vagina??? Naomi Wolf • Naomi Wolf (b.1962) • The Beauty Myth (1991): “The more legal and material hindrances women have broken through, the more strictly and heavily and cruelly images of female beauty have come to weigh upon us” • women reduced to their bodies Vagina as Controversy • Places essence of female experience in body • VAGINA • “To understand the vagina properly is to realize that it is not coextensive with the female brain but also is part of the female soul-- it is a gateway to, and medium of, female self-knowledge,” • Our wombs and uterus' control so much of who we are. We are prone to sickness • instead of a uterus, we are just a vagina.Avagina is a reflection of our female essence. Who w are as women can be reduced to the fact that we have a vagina. Vaginal Crisis • spinal compression • “brain-vagina connection” • The “vagina is a gateway to a woman's happiness and to her creative life.” • return to Freud's argument that real site of woman's sexuality= vagina [not clitoris] • “The Goddess Array”: “Straight men would do well to ask themselves: 'Do i want to be married to a Goddess-- or a bitch?'” • woman= her vagina -She goes back to Freud- we should be able to have vaginal orgasms instead of only clitoral orgasms. The Essentialized Vagina • extremely negative reviews • “bad” science • heteronormativity • orientalizing the vagina • objectifying the body • reductive • is it all bad??? iclicker question 2 Has the body always been either MALE or FEMALE a) yes b) no Some people are born with both One-Sex/ Two-Sex Models • Herculine Barbin, Being the Recently Discovered Memoirs of the Nineteenth-Century French Hermaphrodite, Michel Foucault (1981) • Discovery of “true sex” ca. 1800 • 2 time periods: before/after this “discovery” Thomas Laqueur's Argument • Making Sex: Gender and Body from the Greeks to Freud (1990) • Posited “one-sex” model based on Foucault, Greek medicine • Med school training One-Sex ModelWomen • Galen (2 century) • “women ha
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