WGS 160 Lecture 2.docx

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University of Toronto St. George
Women and Gender Studies
June Larkin

Lecture 2 Wednesday September 25 th The Scientific Construction of Sex and Gender Transnational Feminism The Objectivity of Science Sex Differences and Changing Ideas of Gender Beyond the Two Sex/Gender Binary System Transnational Feminism - Pays attention to differences at the same time as it promotes connections - Transnational literally means moving across borders - Also refers to international alliances - Social media helps spread movements, tool to help facilitate change o Arab spring, facebook helped the youths get their word out on a mass scale - The transnational pays attention to inequalities and differences that rise from new forms of globalization as well as older histories of colonialism and racism - Because it pays attention to inequalities and differences, it is an important way to think about social justice - We will have to deal with: o Poverty o Cultural assimilation o Mental illness o Welfare cuts o Labour o Racial profiling o The prison system o Disability o Immigrant and queer bashing o Imperialism and war The Objectivity of Science - Science is the process of discovering objective facts/truth - Some people argue that science is actually the process of invention - Constructionists argue that we don’t discover reality, in many cases we actually invent it - Science is the product of the engagement between the scientist’s psyche and the events to which the scientist is attentive, Caplan & Caplan 1994 - Science is a cultural project - “the things we research are about social conventions of the day” - Emily Martin shows how scientific knowledge actually reflects stereotypes of gender o Anthropomorphism  The attribution of human characteristics to non-human creatures or objects  “the egg is passive” “the sperm is aggressive”  Says that why the males excess of sperm isn’t considered wasteful since they create about 6 trillion sperms in about 60 years Sex Differences and Changing Ideas of Gender - Maleness and femaleness is mostly taken up as a binary (one of two things, usually opposites, and usually one is often subordinate to the other. E.g Male Female) o Gender Binary  How are people categorized as male or female? o Based on their genitilia Lecture 2 Wednesday September 25 th The Scientific Construction of Sex and Gender o “how to make a man”, usually not as clear cut with infants with ambiguous genitalia  As people classified as female because they can bear children? o A lot of female cannot ha
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