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Lecture 6

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Geography 2410A/B
Jeff Hopkins

Geography 2410B February 12, 2013 The Multicultural Conundrim How much diversity or plurality can a society incorporate without losing the social cohesion needed to function? So far, so good… 1. DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE SEXES Female morality rates higher: True One out of every four women on the planet will be subjected to sexual or physical abuse during her lifetime: False, 1 out of 3 Two thirds of the world’s illiterates are female: True Women, particularly young women, have higher unemployment rates than men, earn less money than their male counterparts and tend to hold positions of little or no authority in the formal “waged” economy: True On average, only 25% of world’s elected members are female? False, 17% The point: At global scale – in terms of birth, health, education, economy, politics…opportunities and power are different and unequal between the sexes: women are disadvantage In Canada… Within Canada, which of the following are “True” or “False”? If born female in Canada, one’s chances of living in poverty are higher than if one born a male: True, women comprise the majority of the poor in Canada, with one in five women living in poverty Women comprise just under 50% of the country’s labour force (i.e. waged labour): True, women comprise 46% Less than 5% of Canada’s top business managers are female: False, women comprise just under 8% On average, Canadian women earn just 90 cents for every dollar earned by men: False, women earn just 85 cents for every dollar earned by men Half of all women in Canada aged 16 or above have experienced at least one act of physical or sexual violence: True, women comprise the vast majority of victims of sexual assault (86%), harassment (78%) and kidnapping or abduction (67%) Only 21% of full-time academics at Canadian universities are female: False, women currently comprise 30%, up from 21% a decade ago Geography 2410B February 12, 2013 In the 2011 Canadian federal election only 76 or 24.7% of the 308 seats in parliament were won by women: True, highest ever but keep in mind that 52% of the electorates are females The point: Despite many advances toward equality in Canada…differences in power and opportunities between sexes remain: women disadvantaged. Note: true and false could be in midterm Being Male: Pros & Cons Pros Cons  Lead most nations  Shorter life spans than females  Hold top corporate positions  Most homeless are male  Higher incomes than females  2/3 of work related injuries  More educated  Higher suicide rates (4-5xs & more  More power & opportunities violent)  Higher murder, assault & battery rates  Higher substance abuse rates  Higher incidence of life-threatening disease  Fewer intimate friendships  Less time with his children Why? Why such differences between males and females? Remember… DIFFERENCE  “Unlike”, “distinct”, “dissimilar”  Not necessarily right or wrong E.g. more skiers in Banff than London INEQUALITY  Lack of equality  Lack of same kind of rank, value, size, #  Inherent moral question of right or wrong E.g. women earn less than men in Canada Why such inequalities between men and women? I.e. the “GENDERS” How “just” is our society RE GENDER? What kinds of GENDER inequalities do we make? How does space sustain and challenge these GENDER inequalities? How might geographers help? Geography 2410B February 12, 2013 What is “GENDER”? 2. GENDER BASICS A. “SEX” IS BIOLOGICAL A physical & bodily condition… B. GENDER IS CULTURAL  A socially constructed identity  Minimal physical and biological variations aside, differences between males and females are socially constructed in a cultural, political and economic context  Learn how to be “masculine” males: “Men”  Learn how to be “feminine” females: “Women”  Characteristics of masculinity o Strong o Brave, risk takers o Play sports, like cars o In control  Characteristics of femininity o Soft o Weak o Smell really good o Domestic C. GENDER IS PLURAL  Numerous ways to be a “man  Numerous ways to be a “women”  Could be a “feminine” male  Could be a “masculine” female  Gender identities are fluid and changing E.g. ballet use to be male dominated, earrings use to be male dominated originally from pirates D. GENDER IS POLTICAL  Dominant gender-based culture is male and masculine  “Patriarchy”: a culture of gender dominanc
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