Lecture 16 Review

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Lecture 16 Review: Women and Deviance
Much of the study of deviance over the years has been by men about men
Women were studied in ways as being deviant in terms of lack of morals, sexual deviants ignored
the influence of gendered social conditions
Women seen as either Madonna's or witches
Edwin Schur
If masculinity ns normal then Schur argues that: “EVEN WHEN THEY ARE NORMAL, WOMEN
Lose-lose situation for women
Feminists argue that we live in a patriarchal society
Patriarchy: the rule of the fathers
A system of “masculine domination”
Masculine Domination
Sex vs. gender
o Sex: male or female
o Gender: masculine or feminine
A social construction something we learn - linked directly to socialization
System of masculine domination: gender traits associated with masculinity are highly valued, those
associated with femininity are devalued
“Normal” Gender Traits
Masculine: power, strength control, aggression, reason, culture
Feminine: beauty, weakness, nurturing, passivity, emotionality, nature
Primary vs. Auxiliary Statuses
Gender is a primary status
“Women are perceived and reacted to at least initially, and often primarily, in terms of their
Hyphenization phenomenon: woman-doctor, woman-police officer, etc.
“Categorical Devaluation means treating people as objects”
Little value as human person
6 points:
1. Each women is responded to as primarily responded to as a female
Personal qualities and accomplishments achieved characteristics are less important
2. Women are seen as all alike
3. Women's imposed secondary-ness and her assumed passivity imply an object-like status
Compared to the actively engaged subject who is the male
4. Things can be easily done to her subordinate subject
5. Easily ignored
Dismissed, trivialized
6. Women’s social standing is attached vicariously to men
Specifically Sexual Aspects of Objectification
Sexual objectification is the primary process of the subjection (domination) of women
Keeping women on a pedestal is a denial of the general deviance of femaleness
This trivializes women
4 points (with a focus on point 2):
1. Women are responded to first and foremost as objects of sexual attention by heterosexual men
Men are socialized not to respond to women as human beings
2. The cultural preoccupation with women’s looks
Cosmetic industry, fitness, plastic surgery
15 year window where women can look their age without being judged (20-35)
Turns women to see themselves as object and makes other women competitive with one
another seen as competing objects
Forms how women see themselves as well as how men see them the package imputes the
Has been acceptable behaviour to judge women with these beauty norms
When a woman fails to meet these standards/refuses to comply, it becomes acceptable to call
her deviant names
Appearance is presented as a code/standard in which further interaction is engages
3. Women as sexual property
When a women is not in a relationship they are thought of as damaged goods and/or home
4. Women as objects in sexual behaviour itself
Pornography, strippers, etc.
Assumed passivity limited area where women can operate - labeled either a prude or a slut
Women fall into deviant categories
o Considered deviant on both ends of the spectrum either if you don’t have sex or have a lot
o Women labeled lesbians when not in a relationship
Occupational choice
o Women in careers that may be associated with males
o Deemed unable to do jobs associated with men
Experiencing Stigma
¨Definitions of female deviance are so extensive that virtually every woman becomes a perceived
offender of some kind.
¨It’s hard to avoid secondary deviance – believing it oneself leads to internalized low self-esteem.
¨Women learn to control themselves in order to conform.
We learn to change our behaviour to avoid labels that will deviantize us
Social Response
Women who do not conform to narrow definitions of femininity are seen to be “out of control”
o Implying that they need to be controlled in the first place
Information social control: labels
o Messages we get from our peers, families, etc. that keep us trying to control ourselves (appetite,
how we dress, how we interact, etc.) all the things that keep us in line
Formal social control: psychiatry (drugs, hospitalization), social work (take away children, etc.)
o We put medicalized labels of women (nymphomaniac), put many woman on anti-depressant