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Women and Gender Studies

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Women & Gender Studies
Charles Davidson

Women and Gender Studies 11/22/2012 12:48:00 PM Basic Terms and Concepts Sex  Biological/scientific term referring to the physical, reproductive, hormonal (testosterone, estrogen) and chromosomal differences between male (x,y) and female (x,x) Genitals o “differential” o can be damaged through ought birth or surgery o “abnormal” : example: intersexuality (born with both, missing etc.) Hormones o Levels different depending on geographical area, time period o Both males and females have levels of both estrogen and testosterone in their body o As you age, hormones decrease (estrogen can decrease from menopause) Chromosomes o Most people do not have chromosomal testing (can not determine what sex you are) o Different chromosomal variations which lead to different behaviours o Women can have xy chromosome o Males can have xx chromosome Gender  More sociological term referring to the behavioural, attitudinal, psychological and emotional differences between male (masculine) and female (feminine)  Many societies around the world have more then 2 genders  Changes over time (what was considered masculine back then, is not considered masculine now)  Changes from one society to the next o Behaviours: North America (masculine: protector, make income, provide food) (feminine: family, take care of home) OPPOSITE IN OTHERS  Families assign genders as a child o Family has 6 boys (reassign gender roles as the female) o Family has all girls (oldest daughter is reassigned gender role as the male)  Gender is fluid and not written in stone (women make more money, men are more nurturing) Gender Roles  Characteristics and traits that are deemed culturally appropriate for masculinity (men and boys) and femininity (women and girls) Patriarchy  From the Greek patria (father) and the arche (rule) (rule by the father)  Indicates a general pattern of male dominance of most socially powerful institutions from individual families, to education systems, politics and the law  Difficult to find evidence of a true matriarchy, although there are many examples of women heads of households or nations, and matrilineal, multifocal, or matrilocal societies for example  Male head of household and family o Expanded: Head of tribal groups, cities, regions, countries, power in social institutions, dominate politically, economically and in the legal system, control in safety  Universal, there is no matriarchy (female dominant society)  Extremely rare when women take a lead role (queen, president, prime minister) Seen as abnormality If women have always tended to occupy a subordinate position in society, what are some of the major factors we can use to calculate and compare women’s status in societies? Changes globally and historically  Art o Literature of society (plays, music, painting, magazines, television etc.) o Art gives impression of how society views women o Body type that is being represented  Economics o What percentage of women are poor? How poor are they? o How does the pay of women compare to the other social groups? o Types of jobs we find women in? Financial value of these jobs? o Find that women’s jobs have less of a financial value compared to men o Globally women own 1 percent of the wealth in the world o Women own 10 percent of the world’s income  Undeveloped countries women do more then 20% more work then men  Education o Literacy rates: female compared to males o Average level of women’s education compared to men’s education o Canada: both male and female get an equal education o More men getting a Masters degree o Undeveloped Countries: women are not allowed to go to school  Law o Do women have full legal representation? o Women were not considered as a “person” till the 1930’s o Do women have civil rights? What role do women have in creating and enforcing these rights? o Types of crimes women experience most? Types of crimes women are penalized for?  Politics o Women can vote o Still do not have a women political representation (Sweden and Rwanda have)  Sexuality o Do women have a right to have access and to control over their own bodies? Legal issue? o Do women have access to medical care? Free? Easy to get to? Feminism  One of the central ways women’s status can be (and has been) improved in societies  No unifying definition of feminism except for the basic understanding that women tend to occupy a subordinate position in society  Western feminism starts with Christine de Pisan (City of Ladies) and with Mary Wollstonecraft (Vindication of the Rights of Women st  1 Wave: liberal, focus on basic legal equality  2 ndWave: Marxist/socialist, focus largely on work  3 rdWave: ongoing and unnamed, focus on diversity READINGS 11/22/2012 12:48:00 PM Why I’m a Feminist? (page 35-8)  “I’m not afraid to hit a girl”  “Ooohh. A fighter. That’s hot”  hairy legged bitchy lesbian  173 solved female homicides in 1999 of which more than two thirds were committed by men  Britain, the United States, Canada it is legal for a rapist, defending himself, to keep the women he raped on the witness stand for ours, and sometimes days, on end, forcing her to relive the rape in order to satisfy is questions  Women who die in order to satisfy the contradictory lusts of the man hungry for a 20 inch wait and a 40 inch bust  Statistics Canada reports that an act of sexual violence or harassment occurs every 17 minutes in Canada  90 percent of these acts are against women  30 percent of women with disabilities in Canada are abused, sexually, physically  5000 women world wide are killed each year by their husbands over dowry disputes  kill their wives is to douse them with a flammable substance and light them on fire  11000 Indian brides over a 3 year period at the beginning of the 90s were killed or forced to commit suicide by their husbands for not providing an adequate dowry  Women have been raped by the thousands and many have been forced to become the wife or sexual partner of her rapist  Women are oppressed  No means no campaign o No means harder, no means dyke, no means more beer, means tie me up The Ontario Medical College for Women, 1883-1906 (page 75-82)  Most existing medical schools refused to admit female students  Limited enrolment was finally granted to women in the 1870’s and early 1880s  Attitudes and experiences encountered were hostile  Pressure form male students and faculty ultimately resulted in the re imposition of bans on women at medical schools  Demands for education in medicine form women finally resulted - established of the Kingston Women’s Medical College and Women’s Medical College Toronto  Designed to provide female students with equal but separate medical education  The women’s Medical College, Toronto, was never empowered to grant degrees but it qualified female students to sit the medical examination at Trinity College, Victoria and Toronto Universities  Special Hours in the public wards were designated specifically for female students. o Separated postmortem were conducted and segregated seating was provided in the operating theatres  Emphasis as placed on course deemed of the utmost importance practitioners - gynecology, obstetrics and the diseases of children  A midwifery service was established by the College in 1891 o Under the supervision of the Lecturer in Obstetrics and an Assistant Accoucheur, students provided women in the community with pre and post natal care and attended home births  Maternity care was provided by the school for a fee of 50 cents o Considerably less than the usual rate charged by most male physicians  Funding for the Women’s Medical College came primarily from donations and student’s fees o Surplus funds were used to expand and improve facilities  In a bid to save College, a major reorganization was undertaken o The school became a joint stock company o Changed to the Ontario Medical College for Women o Enrollment began to decline Armstrong and Armstrong, Thinking it through (page 211-21)  For “lumpers” the emphasis is on what is common about women’s work, on what women share  Explore what is common, not only among women but also across time and space  Different slices of the same questions  It assumes that contexts and locations matter and that while women face considerable pressures from forces outside their immediate control, they also are active participants in shaping their own lives  Why lump o Division of labour by gender o Distinctions between what women can and should do o Gap between average male and female wages o Feminists have long been struggling to make the full range of women’s work both visible and valued o Revealing the institutional and social arrangements that combine to produce systemic discrimination in the paid workforce o Within this not for profit sector, women’s work as volunteers was distinguished form their paid employment o Lumping also allows us to explore the social, economic and institutional arrangements as well as the policies and practices that contribute to these patterns in women’s work  Why Slice? o Equally important, there are significant differences among women related to class, race, culture, age, marital status, sexual orientation, and spatial locations as well as for the same women over time o Often a gap between practices and ideas about appropriate practices o There are significant differences between these groups in terms of power, pay and ideas about work and in their political, material and symbolic resources o Also necessary in order to see the different ways of understanding the evidence, different ways of developing evidence and different views on the same processes o Slicing adds both a recognition of difference and the possibility of developing different views of the same issues, circumstances and evidence  Thinking globally: The largest Context o Testing out its meanings and its implications for women in different locations is a complicated task o Globalization  Process that is drawing the world and its occupants closer together on what is often seen as an inevitable and undirected path  Some women have been able to get new jobs on the global assembly lines  These jobs for women have rarely been good jobs  Offered some new possibilities for work, income, shared locations and minimal protections rd  For women within these countries (3 world), there is no paid work at all  Poverty and unemployment that follow in the wake of structural adjustment policies push many to search for jobs in those first world countries  Women form third world countries seeking work in Canada found it more difficult to gain full citizenship status, providing just one example of how free trade has not worked in the same way for everyone Provisioning (page 244-54)  Are expected to respond to rising demand for flexible part time, contract and insecure jobs  Paid employment o Individuals and households are expected to acquire the resources they need to purchase the necessities of life o Bring money into the household o Expected to do paid work in addition to fulfilling traditional work expectations o Although this new labour force has been billed as particularly attractive to women, giving them some time and work location flexibility, as well as work/non work options, the majority of these jobs are dead end as well as short term  The underground economy and Informal Work o Paid work accounts for the financial value of women’s work but leaves out diversity of work and suggests a very narrow purpose of work o Beginning to account for more diverse types of women’s work and broader purposes o Cannot serve as a bias for claims on public service such as pensions or social insurance  Household and Domestic Work o The household and domestic work done by women has been the site of a rich and diverse scholarship, as well as political debates o Labour polices and immigration regulations designed to bring into Canada people, mainly women, who re able to fulfill the local demand for domestic servants o Women migrants whose wages are important sources of foreign exchange to their home economies and whose labour meets the domestic demands for Canadian households  Caring work o Caring for  Physical and concrete activities including feeding, cleaning, attending to needs of others o Caring about  Captures the relational and emotional work o Men have responsibilities, while reaping the benefits of putting their time, energy and capital resources elsewhere o Caring research has highlighted the importance of social relations in the work production of quality and care work  Whether paid or unpaid, the work is accomplished through social relations  The examination of caring labour has exposed assumptions about definitions of time  Volunteer and Community work o Important avenue for making contribution to one’s community o Patterns between men and women are very different o Volunteering is a poor fir for the work that women do outside of their family and paid work commitments o Women, poor and wealthy put much time, energy, and resources into their community work  They care for and about others beyond the household based on a collective, historical sense of what is important to preserve and struggle for  The third shift o Demands that women juggle o People as being in the labour force o Women might work one shift of a day in a paid job and another shift at home o But at any given time while visibly in any of these named options, at the same time they are caring for children, elderly members of the family, maintaining irregular contract job and participating in community work  Provisioning o Thinking about the work that women do is useful in addressing some aspects of the problem and each has been successful in opening up hitherto unexplored dimensions of work o Introducing into research - women, poverty and communities to see if it opens new doors to thinking comprehensively about all the work women do o Provisioning refers to the multiple tasks, time requires, and relational dimensions of women’s work in the context of the purposes for which the work is done  Domestic household services  Caring labour  Employment and bartering  Claims making for services from family, agencies and the state  Innovative, manipulative and illegal pursuits including not telling the truth and creating stories to account for poverty  Creating of time as a resource through multi tasking and using time rather than money as a resource The Feminization of Poverty (page 199-204)  Feminization of poverty is being spoken of as new social problems  Depend roles as wives, mothers, daughters, their poverty has been concealed as only a potential plight  Women’s poverty becomes more visible and their dependency is transferred from the male breadwinner to the state  Women have been encouraged to be independent and to develop their own careers, a path which they believe will ensure them a good life  Feminization poverty o Without the support of a man, a women is likely to be poor o Economic dependency produces and is reproduced by women’s subordination and powerlessness, which ensures that females conform to role prescriptions around reproduction and labour o Women have very little control over their reproductive potential o Women have the children, and childbearing and childbearing are the least valued of all occupations o Most women in our society will eventually marry and have children, it is also assumed that their aspirations for career advancement are selfish o The resumption of a career after childbirth usually means employing another person to do the caregiving o Difficulties produced through work and family conflicts have serious implications for poverty o Women’s place is in the home and that we should return to the family wage - male is the breadwinner  Teenage pregnancy leads to poverty  Aging and poverty o Women tend to outlive men by an average of 7 years, it is likely that women will spend at least some portion of their last years alone  Women of colour are made to feel as if they are “other” to white women o Immigrant women experience language barriers, lack of education and racial discrimination in the job market o Subject to low pay, low status, cruelty and harassment by their employers  Discrimination of sexual preference exists for lesbian women o Canadian state offers tax advantages to those who marry and have children, resulting in relative economic disadvantages or women who do not  Physical disability o Disabled women are less likely to be married than are disabled men or able bodied women o If they are alone, they are less likely to be employees and will therefore have to depend on the state for their material existence  Homelessness among women Some reflections on violence against women (page 359-67)  United states a rape occurs every 6 minutes and violence occurs once in two thirds of all marriages  In Papua, New Guinea, 67 percent of rural women and 56 percent of women acknowledge being victims of violence in their homes  In Canada one in every four women can expect to be sexually assaulted  Women’s issues focused on discrimination in political and economic benefits and an equitable development process for women of the third world  Women’s rights were violated only if women were denied the same benefits as men  Approaches o Radical feminist  Violence is intrinsic in the relationship between men and women and manifests in sexuality  As well as in the social and political institutions of society  Problems of domestic violence, rape  Inequality in the relationship between the sexes o Socialist feminist  Violence is seen as a part of the social and economic forces which operate in society  Against systems of exploitation which disempower women  Violence - result of economic exploitation and only a secondarily a function of the male female relationship  Third world socialist see female workers in certain industries as being victims of violence  Concerned with the commodification of women as sexual objects in prostitution and the international trafficking of women  Eco feminism  Relationship between women and nature, between subsistence production engaged by certain women and violent accumulation engaged by certain men and the state  Part of the military (destroy both women and nature)  Categorization of Violence o Violence and sexuality  Rape, sexual harassment, or domestic violence o Violence and economic exploitation  Aspects of a women’s life which are related to her labour  Sweat shops, prostitution, agricultural workers o Violence and culture  Cultural practices devised by different societies such as female circumcisions o They are subject to rape, female circumcision, genital mutilation and female infanticide o Categorized by the location of violence: violence in the family, in the community, and by the state  Causes of violence against women o Link violence against omen with a lack of economic independence o The four cultural factors that are strong predictors for wife abuse are sexual and economic inequality, a pattern of using violence for conflict resolution, male authority and decision making in the home and divorce restrictions for women o Women’s economic dependence disempowers them and makes them not only suspective to violence but also unable to challenge and fight against violence o Uses the military as the tool of repression is likely to have a great deal of violence against women  Develops a culture of violence in society and violence against women  The role of the state o International law only held the state responsible for its own actions o Domestic violence, rape and sexual harassment were not seen as state action but only as the acts of individuals  International Standards o The declaration defines violence broadly to include physical, sexual and psychological violence o Categorized according to whether it occurs in the family, community or by state o Family  Battering, sexual abuse of female children, dowry related violence, marital rape, female genital manipulation, traditional practices which are harmful to women, non spousal violence and violence relating to exploitation  Community  Rape, sexual abuse, sexual harassment, intimidation, trafficking, forced prostitution  State  Acts that are perpetrated but also those which are condoned  The state is obligated to condemn violence but cant invoke custom, tradition, or religion to avoid the obligation  The issues  Relating to the privacy of the home  Violence in the community  Not invoke cultural or religious factors as an excuse for condoning violence against women, these identities are extremely powerful Mothering Mythology in the late 20 th century (page 433-41)  It is a complex and heterogeneous array of beliefs stories, images and perceptions connected to an equally heterogeneous array of mothering practices, social institutions, knowledge projects and ideologies  They serve as an implicit justification for the staggering lack of publicity funded parenting support and education that still characterizes most western industrialized societies  The myth of the natural mother involves the belief that women are naturally mothers - they are born with a built in set of capacities, dispositions, and desires to nurture children  Involved instrumental activity rather than interpretive activity o Children’s emotional and psychological needs are a pre given objective reality to which the mother can respond well or badly in ways readily assessable by outside observers  Mothering is considered to be primarily an individual engagement between mother and child rather than a largely social one  Mothering is about bonding  Myth involves a dominant culture set of discourses that revolve around issues of personal fulfillment for women o Women living in poverty Erasing Race (page 451-62)  Racialized girls and their vulnerability to violence o Vulnerability of girls and young women to male violence o Girls comprise 84 percent of the reported victims of sexual abuse, 60 percent of the physical child abuse cases, 52 percent of cases reported of neglect, 80 percent of sexual assault o Immigrants and refugee girls experience more violence because of dislocation, racism and sexism from both within their own communities and the external society  Cultural Identity and conflict o Issues of cultural and intergenerational conflict within Racialized immigrant communities o Girls within Racialized immigrant cultures experience a greater degree of dissatisfaction and strain with the normative values imposed by their own culture o May choose to try to conform and assimilate, although this choice is often not available to them due to the exclusionary impact of racism and or homophobia o Accepting racism as a structure of domination, similar to sexism and as arising from legacy of colonialism, the reality of racism has to be proven continually  The mass media, race and racism o Communicating notions of race and racism o Racism as arising from ignorance, increasing immigration and economic downturn o Racists are then defined as ignorant, uneducated, usually rural based individuals who at times are organized into hate groups o Race is represented by allusions to cultural differences and phenotypic differences where these can be readily observed  Media frames- the erasure of race/racism o Overshadowed the issue of male violence o “girls fighting marked by insults, rumors gangs” o “bullies: dealing with threats in a child’s life” o “girls killing girls a sign of angry, empty lives” o violence of teenage girls at a time when they were supposedly enjoying greater equality o At no time did the media provide any in depth analysis of the violent nature of the dominant culture, or examine ways in which violent behaviour is internalized as a function of coping with violent society Biting the hand that feeds me (page 146-53)  Political alliances with women of colour and other anti racist whites can be built  Anti racist feminist o Theory which takes in account the interaction of race, class, gender, ability, sexuality, imperialism and colonialism in capitalism  Racism is a form of oppression, and all oppression is wrong  Feminism is defined as a collective struggle, open to all women, whose goal is the liberation of all women from all forms of oppression  Some women are oppressed by racism, while others are privileged by it, racism is a feminist issue  In a racist society, all people are Racialized and are located, with unequal power in relation to each other  System that is built on relations of how dominance impacts profoundly and destructively on those who also in other very ways benefit  Whites to assume an edge of moral or intellectual superiority over and distance from other white people, especially those displaying a lack of politicized awareness of racism o Flight from white  False separation between oneself and those with whom one actually continues to share access to inequitable benefits, regardless of divergent consciousness  Issue: not speaking up about racism - sense of powerlessness Feminism 11/22/2012 12:48:00 PM Article: Why I’m a feminist Why she is a feminist  173 solved female homicides (more then two thirds were committed by men)  in Britain, United States, Canada, it is legal for a rapist, defending himself, to keep the women he raped on the witness stand for hours, and sometimes days, on end, forcing her to relive the rape in order to satisfy his questions  women who die in order to satisfy the contradictory lusts of the man hungry for a 20 inch waist and a 40 inch bust  act of sexual violence or harassment occurs every 17 minutes in Canada, 90 percent of these acts are against women  30 percent of women with disabilities in Canada are abused sexually or physically (by the time called police to report, domestic assault has already happened about 30 times)  United Nations reports that approximately 5000 women world wide are killed each year by their husband Why a women would become a feminist in modern day Enlightenment Roots of First Wave: Liberal Feminism  Enlightenment Era o Late 17 thcentury to French Revolution 1789  Emphasis on the individual as rational being, with inherent natural rights  Most enlightenment thinkers remained committed to the existing status quo of class, race and gender hierarchies  Held up (educational) status of women as indicator of the level of civilization  Every human is capable of rational thought and has rights (women were not included- not considered human being) Women of the Enlightenment  Women lived under couverture (“one flesh” doctrine/common law) and thus held no property, custodial or legal / civil rights during marriage o Women were not considered to be human beings in the law o Protected by husband or father o Laws that could not rape a women, if rapist was found guilty then the women was not composited but the husband or father would get it o No legal right over money o Women have no real power  One of few powerful roles for aristocratic women among the intellectual thinkers of the enlightenment was to host salons (literally “rooms”)  The salon hostesses served as powerful patrons since they had money and prestige (or access to their husband’s), o to support a particular thinker, make popular the ideas/thinkers featured in their salons, connecting one powerful thinker with another, encouraging right questions etc. Phase 1: European Feminism coming out of the Enlightenment  Enlightenment Era feminists took up where liberal enlightenment thinkers left off o With the idea that all persons were created rational, with equal and inalienable rights  They were also arguing against a particularly powerful Enlightenment thinker o Jean Jacques Rousseau Mary Wollstonecraft (Vindication of the Rights of Women)  Biography  Concerned with the aristocratic women whose education, power, goals in life limited to attracting the “right” husband  Argued against Rousseau’s claim that women and men were naturally different o Wollstonecraft claimed that women’s education and socialization to different roles was the primary cause of their apparent inability to reason like men John Stuart Mill and Harriet (Taylor) Mill (Subjection of Women)  Biography  Husband and wife team  Agreed with liberal enlightenment theory that women’s status is the measure of a society’s civilization and level of social evolution  If women were treated the same as men they would be as able as men to contribute to bettering society  John Stuart Mill (unlike his wife) felt that if women were educated and given the same options as men they would still choose to be mothers Phase 2: Liberal Feminism in North America  Beginning the late 1700s/early 1800s  Initially closely aligned with abolitionism  Inspired by the French, then the American Revolution  Suffrage a major cause Sarah Grimke  Like many American liberal feminists, her work is rooted in the anti slavery movement  Used her ability to reason and the Bible as her moral basis for arguing that women’s condition was like that of slaves o Owned by their husbands and masters  Denied freedom of opportunity, education and were “kept in chains” to benefit men  Criticized and harassed for daring to speak publically and use the Bible to her own interpretations Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B Anthony  Biography  One of the earliest efforts to apply natural rights ideas to women in a practical approach was the Declaration of Sentiments (Seneca Falls Convention, New York 1848) o Modeled almost word for word on the Declaration of Independence  Like Wollstonecraft, Stanton used motherhood as a primary argument for women’s education  Like many British Liberal feminists, Anthony went to jail for her political activism  Especially concerned with suffrage Liberal Feminism in Canada  First wave feminism in Canada concerned specifically with higher education o Professional employment, suffrage (the vote) temperance (prohibition of alcohol), and legal personhood (the Famous Person’s Case)  Access to higher education started in the Maritimes in the 1860’s o Slowly spread to other Canadian provinces o Problems  Restricted conditions of education, fear of race suicide, limited access to professional jobs  Suffrage required Married Women’s Property Act first o Full suffrage occurred in stages  Began with school vote and then municipal vote  Provincial vote began in Manitoba in 1916  Culminated in Quebec in 1940  Federal vote based on man in the military in 1917  The full vote in 1918  WCTU biggest non denominational women’s group by the end of 1880’s o Supported suffrage and temperance o Canada Dry in 1930’s  Women granted personhood (and Senate seats) in 1929, led by the Famous Five First Wave Liberal Feminism: A General Summary  Occurred in 2 phases o First liberal feminist theories developed in Enlightenment Europe o Liberal activism in North America and Europe in 1800’s through 1930’s  Primarily concerned with attaining equality with men through practical, legal demands  Some liberal feminists used petitions, letter writing, mock demonstrations, public speaking and other non violent means of getting attention o Others used rioting, getting arrested and hunger strikes to get attention o Both tactics argued female suffrage was essential to a kinder more ethical society, and to better motherhood Successes and Criticisms  Success o Made some significant headway in women’s full access to higher education o Responsible for getting women into universities o Allowing them to access to professions like teacher, doctors, lawyers, missionaries etc. o Responsible for female suffrage (getting women the vote) o Temperance briefly achieved o Responsible for getting women considered legal persons, who could own property, businesses, wages appear in court etc.  Criticisms o Evolved, liberal feminism abandoned its abolitionist roots and increasingly argued for improved opportunities for women on racist and classist basis  Assumed that publish changes like the vote and education would automatically change private inequality like the undervaluing of women’s work guarantee women’s access to professional jobs  Assumed that men were better and equality with men was the most important thing women needed The Second Wave: theory and activism continues 11/22/2012 12:48:00 PM History  Coms out of Marxist theory, especially Mark and Engels’ Communist Manifesto (1848) and Engels The Origin of Family, Private Property and State (1884)  Historical Materialism o Each major change in subsistence production (hunting, gathering, farming, industrial revolution) changes the organization of society, work and family  They argued primitive societies were communal o Agricultural developments led to accumulated surplus o To ensure legitimate patrilineal inheritance women become first form of private property  Much later in preindustrial society domestic labour is essential to society and family survival o Value is created and consumed mainly in the home  Industrialization moved site of production from private to public sphere o Means the production from family workers to large capitalists owners o Household goods to mass produced commodities o The value of each person is now directly tied to how much money they earn, not the products of their labour o Belief that women’s domestic labour is a natural extension of their biological roles makes women’s work in the home seem valueless o Yet, capitalists system and male workers depend on women’s unpaid labour to sustain their survival nd  2 wave officially launched (in USA) by 1963 publication of Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique o describe “ the problem that has no name” o The frustration of the isolated, suburban, unemployed, housewife and mother rang true with so many women, it inaugurated an era of discussion, protest, and change  The 1960s was also an era of broader social protest o Student activism, anti-war (Vietnam) activism, and civil rights activism  Women’s activism and feminism in particular was spurred on by hostile treatment of male members of these other movements  Many Marxists are hostile to feminism because it divides working class women from solidarity with working class men Causes of Women’s Oppression  Capitalism, and the unequal division of labour  Marxist-Socialist feminists focus on economic dependence of women, gender division of labour, and women’s relation to work o Public/paid and private/unpaid  Called attention to the belief that paid, public labour producing goods is productive but domestic labour and child care are not productive  Both Marxist and Socialist feminists focus on domestic labour which enables the capitalist system to function at a fraction of its real cost, generating the appearance that labour that is unpaid is valueless Major Aims and Goals  To abolish workplace discrimination, both paid and unpaid for all working women Specific Issues or Values  Double day o Women work for wages and continue to assume the bulk of the domestic work o Some change in recent years as highly educated men are beginning to shoulder a greater share of the domestic work  Gendered Division of Labour o Different types of work are designated as male or female appropriate and awards those jobs performed by men with higher pay and social status  Occupational Segregation o Clustering of women in particular types of work, esp “caring” work (service industry and retail jobs)  Pay Inequality o Women make consistently less then men across all types of statistical categories  Glass Ceiling o Women’s career aspirations are thwarted by gendered factors like the refusal of male employees to accept orders from female bosses  Part Time Work o An important characteristic of women’s labour force participation o Offers flexibility, employers benefit form a cheap and fluid workforce o However, low pay, no benefits, little skill or training usually non-unionized, limited opportunities for advancement  Feminization of poverty o Diana Pearse, initially related this to rising divorce rates in the 1950’s-80’s o Now means: women experience poverty more frequently than men and worse depths of poverty then men o Women’s poverty more lasting than men’s, and women’s poverty is more often related to their gender than men’s poverty  Globalization o Especially for women, the movement of a large corporation into their country usually means lots of waged jobs on the “global assembly line” o But it also means they are subject to long hours in dangerous work conditions, underpaid, lack of family life Central Methods  Strikes, protests, unionization, working through the legal and governmental system Major Successes  Marxist-Socialist feminism has created many changes in women’s experiences of work o Pay, employment, equity legislation, daycare, parental leave, expanding occupational choices for women, greater
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