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Lecture 2

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Wilfrid Laurier University
Women & Gender Studies
Karen Stote

Week 2 Lecture 1 – Sept. 18 , 2013 Feminism and Intersections of Oppression Myths about feminism - All feminists are the same o They all hate men, don’t shave their legs, are all gay, all have the same beliefs  All feminists are different, have different political beliefs, sexual orientations, some are married, some are lesbians, some are men, all want a better place in which to live - Eor;gjr - Iore;gjrklg What is feminism? - Political, social, economic inequality - The right to be different and be respected for those differences - “a movement to end sexism,, sexist exploitation, and oppression” - What is sexism o Attitudes/behaviours based on traditional stereotypes about men and women o Discriminatory practices based on this belief o Ex. women paid less, stereotypical roles such as being a nurse, babysitting etc., media exploitation of women o Sexism affects women and men  Women are treated in certain ways and men are encouraged to view and treat women in these ways - What is patriarchy o Sexism “writ large” o An entire system that institutionalizes the oppression of women o Where men are privileged through political, social, and economic institutions - What is privilege o Men earning more money than women o Political factors such as men being more authoritative o “Can refer to the enjoyment of greater social, political, or economic rights, entitlements, and/or advantages based on your membership in a dominant group, and having greater social value assigned to you.” o Are men the only ones to experience privilege?  No – Ex. economic status, insurance is lower, race - Is about understanding how our lives are shaped by larger social forces, and seeking to transform these when they are unjust - Seeks to make the personal is political o Was coined in the 1960’s by women who were seeking to explain their experiences and understanding how these were shaped by social forces  Why were women doing the bulk of childcare?  Who most often was cooking and cleaning in the household?  Who was more likely to work outside the home, and who got paid more?  Why did women lack knowledge about and control over their reproduction?  Why did they have to depend on the medical profession and the state for reproductive services  What happens in our daily lives and experiences is shaped by larger social forces and vice versa, the way society is organized has a direct impact on our experiences, daily life, and interactions with each other - Can include men too o It is a way of thinking, a political perspective o It is about questioning the status quo o Not about your assigned sex  The idea that only women can be feminists is based essentialism, the idea that men and women possess inherent behavioural traits based on a biological sex  Not all women are feminists, and not all feminists are women o If part of the goal of feminism is to end the oppression of women, their discrimination, and sexism, then wouldn’t femi
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