GENDER AND THE ENVIRONMENT
Heaven = reason
Nature = wild, emotion and female
Gender is a social construction that relates to biological characteristics of
Gender and Nature
Contestation in “natural” characteristics of ideas based on sex- e.g. male
seahorses are impregnated instead of females.
In nature, there are hermaphrodites (e.g. sponges), pseudo-hermaphrodites
(e.g. garter snakes) and multiple genders (e.g. white-throated sparrows)
Example: Western blue groper fish. They make the decision to be female or
male based on environmental factors.
Some species are skewing towards one gender
In certain areas of the world, many farmers are women. One reason for this
is because women do not have property rights.
Eleanor of Aquitaine- she had power in the 12 /13 century. She was married
to the King of France and then married the King of England. She eventually
became the head of a school of nuns. In this tradition, women had power if
they were part of an aristocracy. It also depended on giving sons to men of
power. Some women had their heads chopped off if they could not deliver
Superiority of men above women- this patriarchy is prevalent in some
Some widows also had power- especially if they were left with a sum of
money and tried to gain independence.
Revolves around issues of work- labour as a way to have some kind of
Trade unions were initially discriminatory against women
Until late 1860s, women had no rights- no control over their earned money,
no political right to vote. Change: Quasi Industry
E.g. telephone operators. The great aspect of this work was that middle class
and lower class women could engage in this work. This was one of the first
areas where women were able to use their skills and have their well-being
somewhat protected. Another area of work was secretarial work. Those jobs
meant that if you had skills, you could get a job in a decent environment.
One could get a reasonable income and be reasonably independent.
1) First wave (1800s)- political movement like suffragette movement. At
the time, there was the struggle against slavery, protection of animals
and prevention of cruelty of children. Through the same approach,
women were struggling against discrimination as well. E.g. Woman’s
Property Act in Manitoba
a. Persons Case- Alberta’s Famous Five
2) Second wave