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Environmental Studies
ENVS 1000
Peter Timmerman

GENDER AND THE ENVIRONMENT Vertical biases Heaven = reason Nature = wild, emotion and female Culture/nature Reason/emotion Male/female Gender is a social construction that relates to biological characteristics of sex. 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. Problem Some species are skewing towards one gender Developing Countries In certain areas of the world, many farmers are women. One reason for this is because women do not have property rights. Western Tradition 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 sons. Superiority of men above women- this patriarchy is prevalent in some religious traditions. Some widows also had power- especially if they were left with a sum of money and tried to gain independence. Modern Era Revolves around issues of work- labour as a way to have some kind of freedom 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. Feminism Three waves: 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
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