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Lecture

ENVS 1000 Lecture Notes - Pseudohermaphroditism, Quasi, Heteronormativity


Department
Environmental Studies
Course Code
ENVS 1000
Professor
Peter Timmerman

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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 12th/13th 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.
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