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Lecture 3

Week 3 - Wednesday September 25 the 20th Century- The Politics of “Difference” .docx
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Department
Social Science
Course
SOSC 1502
Professor
Amar Wahab
Semester
Fall

Description
Week 3: Wednesday September 25 Feminisms in the 20 Century: The Politics of “Difference” Readings: Hooks, Feminism: A Movement to End Sexist Oppression (CK) • Who is Hooks addressing? • Women who associate themselves with feminists or are interested in the theory and idea of femininity • What is hooks saying to them? • Hooks is saying we must change the way we approach femininity and how it may isolate other races or belittle the theory in comparison to men and searching for equality in a still unequal society in many aspects • What is missing from the liberal and radical feminist analysis? • An accurate agreed upon definition • Acceptance of it being a lifestyle choice not a political movement • Focus on social equality with men as a definition of feminism led to an emphasis on discrimination, male attitudes, and legalistic reforms • Feminism as a movement to end sexist oppression directs our attention to system of domination and the interrelatedness of sex, race and class oppression • Why does hooks argue that “equality of opportunity” (within the present white supremacist, capitalist, patriarchal state) is not possible? • Men are not equal writhing the present white state as they have different races and occupations making them unequal to each other so how would females be able to be found equal to men in terms of opportunity or otherwise • What should be the focus of feminists? • Need to eradicate the underlying cultural basis and causes of sexism and other forms of group oppression • Making a united definition for femininity • Seeing it more as a lifestyle and less of politics Advocate feminism so can be apart of other theories and promote interesting in feminism • • Why dont black feminists identify themselves as feminists? • Because anti racist regimes are not always associated amongst ten united feminist front • Sometimes only fighting for primarily white middle class female rights Lorde, The Masters Tools Will Never Dismantle the Masters House (CK) • Who is lorde addressing? • Minorities (old, aboriginal,lesbians) but mainly black • What is she saying to them? • Must consider minorities when taking on women's rights as female minorities are alive too • Stop discluding them • What does lorde call on them to do? • White feminists must educate themselves on black and minorities too • Diffidence is the raw and powerful connection from which our personal power is forged • What does lorde argue is necessary for all women to gain freedom/liberation? • Accept differences and learn differences to create a united front Lorde, Age, Race, Class and Sex: Women Redefining Difference (CK) Who is othered in american/canadian society? • • Black, third world people, working class people, older people and women • How are people othered in canadian society? • They are oppressed and told they must teach others of their oppression • Looked down upon • Sexual and violently abused • At what cost? • Not acknowledged as equal • What separates us? • Race, gender, class, occupation, sexual orientation TERMS: • Liberal feminism: • Radical feminism: working for the eradication of domination and elitism in all human relationships • Interlocking systems of oppression: • Lesbian separatism: homophobia as its own struggle ? • Intersectionality: • Patriarchy: the majority government and politic / social standing • “white supremacist, capitalist, patriarchal state”: norm of the culture • Women centered space: give up patriarchical space and form one if just women's rights • Mythical norm: a standard we are told we must live up to but cannot be fulfilled as unrealistic expectations due to race, sex, class, status, occupation, religion • White skin privilege:given power due to the white norm and don't realize the racist unprivileged. Define women in terms of their own colour and experience alone • Tokenism: visible otherness makes them token for race and sex purposes • Other/otherness: differentiated by not fitting the idealized norm and excluded from society • Reform vs transformational change: reform is an end in itself whereas transformation is a revolutionary progressive change • Structural inequality: • socialist feminism: Steps A & B of Assignment#1 due to your TA in tutorial (for ALL Tutorials). Lecture: • Binary are structures of power (dominant vs the other/inferior) • Mutual exclusivity between two categories ^^ • Switch from “I am” to “I become” • Only two categories • Must be fixed and opposite categories • I know who I am because I‟m not that • Way to undo oppression is to undo the norms/binary (critique and destabilize the practices in which we related to eachother • Intersectionality asks us not to think of only one binary, but to think about how all binaries relate to eachother (race to sexuality to gender to etc) • Standpoint /perspective: tend to believe person of authority, compared to one under authority (binary) • Our experiences informs our politics, what matters to politics and how we go about changing it • No one truth • Who makes that knowledge? Who controls the truth? • Outside factors influence structure • Cannot name the problem • Naming a problem allows ownership and allows control over it • Normal is socially contracted -normativity is preferred • Political consciousness - awareness of structures at work(critical to undoing power and changing power relations) Feminisms in the 20 Century: Second Wave Feminism • Historical Context • Western (NA) story • How do u provide stability in NA after war • Continue to institutionalize binary of ideal women and male (nuclear family ideal) • Society is an organism • People should be put into category • Idealized gender roles • Reinvention of importance of roles & regulation of women bodies into the roles of the 50s • Forced to see themselves in that roles as ideal femininity • Forced into category of woman (functionalism at work {play your part and play it well, dont ask why thats your part and you will be rewarded}) • Trap people into categories and roles, critical consciousness starts to emerge Collective problem result in collective social movements • • The affect of the knowledge systems of those in power • Realize oppressions are related • Critique of liberalism because the primary structure of through is the binary (liberal knowledge formation) • 1950s – a conservative moment – functionalism, capitalism and patriarchy (Reinvention of the Binary through state projects e.g. reconstitution of the nuclear family form). 1960s – a moment of critical foment to undo oppression and advocate social justice: • multiple struggles - civil rights, women‟s liberation, anti-colonial/political independence, gay and lesbian liberation, class struggles, etc. (Critique of the oppressive effects of the binary) • Second Wave Feminism: • critique of patriarchal oppression (i.e. the site and system of masculine dominance) [ two pronged - dominant group and system that organizes patriarchal system dominance] • The personal is political i.e. the politics of identity [ bottom up approach from lived experiences ] • Intersectionality (recognizing simultaneous oppressions) • Undoing the sex-gender binary (?): different critical engagements with the category „woman‟ • The Problem that Has No Name (Betty Freidan, 1963) Critical and collective consciousness about patriarchal authority &oppression i.e. hierarchy • within the gender binary. •Dominant discourse produces women as the problem •Housewife is limited but ideal role (regulated and imprisoned into roles and categories) •The other is the site of problem •The problem is patriarchy •Social constructions/normalized •The category “woman”/ “the feminine” defined, naturalized and policed by patriarchal discourse. • “no greater destiny than to glory in their own femininity” [1] ... i.e. true/ideal „femini
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