FESMT 20 Lecture

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University of California - Santa Barbara
Feminist Studies

FEMST 20 October 9, 2012 PERCEPTIONS OF OTHERSAND PRESSURES TO CONFORM Gender Culture and Socialization • Social institutions (Family, school, media, language, law, medicine, ect.) Shape how we see/others see • Fem Studies focuses on gender/racial/class ect. Inequalities in culture/language.And resistance to inequalities • Socialization creates two, ranked genders • Socialization does not end with childhood • Race, ethnicity, & class affect how people are socialized as men and women Socialization, Gender, and Childhood (Newman) • Narrow gender expectations for young boys (and girls) stifle their personalities and emotional development Masculinity-Sexuality Links? • Males who do not fit masculine norms risk being rejected for ◦ Gender transgression ◦ Being perceived as gay • Sexism and homophobia promote structural oppression • Media and social construction of masculinity (newman and connell) • multiple masculinities, some represented as more powerful than others Socialization through G-rated Films (Martin and Kayak) • Role of heterosexuality in popular children's films? ◦ G-rated children's movies claim to be free from sexuality • Films promote heterosexuality and heteronormativity* ▪ *assumption that individuals are heterosexual ◦ Presumes a specific type of heterosexuality as the norm ◦ monogamous, procreative; same-race couples; partners uphold traditional gender norms • Heterosexual romance is portrayed as different from other relationships ◦ glorified as transformative and magical ◦ also framed as natural • Children learn heterosexual male gaze and sexual objectification of womens bodies ◦ men ogle ◦ women use bodies to attract sexual attention • racism-sexism-heterosexism: bodies of women of color hypersexualized and treated as “exotic” October 11, 2012 SELLING AND BUYING BEAUTY IMAGES The personal is the political... • “body image, in fact, may be the pivotal third wave issue-- the common struggle that mobilizes the current feminist generation” -Amy Richards, 2000, co-author, Manifesta: Young Women, Feminism, and the Future • “critiquing media and its effects on us can be a powerful tool for improving peoples lives and sense of self-worth” - Sociology Proffesor, K. Schmidt • hierarchies of beauty and bodies = based on race/ethnicity, class, sexuality, age, size, ability, nation, ect. Fat is a feminist issue • Fat studies scholars ◦ examine roles of body weight and size in society ◦ critique how people perceive and relate to fatness ◦ support fat activist and liberation movements • Fat!so? Manifesto: “...there's nothing wrong with being fat. Just like there's nothing wrong with being short or tall, or black or brown. These are facts of identity that cannot and should not be changed” • Effects of the “Obesity Epidemic” ◦ “Public attitudes about fat have never been more judgmental; stigmatizing fat people has become not just acceptable but, in some circles, de rigueur. I've sat in meetings with colleagues who wouldn't dream of disparaging anyone's color, sex, economic status or general attractiveness, yet feel free to comment witheringly on a persons weight.” • Health at every size (HAES) ◦ Self-acceptance: affirmation and reinforcement of beauty and worth irrespective and shape ◦ PhysicalActivity: support for social, pleasure-based movement. ◦ Normalized Eating: attaining a more peaceful relationship with food Dove/PPPO (Johnston and Taylor) • Dove beauty = goal to be reached through products • Ex. “feminist consumerism” – idea that “feminism” and empowerment = achieved through shopping (see page 122 &124) • both claim to challenge hegemonic beauty codes that articulate a virtually unachievable conception of physical beauty • “make peace with beauty” VS. “embrace nonconforming fat bodies and wage war with hegemonic beauty standards” pp.122 • DRB: positive feelings women should have about their bodies • PPPO: painful and angry feelings about beauty culture; rejection of beauty as a goal. Hair (Banks) • White women's long, flowing hair = ideal for all women's hair? • Race, ethnicity, and class = important aspects of american beauty ideals • women with “too short” often viewed as lesbian • men with long hair: sexuality questioned? • Political and global symbolism of hair and styles Family/sexuality/cultural expectations (Espiritu) • Interviewed 100+ Filipina/oAmericans • Filipinas (and other asian women) characterized as erotic or submissive • Hypersexualization of Filipinas by U.S. Military men in Philippines • Filipinas/os try to separate themselves from these representations • Feel their culture is superior to white US culture ◦ Filipino close-knit families ▪ vs. white families = impersonal and individualistic Filipina daughters (but not sons) expected to be virtuous vs. white women = sexual immoral SUM: Importance of Beauty? • Beauty standards unattainable by most • “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”: what if it really were? • Global business: supports social innequalities October 16, 2012 MEDIAMESSAGES/ BECOMING SEXUAL • Sexuality is not just about sex ◦ Sexuality- socially constructed ways that differ by gender, age, class, race, nation, size, religion, etc ◦ women/girls and men/boys = socialized to think and act differently re: sexuality and relationships • Becoming sexual is... ◦ a gendered, radicalized, classed, cultural, etc. process ◦ being subject to oppression and also a means of expression and strength ◦ complex and contradictory ◦ not only matter of “individual choice” • Aprocess ◦ defining and experiencing desire ◦ engaging in sexual acts (or not) ◦ forming relationships ◦ claiming sexual identity • Pleasure/Danger (Tolman) ◦ Sexulaity – source of oppression/danger and means of expression/power ◦ women/girls often deny expressions of sexual desire • “Doing” Desire (Tolman) ◦ “...What to do when they feel sexual desire..” p.286 ◦ Girls monitored and stopped bodies expressions of desire ◦ girls understood social factors constraining desire • Dangers ◦ violence ◦ homophobia ◦ “Good-girl” to “slut” label ◦ Pregnancy, STI's ◦ Disappointing adults ◦ breaking with hegemonic ideas of gendered sexuality ◦ sexual double-standard ◦ “compulsory heterosexuality” (Adrienne see Tolman p. 289) • What counts as sex? 20 years of Seventeen Magazine advice ◦ intended audience = 13-19 year olds ◦ “traditional virginity script” ◦ heternormative ▪ P-V intercourse = only definition • “Techincal virgins” ◦ “You are right that technically speaking, penetration pretty much equals sex. For your boyfriend, though, it may not qualify unless he has an orgasm” • Hymen as evidence? ◦ Exercise, tampon use ◦ born without or partial • Media Representations of Hypersexuality ◦ Men and women's blackness associated with uncivilized, wild sexuality ◦ So too other racial/ ethnic groups ◦ Men who “do masculinity” in a culturally acceptable way receive power and privilege ◦ those who do not are ridiculed and stigmatized ◦ Narrower exp. Than for women (Rupp & Taylor) • Shopping for love ◦ online dating /cyber romance ◦ focus on monogamous romance = heteronormative. How? ◦ Why would dating website deemphasize the role of sex in relationships/focus on long-term love? • Consumer market model ◦ online dating = type of shopping experience ◦ pre-existing identity categories (gay/straight, ect.) = reinforced • Reasons straight girls kiss ◦ same-sex “experience” ◦ act on same-sex desire ◦ gain men's attention ◦ sexual identity and sexual behavior don't always match ◦ role of alcohol? ◦ Fear of “identifying” = fear of being “identified” ◦ double-standard: 2 men kissing not as socially acceptable October 18, 2012 SEXUALITY IS NOT JUST “SEX” • Hooking up (Armstrong) ◦ Committed relationship = problem ▪ too much time, emotional investment ▪ violence ◦ Cost of a bad relationship = higher than the cost of a bad hookup ◦ Gender inequalities in both relationships and hookups • “Doing Gender, Doing Heteronormativity...” (Schilt and Westbrook) ◦ workplace cisgender reactions to female to male transitions ◦ media accounts of murder of male to female transwoman ◦ Transphobia ▪ perceived threat to binary system ▪ homophobia ◦ Cisgender people visualize trans as “really” the opposite gender ◦ Calls into question cisgender people's heterosexuality • “Passing” ◦ possible in many social situations ◦ difficult in sexual encounters • Findings? ◦ Heterosexual cisgender men are more easily able to relate to heterosexual transmen based on perceived shared desire for women ◦ Heterosexual cisgender women more apt to question the “maleness” of FtM colleague and feel threatened by potential of being “hit on” ◦ 95% cases, murder by cisgender man of transwoman ◦ reports emphasize deception of “true gender” as motivating killing ▪ transwoman with penis is seeking sex with a man with a penis = presumed to be gay ▪ “one drop” and “one act” rule (p.318) ◦ Violence = masculine assertion of heterosexuality ◦ Cisgender men “naturally” violent when “tricked” • AARP! Aging & sexuality ◦ “At this stage in your life you might feel you know all there is to know about sex.After all its probably been many years since you had your first sexual experience. But if you're like a lot of people, you also possess spotty information and faulty beliefs, some of which may be preventing you from fully enjoying your maturing sexuality.” • Consequences? ◦ What if “seniors” discussed sex/sexuality with “youth”? ◦ What if media images included “seniors” who have sexual desires and act on them? October 23, 2012 MIDTERM REVIEW Agency/Resistance: Gimlin, Plastic surgery; agency- sense of choice, sense of power; resistance- resisting aging, resisting idea of buying into beauty images Zinn & Dill, Segura October 30, 2012 GETTING MARRIED – OR NOT • Key concepts: Families ◦ public discourses and the media frame our understanding of families ◦ families contribute to gender socialization and inequality ◦ a persons experience in a family is affected by his/her gender, race, sexuality, class, nationality, etc. • What does love have to do with it? ◦ Marriage is a social institution ◦ Historically marriage is an economic arrangement and a reproductive institution • Marriage Crisis ◦ “People are experimenting with alternatives before they get there... they're also finding they've gotten so good at being single it's hard to be at one with another person.” – Steve Walters, Focus on the family ◦ “Even cohabilitating young adults tell us that they are doing so because it would be unwise to marry without first living together in a society marked by high levels of divorce.” – Pamela J. Smock, University of Michigan • Different Marriage Crisis – 1950s-60s Premarital Pelvic Exams (Carolyn Herbst Lewis) ◦ Cold war physicians and politicians feared rising divorce rate and “sexual chaos” including promiscuity and homosexuality ◦ Doctors tried to “fix” these problems by encouraging “healthy” heterosexual marriages. ◦ Women who could not orgasm with vaginal penetration diagnosed as “frigid.” ◦ Doctors: orgasm necessary for procreation ◦ importance of the wedding night • Contemporary Globalized marriages (Hung Cam Thai) ◦ “Marriage migration” over 200,00/year to US ◦ Vietnamese gender ideologies/dreams clash • “Unmarriagables” gender, age, education & class ◦ educated professional women in Vietnam over a certain age = 'e' (unmarketable) ◦ Educated, financially secure vietnamese men = 'dat' (scarce goods) • “Surplus” of low-wage working men in Vietnam ◦ “Solution” - VN men migrate ◦ “Problem/risks for women and men”? • Loving v. Virginia ◦ in 1985, VAresidents, Mildred Jeter, a black woman, and Richard Loving, a white man, married in Washington D.C. ◦ When returned to Virginia, charged with violating VAban on inter-racial marriages • But... “What if marriage is bad for us?” (Essig and Owens) ◦ White and higher income = most likely to be married ◦ the institution of marriage, therefore, promotes the racial economic status quo. ◦ Meanings of marriage vary greatly across historical and cultural contexts ◦ Before the late 1800s (in the US and W Europe), marriage was not about love but rather economic and social advantage. ◦ Marriage reinforces lifelong monogamy; constraining ◦ marriage now lasts potentially decades longer than in earlier countries; requires far more work. ◦ The 20 century shift from living with extended family to creating nuclear family model ◦ Result? Increasing isolation from family and friendship netoworks NOVEMBER 1, 2012 MAKING (AND UNMAKING) FAMILIES • More key themes ◦ women/girls and men/boys have different experiences and duties in many families ◦ families can be source of strength or resistance, as well as subordination • Making families... ◦ is more than personal ◦ is affected by race, ethnicity, class, sexual identity, etc. ◦ happen in the context of globalization ◦ matters to policy makers • Marriage Equality Movement ◦ 11/2008 “yes on prop 8” in CACalifornia marriage protection act = marriage between only a man and a woman ◦ marriage equality campaign, Ireland • Work/Families (Gerson) ◦ Intvd. Racially diverse, young (18-32) New Yorkers ◦ Many raised in “non-traditional” family arrangements ◦ Autonomy/commitment; caring; personal identity • Views on Divorce? ◦ Of those with parents together; ▪ 60% “pleased” or “inspired” by parents lifelong commitment ▪ 40% thought divorce better than unhappiness • Care as time, Care as money ◦ women now expected to do: ▪ paid work and ▪ majority of family work • Men now: ◦ more pressure to be actively involved with the family and more opportunities to dismiss family obligations • Mothers and work ◦ majority whose mothers worked supported 2-person careers as “good” for family ◦ 50% whose mother stayed home wished she'd worked for money ◦ far more men than women preferred “trad gender order” in family • “settling” vs. “settling down” ◦ men and women differ in how they would live their “egalitarian ideal” cannot be achieved ◦ 4 of 5 women opt for autonomy over traditional marriage • Family Policy Case Study: Foster Care ◦ 1978 US Congress: Indian child welfare act ◦ recognition of past forced removal and boarding schools ◦ states must make all effort to place children with families or within tribe ◦ states received thousands of money for each child placed ◦ in some states, more money for native american children ◦ nearly 90% of kinds in family foster care are in non native homes or group care ◦ states receive money if they move kids out of foster care and into adoption November 6, 2012 BODIES: MAKING REPRODUCTIVE CHOICES • Bodies: Key Concepts ◦ Social institutions – politics,
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