GSWS 201 Notes

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Virginia Commonwealth University
Gender, Sexuality and Women�â�€�™s Studies
GSWS 201
Julianne Guillard

GSWS 201 NOTES September 25, 2013 Surveillance: tracking other women Horizontal hostility: judging other women Disciplinary body practices: routines, rules, and practices that maintain the body. All contribute ot the production and consumption of various products. Examples:  Shaving, waxing  Applying makeup  Hair products Hygiene vs disciplinary body practice: From the World Health Organization Hygiene refers to conditions and practices that help to maintain health and prevent the spread of diseases. Medical hygiene therefore includes a specific set of practices associated with this preservation of health, for example environmental cleaning What We Do for Love (R. Weitz 2004) (The Bend and Snap) Power and presentation of body:  Hair flip  Bend and snap  Putting, dying braiding, straightening Love your Fat Self (C. Martin 2008)  Sizeism in our culture is the last, widely-accepted form of discrimination  “fat bitch”  Chris Christie and Letterman appearance o Is size, or fatness, easy to define/cure?  Pay attention to what your inner voice says (whom it critiques and how) Feminist Masculinity “How can you become what you cannot imagine?” Feminist origins=anti-male sentiment. Yes! It‟s true! But why?  Many early feminist women were in relationships with men  These relationships were violent (emotionally, physically, sexually abusive)  There relationships were oppressive (sexist) o Hooks writes: it‟s not really the fault of men (this domination) (all men are not born to be violent or naturally dominant) Systemic patriarchy is the problem:  Different institutions benefit from patriarchal thinking/action  We are all ingrained to think this is “normal” and “natural” Feminist masculinity: A vision of masculinity where self-esteem and self-love of one‟s unique being forms the basis of identity. Does this mean insisting boys and men act like girls/women? …Maybe yes, because being emotional, silent, and nurturing are considered “feminine” traits. …Maybe not, because we‟re trying to de-gender those normative traits “embraces…boys and men and demands…every right that we desire for girls and women.” Patriarchal masculinity encourages men to be:  Narcissistic  Infantile  Psychologically dependent on privilege(s) What are steps we can take to put this into practice? **READ MARGARET SANGER** Margaret Sanger  Nurse by age 21. Worked in NYC slums where she mostly assisted in labor or post- abortion.  Comstock Act: prevented “obscene, lewd” material from being mailed (including pamphlets on contraception/birthing/labor material)  Founded National Birth Control League (Planned Parenthood); opened first clinic in Brooklyn, 1916  Mothers in Bondage (book): compromised of 500 letters from women detailing “horrors of poverty and unwanted pregnancy”  Supreme Court overturns Comstock Act in 1936  Birth control becomes legal for married couples in 1966 US Census & CDC Data  Roe v. Wade in 1973 (40 year anniversary just passed)  Legal until fetus is viable (can sustain life outside the mother); typically 24-28 weeks (7 month of pregnancy)  US abortion rates hit a high in 1981 (29.3% per 1,000 women)  Continues to drop: most recent dta shows 19% (2008)  18% of women who get abortions are teens (majority btw 18-19 years old)  57% of women who choose abortion are in their 20s  75% under 30  61% of these women already have 1+ child  42% fall under state and federal poverty lines Do people just use abortion as a contraceptive measure?  54% of women who choose abortion had used a contraceptive method (usually pill or condom)  46% of women who choose abortion had used no contraceptive method and believed they had little chance of becoming pregnant  62% of abortions occur at less than 8 weeks gestation  90% of abortions occur at under 12 weeks gestation Is race a factor?  36% of women who choose abortion are white  30% of women who choose abortion are black  25% of women who choose abortion are Hispanic  9% of women who choose abortion are bi or multi-racial Religion? A family is a family? (Shaw/Lee, Chapt 7) “It is within the family where most of us internalize messages about ourselves, about others, and about our place in the world.” (p 363) Social Institution  Established patterns of social behavior organized around particular purposes Family as personal experience:  For some, it fulfills basic human needs an sets the foundations for how we understand love, power dynamics, conflict Family as a social institution  Maintains patterns of privilege and inequality  Connected to other social institutions like the economy, religion, education, politics Kinship systems around the world based on ancestry and wealth Patrilineal: through the line of the father matrilineal: through the line of the mother Bilateral: both parents‟ lines considered equally Unilateral: either parent‟s lines considered, possibly unequal Global kinship systems also govern norms of marriage: Monogamy: 2 partners Polygamy: multiple spouses Cenogamy: group marriage  Communes; sandwich islands; south India; parts of Tibet Polyandry  One woman, multiple husbands  Tibet, Venezuela, central Australia  Marquesas islands (French Polynesia)  53 global societies identified (Starkweather and Hames 2012) Polygyny  One man, multiple wives  Several African countries; Muslim countries under Sharia law; Tibet Institutions Work Labor (inside/outside the home)  2/3 housework done by women; childcare assumed by women which affects type of job outside house; expectations for men to work outside house affect interaction/availability to help raise children or share burden of housework Economy & women Families consume at a high rate ($$); poverty rate 2x higher for single mothers than single fathers; higher-paying jobs have access to daycare ($$); flextime, healthcare, etc Feminist Parenting Sexist parenting: where did feminists first focus?  How could this focus exist? o People believe feminists only focus on GIRLS Who was the primary culprit in perpetrating this sexism? MOTHERS. Dismantling one hierarchy and establishing another:  Partners as Parents article and male abuser stats  Could this stat contribute to ignoring the many women who abuse children? Adult violence against children is the norm in our society (p. 73). Raise your songs from a feminist-masculine position… Liberating Marriage & Partnership  Was marriage a good thing? (think Emma Goldman) Women & Work (Shaw/Lee Chpt 8) The Cult of True Womanhood  Women (select*) were associated with the home sphere and expected to embody piety (religious), purity, and domesticity. Ebbs and flows until WWII. Participation in the labor force  70 million US women are either in or are looking for paid employment positions.  50% of the workforce is female (or female-identified)  Segregation in the workforce: a. Horizontal segregation: M & W separated across many types of jobs. “Pink collar” jobs: child
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