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WGST 1F90 Study Guide - Midterm Guide: Wartime Elections Act, Social Feminism, Wgst

Women's and Gender Studies
Course Code
Jenny Janke
Study Guide

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WGST 1F90 (Women and Gender Studies)
Module 1 (Introduction, Waves 1, 2, & 3, Feminism, Feminist Theories)
Women’s movement was in three phases or waves. Explain metaphor ‘waves’. Name the 3
Metaphor ‘waves’ implies in between the waves, activism in non-existent but they were
First wave
Started 19th to mid 20th century, wanted to make Canada pure, causes: homes for prostitutes.
Introduced two strategies; Maternal Social feminism and Equal Rights feminism
access to higher education
property rights
guardianship over children
right to divorce
tended to be a white middle class movement (means there is no diversity for other races
and classes; doesn’t favor poor white or rich black)
focused on achieving rights for women of class privilege
union movement was not open for working class women
intolerant of unacceptable behavior (women needed to dress ‘appropriately’ still)
Three Acts Put in Place
1917 Military Voter’s Act: women nurses serving in the war
1917 Wartime Elections Act: franchise to wives, widows, mothers, sisters, and daughters
of those alive or dead, who served/serving in the Canadian or British Military or Naval
Force (women affected by the men serving in the war)
1918 Women’s Franchise Act: passage of the federal enfranchisement to women who
were over the age of 21 and British subjects, and who possessed the same
qualifications as men required for the provincial franchise
Second Wave
Started around 1960s-1970s. It was a resurgence activity in Canada, USA and UK; reviving
feminism activism. Came in two forms starting with bottom up, then top down.
Bottom Up = Grassroots level; starting from community level, large no’s in shelter project
Top Down = Institutionalized Feminism; starts with the government
Consciousness raising (CR); aka awareness raising, understanding what is going on;
news telling you what is going on in the world is raising a person’s consciousness or
awareness of what is happening in the world
‘personal is political’
Institutionalized Feminism
use the state government in changes towards a woman’s issues to make their lives
Implemented laws, policies, reforms

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introduced women shelters; for abused women, and transition houses
abortion clinics, as well as access to birth control
Reproduction rights
higher education was introduced for women
equal pay legislation
establishment of sexual assault centres
women's bookstores, printers, artists
1874: WCTU (Women’s Christian Temperance Union) formed, a religious organization
1891: WCTU formally endorsed women’s suffrage
Third Wave
heterosexual is NOT the only way to think
Achievements: public expression (films, performance, books, media), fluidity and
Critique: offensive
Feminist Theories
Maternal (Socialist) Theory
they had an essentialist mindset; having a moral and biological superiority over men
they used religion as an entry point to the public realm
Private Realm (Female)
Public Realm (Male)
labour was unpaid/volunteer
women were homebound
no recognized power; only in churches
(where they were heard and listened
paid for labour
in the public
had power; government, economical,
social, etc.
Liberal Theory
Fought mainly for gender rights using a rational, equal opportunities, meritocracy,
similarity mindset (sameness of men and women)
Achievements: Voting, education, property rights
Critiques: Classist, racist, solipsistic (self-centered)
Radical Theory
Grew during second wave, did not rely on existing theories
Believe women were the first oppression group of people and most difficult oppression to
eradicate since it is attached to culture.
Fought for gender and sexuality oppressions, gender-based violence against women
Highly influenced by wanting a freedom of choice, being sexually oppressed, and
violence being performed against women
Achievements: Gynocentric culture created, Birth control (body autonomy),
reproductive rights (abortion), rape/violence shelters, anti-porn laws, childcare,
Critiques: Essentialism, dichotomy (binary), sexist, solipsistic (self-centered)
Marxist Theory
Explains the material and class oppression of women
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