Women’s and Gender Studies Final Exam Review
Definitions, Terms, Phrases:
• Feminism: The advocacy of women’s right on the grounds of political, social, and
economic equality to men. A paradigm and an inherently critical study.
o 1 Wave: Pursuit for formal equality in institution by white women. Focus on
officially mandated inequalities between man and women, such as the legal barring
of women from voting, property rights, employment, equal rights in marriage, and
positions of political power and authority . United States Constitution and the
Nineteenth Amendment was passed
o 2 Wave: Increasing nodes of feminism and increasing communities of feminism.
Concentrating on less “official” barriers to gender inequality. Centralized around
antidiscrimination and equal privileges of the sexes. VII Civil Rights Act of 1964
was passed, which outlawed discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or
o 3 Wave : Intersectionality and gender performativity. Critiques essential or
universal notions of womanhood, and focus on issues of racism, homophobia, and
Eurocentrism as part of their feminist agenda
• Hegemonic Masculinity: A concept that proposes to explain how and why men
maintain dominant social roles over women and other gender identities which are
perceived as feminine in a given society. Popularized by sociologist R.W. Connell.
• Equal Rights Feminist: this political strategy based on the idea of human rights,
regardless of gender. It was a political philosophy that assumed the quality of women and
men and foreshadowed political strategies of second wave liberal feminism. It was very
much interested in changing laws so they could have access to education, be the
guardians of their own children, own their own property, etc. What they don’t do is
actually challenge the framework of the state… they say work within the framework that
we have but work for equality.
• Heteronormative: Denoting or relating to a worldview that promotes heterosexuality
as the normal or preferred sexual orientation.
• Transnationalism: M.I.A looks at the politics of gender in a global context. She looks
at how inequalities are part of the way people make sense of their worlds. And her
concern is colonial power, how economic/financial relationships affect people living in
different places yet are connected.
• Infantilization: Referring to women in ways that connote dependency and immaturity.
For example, Girls, baby, chick, kitten.
• Intersectionality: Is a concept used to describe ways in which oppressive institutions
such as sexism, racism, homophobia, ableism are interconnected and cannot be examined
individually. Extremely present in third wave feminism.
• Commodity Feminism: Participating in feminism through buying a product,
participating in a survey, producing a blog, liking something of Facebook. We are told
that these actions produce cultural entrepreneurs and empowered citizens and that this is
• Sexism and Racism in Education: Feminist scholars in education ask questions that
put gender at the center of inquiry. They examine the implicit messages that are
communicated in classrooms and have to do with gender/ race/ class/ age/ ability/
sexuality. #1: as much as any other factor, some feminists identify women’s’ experiences
of education as well as unequal access to education as the basis of women’s’ social, political, and economic subordination. #2: what is learned at school and the way that it is
learned is framed within gendered, classed, raced and homophobic ideologies. Example:
women are geared toward arts and humanities. Example: Residential Schools.
• Gender Vs. Sex: Sex refers to the organs you are born with, male or female organs,
whereas gender more or less refers to the stance you take whether male, female, both, or
neither. Personal preference, more decided on your spirit and personality.
• Queer Acronym (LGBTQQIP2SAA): Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual,
Questioning, Queer, Intersex, Pansexual, 2 Spirits, Asexual, Allies
• Femininity: Is a set of attributes, behaviors, and roles generally associated with girls
and women. It is socially constructed, made up of both socially defined and biologically
created factors. Example girls like pink (socially defined) and women have breasts
• Patriarchy: a social system in which males are the primary authority figures central to
social organization, occupying roles of political leadership, moral authority, and control
of property, and where fathers hold authority over women and children. It implies the
institutions of male rule and privilege, and entails female subordination.
o Patriarchal power acts in tandem with racial, economic, political and cultural
structures to augment the continuum of gendered violence.
• Intersectional Sites of Oppression & Systems of Inclusion/Exclusion: To
analyze privilege is NOT about shaming and blaming individuals. This is about
recognizing institutional and systemic privilege (inclusion) and oppression (exclusion)
o What normalizes hierarchies of privilege and systems of inclusion/exclusion?
Not questioning ‘accepted’ norms of what is good/ valuable. If we question what
appears as normal, then we can more easily contest it. Feminists want to contest
systems of privilege and exclusion to make space for social change…one way to
do this is to build empathy through an ethic of care.
• Cisgender: Someone who identifies as the gender/sex they were assigned to at birth.
For example, your birth certificate says female, and you identify as a female woman
• Meritocracy: This is a system in which one is promoted or earns advantages based on
talents and ability rather than on class privilege or wealth
• Power and Empowerment: Power is the ability to influence or control the behavior
of people. Empowerment is defined as increasing the spiritual, political, social, and
educational, gender or economic strength of individuals and communities.
• Equality: the state of being equal, or the same in status rights and opportunities as