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GNDS125 Exam Terms

Gender Studies
Course Code
GNDS 120
Susan Wilcox
Study Guide

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Feminist Approach
Disrupting to allow space for change
More ethical
We are accountable
Unthinking acceptance of subordination
Dominance of one group over another
Maintains order in a society by giving other groups identities
and roles
o One social group exploits another social group for their
own benefit
An identity
Used for organization
Socially constructed, recreated out of human interaction
No idea way to be a man or a woman
Hegemonic Masculinity
o Multiple forms of masculinity compete for status
o Related to Homophobia
Sex gender binary
o Separating sex from gender
False binary
o Two cannot be separated in real life
Two genders are not enough
Gender is a social division rather than a difference
Gender is a performance
Not fixed or stable
Site of agency as well as inequality
Multiplicity of gender rather than gender binary
An orientation describing a gendered pattern of attachment to
Identity arising from those patterns
Relates to sexual behaviour, pleasures, and reproductive
Continuum (variety, range)
o Attraction to the opposite sex
Queer theory
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o Sexuality is not tied to gender or sex
Heterosexual hegemony & Heternormativity
o The assumption that being straight is normal and best
Idea 1 Women are different than men
Idea 2 irreconcilable differences among women
o No universal woman hood
o Interplay of different positions
o Separate experiences
Sex is a marker of difference (how we use our bodies)
Race is a marker of difference
o No genetic basis
Race is an identity shaped by differences
Dangers of Essentialism
o We are our bodies and our life is organized around body
Race is constructed
o Racialization inserts us into a racialized social
o Reliant on common ancestry
Whiteness as a racial identity
Hegemonic whiteness
o White as normal and right
Racial identity should not be fixed or binary
o Hybrid identities
o Interaction between gender, race and class, identity
o social system in which the role of the male as the
primary authority figure
Power and Privilege
Issue are in the ways people are oppressed and privilege on
the basis of difference
o A special right, advantage available to only one group of
o (feminist approach) unearned advantage that is
culturally nourished
White supremacy and patriarchy are dangerous
Power as the capacity to act, shape outcomes
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