feminism notes for 1st midterm.docx

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Women's and Gender Studies

ST 1 MIDTERM – FEMINISM NOTES THEORY: related set of concepts and principles about a phenomenon; the purposed of which is to explain or predict the phenomenon - Theory is important because it provides us with concepts to name what we observe and to explain relationships between concepts. - It allows us to explain what we see and to figure out how to bring change - It’s a tool - Enables us to figure out the problem and to plan an alternative means for the situation 3 stages: speculative , descriptive and de/constructive stage. FEMINISM: political theory and practice to free all women - Color, working class, lesbians, white privileged women, poor women, phsycailly chanlleged - Anything less than this is not feminism but self-aggrandizement - It’s a commitment to eradicate ideology of domination that persists in the western culture on different levels including class, race and sex - It’s a commitment to reorganize society so that theres more self development of ppl rather than imperialism, economic expansion and material desires - its an ongoing process undertaken by ltos of women of all ages, classes etc. - its constantly being reinvented through determination and compromise so we can love and support as well as have power and autonomy (Susan Douglas) - it consists of ideas and beliefs about what culture is like for women for being women and for men for being men - its about how culture should be and can be different - its about the importance and value of moving from point A to B and what actions are needed to commit to transformative behavior that produces positive change - it refers to a movement of a collection of loosely connected groups and individuals commited to organized action, including changes in behavior of the members involved in movement and persuasion of others outside of movement rd 3 WORLD FEMINISM: feeding people in all their hungers (Cherrie Moraga) FEMINIST THEORY: (patricia Elliot, Nancy Mandell) 1. feminist theories want to understand the gendered nature of virtually all social and institutional relations 2. gendered relations are constructred as problematic and as related to other inequities 3. gender relations are not viewed as natural or immutable but as historical and socio- cultural productions 4. feminist theories tend to be explicitly political in their advocacy for social change (Lugones and Elizabeth Spelman’s) 1. Enables one to see how parts of ones life fit together 2. Enables one locate oneself concretely in the world 3. Enables one to think about the extent to which one is responsible/or not for being in that location 4. Provides criteria for change and suggests modes of resistance that reflect a broad understanding of oppression 5. Has connections to resistance and change Lecture 2 Recap - Feminism begins with the notion that womens and mens positions in society are the result of social but not biuological and natural factors (Margaret Andersen) - Its seeing the connection of our experiences as gendered beings in relation to sical processes such as law, relgion, economics, etc. - Feminist theories analyze the systems of power in society and show how the unequal distribution of power shapes lives of men and women (Calixte, Johnson, Motapanyane) LIBERAL FEMINISM: focused on achieving equal opportunity for women by ensuring that all rights, benefits and responsibilities that occur to men also occur to women The enlightenment period (17 and 18 CE) th - Hume, locke, stuart Mill, Rousseau Key ideas of the theory 1. All humans are rational and therefore should be equal with one another in their shared humanity 2. Meritocracy – people should be able to earn their status in society 3. Equal opportunity 4. All rational beings should have freedom of choice Core aspects of the theory 1. LFs are concerned with establishing womens capacity for thought and their shared hunaity with men 2. Endore concept of meritocracy 3. Concerned with establishing equal opportunity for women in all areas of economic, legal, politalc and social life 4. Concerned with the principle of “freedom of choice” Classical liberal feminist - Christine de Pizan – widowed Frenchwoman - Mary Astell – Englishwoman - Challenged the dominant idea of their times that women were weak minded, frail and irrational by nature - Wollstonecraft – british writer and philosopher – vindication of the rights of woman - Harriet taylor mill o Argued for the desirability of women to earn money and have control of their own property o Argued for womens right to vote or what is usually called suffrage or enfranchisement 1960s and 1970s liberal feminist in NM 1. Right to choose homemaking or paid employment 2. Right to special treatment of women relating to their maternity 3. Shared responsibility for childcare among mothers, fathers 4. Special treatment of women to help them overcome the adverse effects of discrinatory practices Critiques - Selectively about and privileges the objectives of white and upper class wome - U
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