Week 12 Lecture Notes (along with Powerpoint Notes)

6 Pages
Unlock Document

University of Toronto Scarborough
Women's and Gender Studies
Victoria Tahmasebi

WEEK 12: Final Review  In order to understand the depth of issues discussed in this review, you must consult readings and lecture notes Week 1: Feminist Theory  Need to know: - 4 items  Important lecture 1. How to think about theory  What is theory?  Theory: - Is not a guess - Is more than a speculation - Is not common-sense - Is not obvious - Involves complexity - It does not have to be the true description of reality  Theory:  Theory is a set of abstract principles which is the outcome of the analysis of given facts in their relation to one another  (1) What is theory? – started off with what is NOT a theory: theory is not a guess, not common-sense; example was given in class about Amina, who stopped talking to her best friend Susan (point is that when we discussed different theories that were given by students in class about why Amina stopped talking to Susan, all of those theories should be based on informed speculation in order for it to be considered a proper theory)  Theorizing is finding important general patterns; theory explains the why and how (e.g., why are men abusive – we should answer why and how they are violent) 2. Theory’s Effects  Challenges 'common sense’  Offers an alternative explanation  Questions assumptions  Unsettles that which is taken for granted  The definition of theory is a set of abstract principles which is the outcome of the analysis of given facts in the relation to one another; facts are given and then you find relations between them and then you draw a conclusion  (2 item in week 1) Theories effects are that it challenges ‘common sense’ – theorizing challenges underlying assumptions and it challenges those things that we take for granted; theorizing by its definition should open up new horizons 3. What is Feminism 1. Studying and understanding gender as a system of cultural signs 2. These cultural signs have direct effect on how we live 3. The present gender systems is structured by a binary opposition--masculine/feminine 4. This binary privileges men more often than women 5. Qualification: other binary oppositions are always at work 6. Feminism thinks these facts are wrong and need to be changed  GOOD SHORT ANSWER – what is feminism and what is theorizing  We talk about 6 important items about what is feminism:  It studies a system of cultural signs; we read feminism as a sign (becomes clearer by body signs); we distribute power and privilege based on these signs and we discriminate others based on these signs; feminism argues that this binary privileges in men more often than in woman; feminism always considered the fact that other binary oppositions are always already at war (Black versus White, heterosexual versus homosexuals, rich versus poor)  Feminism is a critic of misogyny  Many women who do not adhere to the role of ‘womanhood’ are still forced to be women 4. What is Feminist Theory  Is concerned with women’s inequality  Is concerned with gender asymmetry  Examines the conditions in which men are more powerful  Challenges all structures of domination  Explains the construction of masculinity and femininity  Feminist theory is concerned with women’s inequality and also with gender asymmetry; gender asymmetry transcends with womanhood and femininity; gender asymmetry concerns both men and women, the ideals of masculinity and femininity, at the expense of all other gender constructions in our society  Feminist theory examines the cultural, social, economic (Marxist feminism), psychological (psychoanalytic feminism), legal (liberal feminism), global (postcolonial feminism) conditions in which men are more powerful  Week 2: Liberal feminism  Week 3: Radical Feminism  Week 4: Marxist & Socialist Feminism  Week 5: Psychoanalytic Feminism Week 6: Postmodern Feminism & Queer Theory  Week 7: Postcolonial Feminism  Week 8: Ecofeminism  For each, you need to know: 6 Items  7 theories – these theories were based on 6 categories (human nature; what definition they offer for womanhood; causes of gender oppression; shortcomings, LOOK BACK ON ALL LECTURES)  The reason why liberal feminism views men and women the same is how they approach human nature  Liberal feminism – says human nature is autonomous, rational, isolating, posses self- consciousness, and we are by nature self-interested and therefore, we are fundamentally the same (men and women); the main cause of women’s oppression is the public/private spheres; the solution is legal equality (equality before the law) for both men and women; achievements – it gave us legal person-hood; women became equal to men legally; limitation – most important limitation is that it seeks equality through sameness (and this is the most important criticism – for instance, take into account motherhood)  Radical feminism – about all that liberal feminism is not; human nature is not neutral, we’re born with sexed bodies; we are treated differently, we’re discriminated so those differences should be taken into account; a woman is not the same as men but woman should not be seen as inferior to men; celebrates women’s characteristics; causes of women’s oppression – (one word) patriarchy (which is the rule of the father) – the existing sexed regimes and patriarchy is universal; what is the solution – shared oppression means sisterhood of all women and that we have to celebrate femininity; we have to value feminine traits instead of pushing women to become like men; achievements were far-reaching (1 social and cultural achievements – they tried to have women to have control of their bodies; (2) legal acheivements – tried to oppose violence against women’s violence and (3)…..); limitations – patriarchy is not the same everywhere; radical feminism’s definition of patriarchy is very Western, and also it ignored global inequality  Marxist and socialist feminism – as long as there is capitalism, women will be second- class feminism; sees human as the labouring animal; humans are different from animals because they produce things and they are social; Marxism sees the woman is a socially productive person; women’s oppression – women are cheap labour, both at home and at the workplace; the main cause of women’s oppression is antagonistic and economic relation; the solution is to destroy capitalism because it produces gender inequalities (based on Marxism); for social feminism takes into account patriarchy (they take patriarchy and capitalism hand in hand to explain women’s oppression and its solutions); achievements – improved women’s economic conditions, women became more active in unions, although women’s work in the home is unpaid, there are many countries that are in debate with this issue (another achievement); shortcomings – (1) women’s oppression is not limited to class and cu
More Less

Related notes for WSTA03H3

Log In


Don't have an account?

Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.