Final Exam Review All Lecture Notes W/Powerpoints

21 Pages

Women's and Gender Studies
Course Code
Victoria Tahmasebi

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Week 1 Feminist Theory1 How to think about theory What is theory Theory o Is not a guess o Is more than a speculation Like if Susan and Amina stopped talking to each other and people are speculating why they stopped this is not a theory Because truth or false of these statement could be made clear very easily Informed speculation It is general not specific It finds general patterno Is not commonsense o Is not obvious o Involves complexity o It does not have to be the true description of reality o Theory explains the why and how We have to find relationships between social patterns for example relationship are causes of something and corelational happening at the same time this is theoryo Not personal experience and no one theory tells you the whole truthTheoryTheory is a set of abstract principles which the outcome of the analysis of is given facts in their relation to one anothero You are given facts you find relations among the facts and then you make an abstract theorizingo Ex Men have more accidents then women and it was thought to be because they are bad driversBut it could be aggressive risk taking The real explanation was that men drive more than woman because there isnt scientific evidence that women are better drivers Without theories facts are just facts and arent important2Theorys EffectsChallenges common senseOffers an alternative explanation Questions assumptionsUnsettles that which is taken for granted It opens up the horizon to other theories 3 What is Feminism Good short answer1 Studying and understanding gender as a system of cultural signs No matter what definition of masculine and femininity we can always read the body The body is read2 These cultural signs have direct effect on how we live3 The present gender systems is structured by a binary oppositionmasculinefeminine 4 This binary privileges men more often than women 5 Qualification other binary oppositions are always at work 6 Feminism thinks these facts are wrongand need to be changed Not all men occupy positions of powerother binary oppositions are always at work age class race sexual orientation etc4 What is Feminist TheoryIs concerned with womens inequality o They want to be equal but they arent the same Is concerned with gender asymmetryo Concerns both men and women The ideas of masculine and femininity at the expense of all other gender construction in our societyo Global colonial conditions psychological conditions legal conditionsExamines the conditions in which men are more powerful like economicsChallenges all structures of dominationExplains the construction of masculinity and femininityIt focuses on the category of women How is it that women are oppressed because they just being a womanFeminist theory is a critique of misogynysexual hierarchyThe plurality and diversity of feminismThere are different ways of approaching these theories the first approachmethod is to divide them into two categories individuals versus relationalwomen as individuals and other looks at an individual woman as related to a broader sets of issues social of standards relational feminism Second methodapproach is to divide them into equality versus difference equality feminism claims that men and women are equal and the same liberal feminism looks at this approach this can also be egalitarian feminism society based on equalityDifference feminism recognizes and values the difference between men and women sees men and women as equal but sees the women are different from menequality should not mean samenessAnother method is to categorize them to various schools or traditions What are those 6 Items for each theory 1 Definition of human natureidentityself 2 Definition of womanwomanhoodfemininity 3 The causes of womens oppression 4 The solutions 5 Achievementsstrengths 6 FailuresshortcomingslimitationsWeek 2 Liberal Feminism 1 Definition of human natureis autonomous rational isolated self consciousness free will we are by nature self interestedo What distinguishes us from other species is our reason o Idea of human can be abstracted o Human nature as an individual and then as a social being for liberal feminists first and foremost a human being is this isolated individual who is selfinterested first and foremost 2 Definition of womanfemininityMen and women are the same and not sexually differentiated oMen and women should be able to do the same thing They are fundamentally the SAME as meno The reason Liberal feminism thinks men and women are equal is because the way in which they approach human nature 3 Cause of OppressionIs publicprivate sphereso Artificial barriers for womeno Private sphere is the home Women are confined in private spheres and the public is the domain of men4 SolutionSolution is legal equality o Individual rights and freedom o The rights of women to compete with men in labor market o The value of womens autonomy and freedom
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