WSTB11 Final Readings.docx

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Women's and Gender Studies
Annissa Talhamoodley

WSTB11 Final Readings Week 3: Colonization of women: British women are asked to migrate for 3 main purposes to British Columbia 1. To reinforce the traditional meaning of families and procreate the civilization 2. To stop the homosocial behavior men were engaging in (also a possible threat to the society) 3. To increase the membership of colonists. By making a family they would want to settle through colonialism. White marginalized women who were also the working class were bought to BC. The imperialistic view looks down on women who step out of their traditional roles. These marginalized women were looked down upon in England but given respect in BC. The article Race (and gender and class) and child custody: Theorizing intersections in two Canadian court cases is based on two court cases of Nadia Hama and Kimberly Van de Perre regarding the child custody of their children during the summer of 2001. The article focuses on the few factors that might have been ignored during the custody battle hinting on racism. Furthermore there are clear connections between nurturing quality that is a feminine trait made with race and gender. One of the main arguments against Van de Perre was made by Mrs. Valerie Edwards who claimed to be a very responsible, nurturing and caring mother based on her race. During the one of the trials she quotes: “I mean I'm sure my mother had problems, 30 years, I'm sure she had problems, but she did not walk away. That's not our heritage; we're strong, black women. We don't run.” This shows that the impact of colored maids who were treated like slaves had on the society. The characteristics attached to the race may not have any biological roots but the historical meaning behind it is something the society will never forget. Week 4: Intersecting Constructions Of Femininity, Masculinity and Other Genders “Monsters in Closet” Nadia Guidootto discusses on the intersex and its connection with other abject bodies in history to explain the role of bio politics in the creation and regulation of these monsters within the sustenance of a specific hierarchy within society. This exact arrangement is based on Judith Butler’s heterosexual environment she also extended to include racial and liberal elements. The author relates this context to connect western responses to intersexuality. The author explains that as soon as an individual comes into being they are categorized in a category which is race, class and gender. Each group has expected fixed traits. However, hermaphrodites or intersexual do not fall under either of these categories, which further leads to a disorder in the world of bio politics. Furthermore they are referred as monsters in the closet because of their odd looks and confused behavior. Bio politics was a term coined on 17th March, 1976. It is the relationship of the biological nature of a person and its relation with the laws of the society. Bio politics is the exception which is the general coded system to help regular functioning in the society and abject questions the rational order of things and disrupts them by corruption and misleading tactics. Hermaphrodites are addressed as abject bodies in bio politics. This is further clarified by connecting exception to ban. Agamben explains that any activity that is not the part of the political and social regime is an exception. An exception was denoted to something that is unworthy and therefore banned. She also reveals that this system can be established in a very explicit heterosexual, capitalist, patriarchal structure. Intersexual had to experience both overt and covert violence. From overt being the surgical abuse destroying the subjectivity of abject to covert that is inner violence when on the time of birth the biological mother refers the child as “a thing” and “sexually incomplete”. After being banned these monsters are counted as part of the “other” which is the victim alienation from the society and hence they deny conformation. Due to the solidarity the society avoids any behavior that will be associated with these so called “monsters” which turns out to be a successful means to maintain control and regulation within. Nadia explains the relationship between the image, the gaze and monsters as spectacles. She focuses on the intersectionality of race, gender and sex. Colored intersexual tend to share a common relationship to the gaze. Through the evidence suggested the society finds colored class as an unfit part of the system and hermaphrodites are at the bottom. Resistance from home covers the pre and post experience of colonialism in Indian context of hijras. Lastly, Nadia invites all to open the doors of the closets and stare the monster face to face to realize they are no less human being than others. Sneha did her paper on the other topic so she will cover that. Week 5 & 6 Gender Violence: The topic is general so focus on the lec
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