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69 Pages

Women and Gender Studies
Course Code
June Larkin

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Definitions of Feminism
Interrogating Feminism
The Dimensions of Success
Expressing Feminism
Heterosexism; when lesbian is used as a derogatory term
Backlash terms tell us about what is expected of men and women in society.
Negative terms lead to self-policing; people will stay away from the feminist movement so as to
avoid the backlash terms.
Outsider views:
Feminists are socialists, anti-capitalists, anti-family women who kill their children, leave their
husbands and become lesbians. -- Pat Robertson
Common in the class:
Feminism is about equality among the sexes--to be treated equally.
Definitions of Feminism
Assignment due on Oct 15: based on
two weeks from now's readings
Only heterosexual partners, and that this is the best & only family form,
and it is the basis of society.
Families do critique the nuclear family structure.
It is not a universal structure! Nuclear is not the most prominent family
structure today, or through history.
We love all the children!
How do you know the children in your family are your own?
Prof Richard Namibia: family structures intact, but many of the parents would
have relations with others in the community.
He was imposing a particular structure of family which the Namibians did not
One woman said she didn't want to desert her family.
Men are gendered too. Once this is acknowledged, hard questions arise
about how men become gendered, how masculinity is related to gender
inequality, and how men can become part of the solution rather than part
of the problem. -- R.W. Connell, Reading #1
Men's dominant position in the gender order has a material payoff, and
the discussions of masculinity have constantly underestimated how big it
is. In the rich capitalist countries such as the united states, men's average
incomes are approximately double the average income of women. Men
have ten times the political access of women worldwide (measured by
representation in parliaments). Men have even greater control of
weapons and armed forces.
I call these advantages the "patriarchal dividend(}uvYX~}vvooU
Women's issues are also issues about men. Masculinity is a part of the feminist
Another woman said she didn't hate men.
Reading #1 Why I Am A Feminism
If feminism is about improving the lives of women, why do so many women reject feminism?
Interrogating Feminism
02 September 22 -Feminisms
Monday, September 20, 2010
11:26 AM
First Semester Page 1
How do the different identities intersect?
Gender does not tell the whole story about men, or the whole story
about feminism. It's about thinking about multiple identities.
I call these advantages the "patriarchal dividend(}uvYX~}vvooU
Focuses attention on the ways that multiple sources of oppression and
power are intertwined.
Sexual orientation
Status markers, material consequences
Dominant racial category often goes unmarked.
Acknowledges that every person, be in man or woman, exists in the
An intersection approach highlights the ways in which there is
simultaneous interaction of discrimination that arise from these multiple
Harassing comments that presumed the stereotype of docile
Asian women. The racial stereotypes informed the actions.
The stereotypes were created by colonialism.
Gender, race
Research at Brock on sexual harassment with Asian women:
Intersectional Analysis
Racism, social injustice, abuse in the home (toward the mother for her
failure to control her child). Needed to keep his own sense of agency.
Conditions of welfare reliant on their willingness to be on
birth control.
Differently-abled people being allowed to have
children/supported in their decision to have children.
Racist agenda (eugenics) wrt classes who have abortions,
having abortions forced upon them.
Access to birth control, access to abortion, the right to not use birth
control, the right to not have an abortion.
Reproductive Rights
We tend to cast our gaze on the sites from which we are oppressed
not on the sites from which we do oppress. -- George Dei (anti-racist
Where we are oppressed, but where we are oppressors.
How to Apply Intersectional Analysis in Feminism
Basu; talks about the way feminism is focused on Western Europe and the
United States.
Another woman said feminism is a Western project.
Eurocentrism: is the practice of viewing the world from a European perspective, with
an implied belief, either consciously or subconsciously, in the superiority of European
First Semester Page 2
Early feminism was all about saving women from non-Western cultures, from
the lack of culture therein.
Women around the world share a common sense of oppression and that to
allieve that oppression you need to be more westernized.
Not all groups share the same problems,.
an implied belief, either consciously or subconsciously, in the superiority of European
(and more generally, of Western) culture.
Thinking about feminism locally means dealing with the issues groups care about.
Clear how far apart we, as feminists, can be from each other.
Sisonke Msimang, youth activist
AIDS is not just an African problem
Responsibility: how is the West implicated in the HIV/AIDS epidemic?
Connections for gender issues (sexual pressure wrt condoms, etc)
Finding connections is important!
A small group of women who defied the power of the government for the sake
of their children, who had been kidnapped by the government.
April 30th, 1977: mothers went to the plaza, grew as the number of missing
children grew. 300-400, then joined by fathers, brothers, etc.
The mothers continue marking every Thursday.
Other groups around the world have adapted this strategy.
Adapted traditional notions of femininity.
Political violence.
Mothers of Plaza de Mayo
These are often overlooked-- women's movements are notjust created in the West.
Feminists in the Middle East: different standard of feminism that allowed them
to maintain their culture.
The Search for an Arab form to Feminism -- from Colonize This!
Racism in the criminal system, addiction and the legacy of colonization.
Make Space for Indigenous Feminism -- Joyce Green
is defined as "Indian" to control over Aboriginal political structures and land, to
outlawing Aboriginal cultural practices.
If First Nations women married non-Indian men, they would lose their native
status. NOT the same with men!
The Indian Act
Local Organizing
Feminism: are always about power relations and social change.
Did the distribution of labour changing? Is there a change in wages?
How do we know we're being successful?
The Dimensions of Success
Lita Fontaine: Reclaiming Aboriginal womanhood from colonialism, racism and sexism
Radical Cheerleaders:
Expressing Feminism
Think about the first slide: what is feminism about? Is it really about treating the sexes equally?
First Semester Page 3

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02September 22 - Feminisms Monday,September 20, 2010 11:26AM 1) DefinitionsofFeminism AssignmentdueonOct15: basedon 2) InterrogatingFeminism twoweeksfromnowsreadings 3) TheDimensionsofSuccess 4) ExpressingFeminism DefinitionsofFeminism Heterosexism;whenlesbianisusedasaderogatoryterm Backlashtermstellusaboutwhatisexpectedofmenandwomeninsociety. Negativetermsleadtoself-policing;peoplewillstayawayfromthefeministmovementsoasto avoidthebacklashterms. Outsiderviews: Feministsaresocialists,anti-capitalists,anti-familywomenwhokilltheirchildren,leavetheir husbandsandbecomelesbians.--PatRobertson Heterosexism,economicstructurerigidity,impliedanti-family. Commonintheclass: Feminismisaboutequalityamongthesexes--tobetreatedequally. InterrogatingFeminism Iffeminismisaboutimprovingthelivesofwomen,whydosomanywomenrejectfeminism? Reading #1WhyI Am A Feminism 1) Onewomansaidshedidntwanttodesertherfamily. Familiesdocritiquethenuclearfamilystructure. Onlyheterosexualpartners,andthatthisisthebest&onlyfamilyform, anditis thebasisofsociety. Itisnot auniversalstructure! Nuclearisnotthemostprominentfamily structuretoday,orthroughhistory. ProfRichardNamibia:familystructuresintact,butmanyoftheparentswould haverelationswithothersinthecommunity. Howdoyou knowthechildreninyourfamilyareyourown? Weloveallthechildren! Hewasimposingaparticularstructureof familywhichtheNamibiansdidnot share. 2) Anotherwomansaidshedidnthatemen. Womensissuesarealsoissuesaboutmen. Masculinityisapartofthefeminist project. Menare genderedtoo. Oncethisisacknowledged,hardquestionsarise abouthowmenbecomegendered,howmasculinityisrelatedtogender inequality,andhowmencanbecomepartofthesolutionratherthanpart oftheproblem.--R.W.Connell,Reading#1 Mensdominantpositioninthegenderorderhasamaterialpayoff,and thediscussionsofmasculinityhaveconstantlyunderestimatedhowbigit is. Intherich capitalistcountriessuchastheunitedstates,mensaverage incomesareapproximatelydoubletheaverageincomeofwomen. Men havetentimesthepoliticalaccessofwomenworldwide(measuredby representationinparliaments). Menhaveevengreatercontrolof }}oZ;,L }L}oZKLZ}]}oL 7]LZ}KZ} weaponsandarmedforces. Icalltheseadvantagesthepatriarchal dividend}KL;:~ }LLoo7 Icalltheseadvantagesthepatriarchal dividend}KL;:~ }LLoo7 p.533) Genderdoesnottellthewholestoryaboutmen,orthewholestory aboutfeminism. Itsaboutthinkingaboutmultipleidentities. Howdothe differentidentitiesintersect? Intersectionality Focusesattentiononthewaysthatmultiplesourcesofoppressionand powerareintertwined. Dominantracialcategoryoftengoesunmarked. O Gender O Race O Class O Age O Religion O Able-bodiedness O Nationality O Language O Sexualorientation Statusmarkers,materialconsequences IntersectionalAnalysis Acknowledgesthateveryperson,beinmanorwoman,existsinthe K}l}Ko]o]L]]Z; Anintersectionapproachhighlightsthewaysinwhichthereis simultaneousinteractionofdiscriminationthatarisefromthesemultiple ]L]]Z;~IK7 ResearchatBrock on sexualharassmentwithAsianwomen: Gender,race Harassingcommentsthatpresumedthestereotypeofdocile Asianwomen. Theracialstereotypesinformedtheactions. Thestereotypeswerecreatedbycolonialism. }2Zo]L2]Z; Racism,socialinjustice,abuseinthehome(towardthemotherforher failuretocontrolherchild). Neededtokeephisownsenseofagency. Howto ApplyIntersectionalAnalysisin Feminism 1. ReproductiveRights Accesstobirthcontrol,accessto abortion,therightto not usebirth control,therighttonot havean abortion. 1. Conditionsofwelfarereliantontheirwillingnesstobeon birthcontrol. 2. Differently-abledpeople beingallowedtohave childrensupportedintheirdecisiontohavechildren. 3. Racistagenda(eugenics)wrtclasseswhohaveabortions, havingabortionsforceduponthem. Whereweareoppressed,butwhereweare oppressors. Wetendto cast ourgazeon thesitesfromwhichweareoppressed notonthe sitesfromwhichwedooppress. --GeorgeDei(anti-racist educator) 3) AnotherwomansaidfeminismisaWesternproject. Basu;talksabouttheway feminismisfocusedonWesternEuropeandthe UnitedStates. Eurocentrism:isthepracticeof viewingtheworldfromaEuropeanperspective,with animpliedbelief,eitherconsciouslyorsubconsciously,inthesuperiorityofEuropean animpliedbelief,eitherconsciouslyorsubconsciously,inthesuperiorityofEuropean (andmoregenerally,ofWestern)culture. Earlyfeminismwasallaboutsavingwomenfromnon-Westerncultures, from thelackofculturetherein. Womenaroundtheworldshareacommon senseofoppressionandthatto allievethatoppressionyouneedtobemorewesternized. Notallgroupssharethesameproblems,. LocalOrganizing Thinkingaboutfeminismlocallymeansdealingwiththeissuesgroupscareabout. SisonkeMsimang,youthactivist Clearhowfarapart we,as feminists,canbefromeachother. Findingconnectionsisimportant! Z AIDSisnotjustan Africanproblem Z Responsibility:howistheWestimplicatedintheHIVAIDSepidemic? Z Connectionsforgenderissues(sexualpressurewrtcondoms,etc) MothersofPlazade Mayo Asmallgroupofwomenwhodefiedthepowerofthegovernmentforthesake oftheirchildren,whohadbeenkidnappedbythegovernment. April30th,1977: motherswenttotheplaza,grewas the numberofmissing childrengrew.300-400, thenjoinedbyfathers,brothers,etc. ThemotherscontinuemarkingeveryThursday. Othergroupsaroundtheworldhaveadaptedthisstrategy. Adaptedtraditionalnotionsoffemininity. Politicalviolence. Theseareoftenoverlooked--womensmovementsarenotjustcreatedintheWest. TheSearchforanArab formtoFeminism--fromColonizeThis! FeministsintheMiddleEast:differentstandardoffeminismthatallowedthem tomaintaintheirculture. MakeSpace forIndigenousFeminism--JoyceGreen Racisminthecriminalsystem,addictionandthelegacyofcolonization. TheIndianAct ;]ZZZ]L72ZZ}ZZL2}KK]L]L2Z} isdefinedasIndiantocontroloverAboriginalpoliticalstructuresandland,to outlawingAboriginalculturalpractices. IfFirstNationswomenmarriednon-Indianmen,theywouldlosetheirnative status. NOTthesamewithmen! Feminism:are always about power relationsand social change. TheDimensionsofSuccess Howdoweknowwerebeingsuccessful? Didthedistributionoflabourchanging? Isthereachangeinwages? ExpressingFeminism LitaFontaine:ReclaimingAboriginalwomanhoodfromcolonialism,racismandsexism RadicalCheerleaders: Thinkaboutthefirstslide:whatisfeminismabout? Isitreallyabouttreatingthesexesequally?
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