WS 1021F Final Exam Notes.docx

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Women's Studies
Women's Studies 1020E
Christopher Ellis

WS 1021F Final Exam Notes SECTIONA: Definitions (refer to texts) 1) Victorian Morality (Rubin): Victorian morality is a distillation of the moral views of people living at the time of Queen Victoria's reign (1837–1901) and of the moral climate of the United Kingdom throughout the 19th century in general, which contrasted greatly with the morality of the previous Georgian period. Victorian morality can describe any set of values that espouse sexual restraint, low tolerance of crime and a strict social code of conduct. Due to the prominence of the British Empire, many of these values were spread across the world. Ex. Most of the laws used to arrest homosexuals and prostitutes come out of the Victorian campaigns against “white slavery”. These campaigns produced the myriad prohibitions against solicitation lewd behavior; loitering for immoral purposes, age offenses (pg. 4,5, Rubin) 2) Sexual Essentialism (Rubin): something we are born into doesn’t change over time. One such axiom is sexual essentialism- the idea that sex is a natural force that exists prior to social life and shapes institutions (9), Foucalt argues that desires are not preexisting biological entities, but rather, that they are constituted in the course of historically specific social practices. Sexual Essentialism is embedded in the folk wisdoms of Western societies, which consider sex to be eternally unchanging, asocial and transhistorical. Dominated for over a century by medicine, psychiatry, and psychology, the academic study of sex has reproduced essentialism 3) The Sex Hierarchy (Rubin): The need to draw and maintain an imaginary line between good and bad sex. Most of the discourses on sex be they religious, psychiatric, popular, or political. The line distinguishes these from all other erotic behaviors, which are understood to be the work of the devil, dangerous, psychopathological, infantile, or politically reprehensible. Arguments are then conducted over “where to draw the line”, and to determine what other activities, if any, may be permitted to cross over into acceptability. The line appears to stand between sexual order and chaos. Ex: The Charmed Circle: Good, normal, natural, blessed sexuality 1980s- Now: • Heterosexual • Married • Monogamous • Procreative • No porn • In a relationship • Sex being private 4) Sexual Variation (Rubin): Sexual variation is constantly resisted • In 1950s,Alfred Kinsey did the first full-scale empirical study of sexual variation • Kinsey was attacked “for weakening the moral fiber ofAmericans and rendering them more vulnerable to communist influence.” (7-8) • Kinsey’s grant was terminated in 1954 5) Moral Panic (Rubin):  The moral panic crustallizes widespread fears and anxieties, and often deals with them not by seeking the real causes of the problems and conditions which they demonstrate but by displacing them on to “Folk Devils” in an indemnified social group. Sexuality has had a peculiar centrality in such panics, and sexual “deviants” • Sexual conflicts can occur within minority groups; what Halberstam and Rubin call “territorial and border wars.” (23) • More consequentially, sexual conflicts occur at moments of “moral panic” • “Moral panics are the ‘political moment’of sex, in which diffuse attitudes are channeled into political action and from they’re into social change.” (23) 6) La Raza Cosmica (Anzaldua): “Cosmic Race”: a fifth race embracing the four major races of the world. Opposite to the theory of the pureAryan, and to the policy of racial purity that whiteAmerica practices, his theory is one of inclusivity.At the confluence of two or more genetic streams, with chromosomes constantly “crossing over” this mixture of races, rather than resulting in an inferior being, provides hybrid progeny, a mutable, more malleable species with a rich gene pool. 7) Mestiza Consciousness (Anzaldua): idea of mixing different races and becoming an alien species, not just one thing you’re a hybrid, all cultures at the same time. Can’t define what sexuality is (Anzaldua): “From this racial, ideological, cultural and biological cross- pollenization, an ‘alien’consciousness is presently in the making—a new mestiza -consciousness, una conciencia de mujer. It is a consciousness of the Borderlands.” (99) 8) The Counterstance (Anzaldua):   “Within us and within la cultura chicana, commonly held beliefs of the white culture attack commonly held beliefs of the Mexican culture, and both attack commonly held beliefs of the indigenous culture. Subconsciously, we see an attack on ourselves and our beliefs as a threat and we attempt to block it with a counterstance.” (100) • We see an attack on our beliefs and ourselves as a threat and we attempt to block with counterstance, counterstance refutes the dominant culture’s views and beliefs, and, for this, it is proudly defiant.All reaction is limited by, and dependent on, what it is reacting against. Because the counterstance stems from a problem with authority outer as well as inner- it’s a step towards liberation from cultural domination. 9) Tolerance for ambiguity (Anzaldua): “The new mestiza copes by developing a tolerance for contradictions, a tolerance for ambiguity.” (101) Ambiguity tolerance is the ability to perceive ambiguity in information and behavior in a neutral and open way. Ambiguity tolerance is an important issue in the fields of personality development and education. In psychology and in management, levels of tolerance of ambiguity are correlated with creativity, risk aversion, psychological resilience, lifestyle, orientation towards diversity (cross-cultural communication, intercultural competence), and leadership style. 10) QueerAssemblage (Puar): Puar: Queerness is an assemblage moves away from excavation work, deprivileges a binary opposition between queer and not-queer subjects, and, instead of retaining queerness exclusively as dissenting, resistant, and alternative (all of which queerness importantly is and does) • Archeological site, where things are gathered, terrorists: no one definition of what a terrorist is, that's why they relate because terrorists are different to everyone, national security, how queer are threats to imperialism 11) U.S. Sexual Exceptionalism (Puar): Production of sexual exceptionalism through normative and non-normative queer bodies. That is queerness is proffered as a sexually exceptional form ofAmerican national sexuality through a rhetoric of sexual modernization that is simultaneously able to castigate the other as homophobic and perverse, and construct the imperialist center as “tolerant” but sexually, racially, and gendered normal. Ex. The sexual torture scandal with theAbu Ghraib “sexuality is at once absolutely crucial to the production of the geopolitics ofAmerican exceptionalism. 12) Queer Liberalism (Puar):   • ‘Queer liberalism’therefore becomes part of a normalizing discourse within the U.S., in contrast to the ‘queerness’projected onto the terrorist Middle Eastern body • For Puar, this is linked as much to race as to sexuality, as “the articulation and production of whiteness as a queer norm” (517) 13) Speakers Benefit (Puar): 14) The Ballistic Body (Puar) : The terrorist body is “the body-weapon” or “the ballistic body” Queer becoming’s of a suicide bomber- a corporal experiential of “ballistic. The dynamite strapped onto the body of a suicide bomber is not merely an appendage; the “intimacy” of weapon with body reorients the assumed spatial integrity and individuality of the body that is the mandate of intersectional identities: instead we have the body-weapon. 15) Orientalism (Said): The difference between East and West, when people use phrases like "Arab stereotypes," they are really referring to Orientalism. These are all reductive and demeaning clichés dreamed up by the Western imagination.” (Saïd) 16) Cross- dressing (Stryker):Aterm intended as a nonjudgmental replacement for ‘transvestite,’it is usually considered to be neutrally descriptive of the practice of wearing gender-atypical clothing rather than associating that practice with an erotic impulse 17) Transsexual (Stryker): Person clearly does not identify with the gender they are assigned at birth (people do have surgery often but not always).Aperson who emotionally and psychologically belongs to the opposite sex. It typically refers to people who feel a strong desire to change their sexual morphology in order to live entirely as permanent, full-time members of the gender other than the one they were assigned to at birth. It has involved surgical modification of the reproductive organs and chest, hormone use to change secondary sex characteristics, and permanent removal of facial and body hair for individuals moving from male embodiment toward social womanhood 18) Sexual Intermediaries (Stryker): Concept by Magnus Hirschfield, in Stryker, The idea that every human being represented a unique combination of sex characteristics, secondary sex-linked traits, erotic preferences, psychological inclinations, and culturally acquired habits and practices. 19) Gender identity disorder (Stryker):Amental illness. Generally, a person who wants to use hormones and surgery to chang
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