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WS 100 Final Exam Review

Women & Gender Studies
Course Code
Lorraine Vander Hoef
Study Guide

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Final Exam Review Questions
I. Define the following terms:
Global feminism (670-2)
- is a feminist theory closely aligned with postcolonial theory and postcolonial feminism. It concerns
itself primarily with the forward movement of women's rights on a global scale. Using different
historical lenses from the legacy of colonialism, Global Feminists adopt global causes and start
movements which seek to dismantle what they argue are the currently predominant structures of
global patriarchy. Global Feminism is also known as Transnational Feminism, World Feminism, and
International Feminism.
- On october 25, 1985, president vigdis finnbogadottir of iceland joined tens of thousands of
women who had walked off the job in a twenty four hour protest against male privelege on
the island. She also refused to sign a bil that would have ordered striking flight attendants
back to work.
- feminism began spreading beyond industrialized nations
- many of these networks grew out of the United Nations‘ 1975 international women‘s year
- at the first world conference on women in mexico, delegates urged the UN to proclaim
the years between 1975 and 1985 ―the decade for women‖, at each other conference
there were two parallel meetings one for delegates who represented their governments
and another for women who participated in the nongovernmental organization (NGO)
- thousands of women rubbing shoulders or debating in mexico, denmark, kenya or china
were learning from and teaching eachother about their lives
- aside from their differences, they were also discovering the ubiquity of certain kinds of
shared oppression violence and poverty, that had seemed local, rather than global
- in the process they were nurturing and legitimatning a global feminism, which was quite
literally being born at the UN conferences as they watched
- from the start the NGO forum meetings witnessed serious clashes between ―first‖
and ―third‖ wold women whose nations were at war
- essence of global feminism à addressing the world‘s problems as if women mattered.
Human rights organizations, for instance, had traditionally focused exclusively on state-
sanctioned violence against political activists. But most women encountered violence not
in prison or at protests, but in their homes and communities.
- At a 1993 UN World conference on human rights in vienna, women from all over the
globe movingly testified to the various forms of violence that had devestated their lives
- Feminists successfully made the case, the conference passed a resoultion that
recognized violence agains twomen and girls as a violation of their human right

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- One immediate consequence of this historic redefinition of human rights was that
western nations could now grant political asylum to women fleeing certain violence or
deaths from husbands or other relatives
- Feminists countered that educating women and giving them control over their
reproductive decisions was a far more effective way of controlling population growth.
―the deceptively simple idea of a women making a decision about her future is one of the
cornerstones of the emerging debate on global population policy‖
- The ―platform for action‖, the document that emerged from the bejing conference in
1995, asked the nations of the world to see social and economic development through
the eyes of a women. Although the ―platform‖ recognized the diferences that seperated
women, it also emphasized the universal poverty and violence that crippled the lives of
so many women
- In the years following the conference in 1995, feminist activists and scholars began the
process of redefining rape as a war crime, publisizing the particular plight of refugees
and rethinking the role women might play in reconstructing societies plagued by war
- At the same time, women in both developed and developing nations began debating the
impact of feminism itself on global culture and economics
- A revolution is underway and there is no end in sight
- As women in developing countries become educated and enter the marketplace as
wage earners, they will invariably intensify existing cultural conflicts between religious
and secular groups, and between those sectors of society living under preindustrial
conditions and those who connect through cyber space in a postmodern global society
- Like small brushfires, these cultural wars may circle the globe, igniting a wild and
frightening firestorm. Inevitably, some women will feel defeated as they encounter wave
after wave of backlash. But in the darkness of their despair, they should remember that
resistnace is not a sign of defeat, but rather evidence that women are challenging a
worldview that now belongs to an earlier era of human history
Environmental racism (288)
- The definition of environmental racism is inequality in the form of racism linked with environmental
factors and practices that causes disproportionate distress on minority communities. It is a heavily
debated phenomenon incorporating a hybrid of environmental concerns and human welfare.[1]
Environmental racism is often used to describe specific policies, events, and outcomes in which minority
communities are targeted for the placement of polluting industries and factories. Environmental racism
can also be connected to the exclusion of minority groups from the decision-making process in their
- differential exposure to environmental problems on the part of marginalized peoples has
fostered an environmental justice movement to resist these inequities that occur as a result of
lack of econoic, social and political power
- environmental racism reflects the fact that people of colour in the united states are
disproportianately exposed to toxic environments due to the dumping of chemical and
other waste on native american lands and in urban areas where more people of colour
- environmental waste tends not to be dumped in areas populated by people of high
socioeconoic status or where property values are high

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- the dumping of radioactive waste at Yucca mountain, nevada, despite the impact of this
on the western shoshone tribe that considers the mountain sacred, is a case in point
- people in developing countries who work in factories and sweatshops within the global
economy (especially young women who are often hired because they are cheap,
dispensable and easily controlled workers) are particularily at risk for occupational
Reproductive choice (290-309) READ MORE
- involves being able to have safe and affordable birthing and parenting options; reliable
safe and affordable birth control technologies; freedom from forced sterilization; and the
availability of abortion
- a key aspect of reproductive rights is the extent to which women can control their
reproduction and therefore shape the quality and character of their lives
- despite the importance of reproductive choice, it is increasingly under attack in
contemporary society. For women of colour in particular, as the reading ―women of
colour and their struggle for reproductive justice‖ by silliman and colleagues emphasizes,
resisting population control while simultaneously claiming their right to bodily self-
determination, including the right to contraception or abortion or to have children, is at
the heart of their struggle for reproductive control‖
- another key aspect is the right to assisted reproductive technologies for infertile
couples. Jennifer Parks discusses these technologies in the reading ―rethinking radical
politics in the context of assited reproductive technology‖. In response to debates about
whether these technologies are ultimately good or bad for women, she makes the case
that they are neither inherenty liberating nor entirely oppressive. Rather, the
consequences of these technologies can be understood only by considering how they
are actually taken up within specific cultures
- Sterilization Practices à includes tubal ligation (tubes tied) and hysterectomy (uterus is
removed). A less invasive alternative to tubal ligation is the springlike device called
essure that blocks the fallopian tubes. Women on welfare are more likely to be sterilized
than women who are not, and women of colour and women in non industrialized
countries are disproportiately more likely to receive this procedure. One of the
unfortunate legacies of reproductive history is that some women have been sterilized
against their will, usually articulated as ―against their full, informed consent. In 1970‘s it
was learned that many poor women, especially women of colour and native American
women in particular, as well as women who were mentally retarted or incarcerated, had
undergone forced sterilization.
- Parenting Options and Birth Control Technologies à in considering a reproductive
choice, it is important to think about the motivations for having children as well as the
motivations for limiting fertility. Childbirth is an experience that has been shared by
millions of women the world over. Women have historically helped eachother during this
time, strengthening family and kinship bonds and the ties of friendship. As the medical
profession gained power and status and developed various technologies (forceps, for
example), women‘s traditional authority associated with birthing was eclipsed by
increasing medicalization of birthing. Again, the medicalization of childbirth regards
birthing as an irregular episode that requires medical procedures, often including
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