describes how each individual occupies a particular social stance within
interlocking structures of oppression- Concrete, micro, focuses on individuals,
collapses bianaries, doesn‟t get rid of hiarchies
-don‟t view sex gender, age race, class etc as separate areas of study.
Interlocking systems of oppression: a concept that helps articulate the intertwining of
racial, gender, class-based, (etc.) subordination.
To try to understand the whole system- macro approach. More theoretical. Theory
to explain the intersecionality- it’s the house lord talks about. It’s abstract.
Disembodied Rationality- We don‟t think of ourselves as being white”
disembodied rationalitly. Taking for granted objectivity and neutrality. Don’t
think of ourselves being white. Objective and neutral- not effected by your life
-the expectation is that if you are white you can universalize your experience- but
this is problematic. Ignores their position.
-We think as ourselves as people, and we make up ideas and they apply to everyone
-Frye‟s first definition of sexism-anything that creates constitutes, promotes or exploits
irrelevant distinctions between the sexes.- realized sex is always relevant later.
Frye‟s new definition of sexism- cultural and economic structures which creates
Matrix of Domination:
Matrix: “the cultural, social, or political environment in which something develops”
- this concept deems that in order to understand oppressions, we have to
understand what it is to have privilege
- -Oppression is an outcome of some people claiming privilege (unconsciously)
- -Challenges us think about the ways we hold privilege
- -Privilege isn’t visible to those who hold it-hooks
Privilege denotes power, but it is void of morality
Privilege has a positive connetation because people want it. But it allows
users to be thoughtless. We wouldn’t want to give more people privilege
because we wouldn’t want more thoughtless people.
White Privilege (McIntosh) Race Privilege (Frye)
M-“ . . . whites are taught to think of their lives as morally neutral, normative, and
average, and also ideal, so that when we work to benefit others, this is seen as
work that will allow „them‟ to be more like „us‟” (McIntosh, paragraph 10)
-White privilege is an unearned skin privilege
F-To have race privilege is to enable you with choice- you can listen to the
oppressed or you can not.
-Self-defining. They define what they are, what they do, who’s in their group. The Invisible knapsack
“White privilege is like an invisible weightless knapsack of special provisions,
assurances, tools, maps, guides, codebooks, passports, visas clothes, compass,
emergency gear, and blank checks” (McIntosh, paragraph 4)
-it’s invisible and weightless.
-You don’t know it is there but it comes with all these perks
-I can if I wish arrange to be around people of my race most of the time.”
-“never asked to speak for my race”
-“flesh colored bandages
Feminist Seperatism- separation of various sorts or modes from men and from
institutions, relationships, roles and activities which are male defined, male dominated
and operating for the benefit of males and the maintenance of male privilege- this
separation being initiated or maintained, at will by women. Can be avoiding certain
people, media, removing yourself from institutions or certain people, ceasing to be loyal.
-rarely, if ever sought or maintained as and end in itself.
-often evolve, premeditated, sometimes planned
Colourism-the preferential or prejudicial treatment of same race people based on their
colour. Racism within a race. The lighter the better. Concept that dark is evil is
Parasitism: when an individual lives off of someone else, without giving
anything in return, he receives support, an advantage.
One who lives off of others.
Fetus-man, both need women to survive and receive nurturance in some form or
another. If women can cut off access to a fetus, and autonomously make that
decision based on what she deems best for her interests, then men (and they loyal
patrician) are hysterically afraid that men will be next.
Rejecting things that are feeding of them.
the patriarcical imparative- fundamental component of the patriarchy-it’s essential
that females are accessible to males.
Feminine Pollyanna- positive outlook. Aims to find good. But also the naive
feminist. Tension between gaining control and maybe not doing something “nice”.
power/powerless--Master, slave- power, powerless- If the slave prevents the
access, the dynamic changes, if the slave doesn’t participate in the dynamic, the
dynamic has to change.
woman power-women’s quest for equal access to power (in politics,
wealth,etc.) Hook’s sees this as a simplistic view at feminism, doesn’t look
at systems of domination, race or class. Heteronormativity-he way in which gender and sexuality are separated into
hierarchically organised categories.
Phenomenology- Women’s situations, relying on the situation and experience.
Rooted in knowing and experience.
-The experience of being a women and it’s implication. It’s embodied knowledge.
What it means to be a woman cannot be understood unless one is a women.
-Influenced by Heidigger, Your body and yor experience of life give you your grasp
on the world.
“One is not born a Woman” “But first we must ask: what is a woman?
„Tota mulier in utero‟ says one, „woman is a womb.‟
But in speaking of certain women, connoisseurs declare that they are not women, although
they are equipped with a uterus like the rest.
All agree in recognizing the fact that females exist in the human species; today as much as
always they make up about one half of humanity. And yet we are told that femininity is in
danger; we are exhorted to be women, to remain women, to become women.
It would appear, then, that every female human being is not necessarily a woman; to be so
considered she must share in that mysterious and threatened reality known as femininity”
-we are urged to be women
-women must be feminine, not just female
-It assumes that if you’re born a female, you are a woman.
-The connection and disconnections between women, female and femininity.
-She rejects biological definitions
-All keep women other
Abstract equality/ Existing Inequality
-When things are harmonious, women is given abstract equality to men.
Their roles are valued
-But as soon as they are disharmonious, it makes women unequal to men.
-One is not born a woman but becomes one- we are born female but we become
That’s why women are complicit.
One is not born a woman but becomes one- we are born female but we become
women. No criteria- biological, psychological or economic define women- social
Sex marking/sex announcing- identify or perform one‟s sex.- pronouns. We don‟t know
how to act outside of that knowledge. We get upset. Heterosexist (assumes 2 genders)
Heterosexism-not just prefrence for heterosexuals, climate that worships and reveres
heterosexuality? Masks oppression. Women are disperced, class, race. Connections are to
men. Heterosexism keeps us weaker, separate. Heterosexism is a construct. Empiricist (john stuart mill)- We are born without knowledge, we gain knowledge from
Biological essentialism-people have an underlying, unchanging view of being- it‟s their
essence. Born a certain way and essentially remain that way. Belief in uniquely feminine
or uniquely masculine.
Frye’s definition of Oppression-to mold things, flatten, immobolize, oppressed people-
living one’s life is confirmed an shaped by forces and barriers- not accidental or
occasional, not avoidable.
The personal is political-
Sexism, racism, classism- the experiences we in our own lives is systematic, can be
understood in a broader context, even those who are benefiting, even if they don’t know.
Epistemological Ignorance- Not awknologing your own wrongdoings. Thinking your
doing something right. Dominant world views- individiuals with power don’t consider
their views oppressive, then other views are not even considered to be relevant. Unaware
of others- example colour blind.
-What is Hooks’s definition of Feminism? What is not feminism in her view?
Feminism as movement to end sexist oppression directs are attention to systems of
domination and the interrelatedness of sex, race and class oppression. For her, feminism
must radically combat the culture of domination, or “might makes right” that is the
underlying cause of all types of oppression, be it sexism, racism or classism. Feminism must
work for eradication of sexism in parallel with it’s work against other oppression, because
ultimately, all oppressions are linked and must be done away with together.
Feminism is not a movement to gain equality with men. Hook’s views this pervasive
definition of feminism as problematic. It fails to raise the question of which men we are
working to be equal to. Ignores class. Focuses on liberal reforms that seek to keep the
power hierarchies in place. Allows for an “anything goes” feminism in which a conservative
can call one’s self a feminist while narcissistacly trying to gain access to more wealth or
power within the white supremacist, capitalist, patriarchy.
Equality of opportunity or personal autonomy is not good enough.
-“radical feminism” is working for the eradication of domination and elitism in all
-men are the enemy is not feminism
Hooks-Why would one say I advocate feminism instead of I am a feminist?
-Hook’s would argue that using the phrase “I advocate feminism” as opposed to “I
am a feminist” -would make it more accessible to people, especially PoC or
working class people to develop an interest in feminist theory
-people let there guard down and ask “what is feminism?”
-shift focus from identity and lifestyle instead of a political commitment
-“I advocate” does not emphasis absolutism or western dualism, concepts of
competion. “either/or”-can support other movements- people don’t want to devalue
their struggle to end racism. Feminism as a lifestyle is only accessable to some people, it’s a attempt to create a
counter-culture that is safe and supportive- feminism as a political movement
should not be safe.
According to Hooks, should women fight for equal footing then fight for systematic
For Hooks, they will just be dominating another group of people. 92. It’s not
necessary to gain the type of power (domination) because women do have power, in
there way. If we think this is the case, this is rooted in the false assumption that
women don’t have any power. Execize power differently
-democracy (example, peace circles for native justice)
-reject the definition of oneself that is put forward by the powerful-resistance
is strength (rejecting idea that women is passive-don’t be passive)
-their power as consumers.
Hooks- Can one call themselves a feminist without engaging in praxis?
No, since feminism is a political struggle against sexist oppression, and not an
identity or lifestyle, one must engage in praxis to work to dismantle systems of
oppression. Feminism is not supposed to be pleasurable or safe. Need to practice your
theory. Not a personal achievement.
Hooks- Women have diff value systems?
How can the dismantling of sexism help to dismantle all systems of domination?
other forms of oppression but sexism is what we learn from the beginning of
our life. It teaches us to accept domination and oppression. Hiearchies of oppression
But it is what most people experience- first oppression they encounter. Oppression
is linked, cannot rid one while the others remain.
Families reflect dualist values of hierarchy and coercive control.
-parent child, husband, wife.
Why do some women succeed within the structure according to Hooks?
-Complicit role in the patriarchy, not ruffle to many feathers, maintain the status
quo. Upholds the same value system. Narcissistic. Individual. Example Hoff
Summers- very successful.
Frye-How is race a social construct?
-“the ligher the better” whiteness is ascribed value
-Frye-How is race a social construct” 114
-Whiteness or lightness is a social construct. It’s ascribed value, more valuable.
-At one point skin colour wasn’t linked to race. Skin colour is one criteria and race is
different but became linked. They are separate things.
-You can be light skinned but if you have relatives who are black, you can’t b