1. What does it mean to say that Woman is not a Universal Category?
While “women” does not signify a universal category with universal experiences or goals, women are
systematically oppressed by a system that privileges males over females and seeks to preserve male
Women’s primary responsibility in and to the family plays a central role in women’s oppression. It makes
women emotionally, socially and economically dependent on men and more vulnerable to male
Problematizing feminist notions of the family
-Not all families are white, middle-class, heterosexual, etc.
-In many families (for example many working class and nonwhite families women have always worked.
Many are kept out by the ideas and laws that shape the dominant ideology of the family. This dominant
ideology is often used against women and those who don’t fit. The dominant family has been a site
both of inequality and of resistance.
2) Why might it be important to take history into consideration in relation to women in Canada? Refer
to readings to support your answer.
2) History has often been written in the point of view of middle class white men, thus the contributions
of women are often ignored in history. For instance, in the article “The Nagging Wife Revisited” by Noel,
he talks about the women in trade ranging from women belonging to elite families to those that were
common folk. The common stereotype by the white male historian was the “nagging wife” stereotype
who would nag men and be limited to the household. However, before the British colonized Canada,
women did take part in trade and were a critical aspect of it. Moreover, Noel also talks about the
Aboriginal women as “willing” and promiscuous that was the common stereotype white historians
would attribute to Aboriginal women. However, in contrary in Magee’s article about Aboriginal women
they were vital decision makers in regards to warfare and in Wright’s article, it’s stated that they were
given a high status in their culture. Moreover, the women had equal rights compared to the men in the
community and it was a matriarchal society. Hence, it’s important to look at history in relation to
women because often their contributions were overlooked and stereotyped in a particular way.
3) What does it mean to say that in the Dominant culture, what is considered natural and normative
remains unmarked and invisible?
Dominant culture is any culture where the dominant group or the ruling class can promote and enforce
its cultural perspective. And that the society begins to be shaped, understood, governed in the image of
the dominant group and its values. Hegemony controls the ways that ideas become "naturalized" in a
process that informs notions of common sense. If a dominant culture does or acts in a certain way, it becomes a norm for the other groups, and
anything that is not done by the dominant group tends to standout. The Dominant groups actions are
unmarked or invisible because there actions are a norm in the society.
4) How is the notion of the Canadian family ‘raced’, classed and heteronormative? Who gets the
opportunity to be a ‘family’ in Canada? Who does not? Why? How do race, class and
heteronormativity impact on women and families in Canada? Please support your answers with
reference to readings.
Canadian family is raced, classed and heteronormative through an Early European colonization in which
having a stable family was the ideal. The race of these Europeans was ‘white’ and all of these families
came from a bourgeoisie class. In Canada, especially in the earlier times, only white settlers got to be a
family. Anybody of colour was not allowed to reproduce nor have any sorts of relations with anyone.
Anybody of colour was there to work. This impacts women in Canada because not only are they
oppressed for being women; they are oppressed because they come from a different race and class. This
is visible in the reading by Afua Cooper as she talks about how Chloe Cooley starts a resistance just the
sound of her voice. She was a slave worker in Canada who was being sent to the States without her
consent. She was oppressed because she was a ‘black’ woman and did not have enough money to
support herself on her own.
5) In what ways did people from different racialized communities resist discriminatory laws by the
Canadian state? Please support your answers with reference to readings.
There were some groups that resisted what the government was doing and it did not necessarily have to
be violent. Chloe Cooley screamed when her slave master tied her up to sell her and this caught the
attention of a freed black slave and a white man who went to report of her plight and this more or less
got the ball rolling for fair treatment of slaves