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Chapter

5. Feminist social policies.docx


Department
Social Sciences
Course Code
SOCSCI 2R03
Professor
David Penner

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January 19, 2012
Feminist social policies
Feminist activism and laws
Theme: laws in place that would not be if not for feminist activism
For these laws to work two things need to happen
oThey need to be applied
oThey need to be enforced
There are no enforcers
Is it up to the people
Laws would not be in place for feminist activism
For these laws that have been established for these laws to work the two things need to
be done
If these two things are not done they are done without meaning
There might as well be no laws
They will not be enforced if don’t apply them
There are not work police to make sure there are equal hiring processes etc
There is no one making sure all the laws are being enforced
It is up to us to apply it
No one will do it for you
Not so easy
To apply these laws one must accuse
Many variables to prevent accusation
Social, economic, political, personal, emotional
It’s not so easy to go against them because the people you work for is who you are
accusing
Some of the bosses may seen likable so you keep your thoughts to yourself

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Maybe where you work there is an older guy who comes from a previous generation and
he talks not exactly dirty but he makes sexual comments and you know he is looking at
you. You know that it is very unlikely that he will try something on you but he is creepy.
What do you do? Do you report him? He is! But do you report it? For the most part, no.
Not because you can handle him but, because it seems so serious. He might lose his
job. If he ever finds out you filled an investigation he will end all contact with you and you
will not be favoured at all. The people you work with either may applaud you or everyone
might freeze you off. The point is nothing is ever going to change for future generations if
you do not do anything. The law wont be enforced if no one applies the law.
Are we sliding?
The laws that were created allow for the jobs that we have
However, the laws do not matter if not applied
Something is happening now. Is it a possibility that there is a return to the ways we
were?
Consider: what would you id someone at work called you: honey?
The law is meaningless outside its application and many places and people are not
going to abide by the law till they are told that they have to
A lot of places don’t have equal hiring processes
These places the law does not apply
Culture and laws
These laws in many ways have become a part of our culture
We want our culture to have authority and not us
Avoid confrontation
Considering all things it is difficult to know what is appropriate, or what to do
People want many things
Feminist and working and/or traditional and feminine
We would like it and prefer it that everyone already knew this that we don’t like certain
things
We want people to behave in certain ways because our culture tells them to not us
Having to do anything personally about the situation we are in we let things slide

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People want to have everything this makes it difficult to know what to do and what to
support
A lot of women love the opportunity to do so but, there is still an appeal for some women
to live in a traditional manner
But this creates tension when a women wants to be a traditional women and a working
women
These women don’t feel vigilant about the standards and laws
It’s because of this mixture and tension of both identities
Double desire
Tensions to work illustrate this
Example: acceptance of praise of womanly characteristics
Sexism that hurts verses sexism that is fun and makes you feel special
Living as a woman
Living as an equal
Feeling both are important
Or feeling one or the other are not important
To some people both are important
For some other women being equal is not important in their view at all
Difficult negotiation
Feminism has made life better for the woman
Women are not one thing, and nor do they desire one thing
Difficult to represent need of all women
Consider stereotypes and the discarding and holding onto of them
How to speak and how to represent the needs of all women to fight for equality in the
work place?
The history of this fight has always had to battle and work against this other predominant
image of women which is nurturing and caring
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