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GNDS 120 (16)

History and Waves of Feminism

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Queen's University
Gender Studies
GNDS 120
J.Scott Matthews

Essentialism- belief that single or grouped characteristics can define and separate men and women Sex- biological characteristics that differentiates men and women based on visible differences in genitalia and reproductive capacities Gender- expresses socially and historically constructed assumptions about women and men -feminine or masculine -cultural -Sex-Gender Binary Gender Roles- socialized to perform particular traditional notions with masculinity and femininity -Men-Women Binary Social Constructions- built on history Patriarchy-the hierarchal historical systems of rule and domination by men -close relationship: patriarchy and capitalism -Andrea Smith- patriarchy is the building block for American imperialism Backlash- strong, antagonistic, or violent reaction against social or political change Authenticity-being the self/community we want to be -we may begin by critiquing the way we are now, then learn to ‘act as if’ we are better, and eventually become that self/community we value Ethicality-having a capacity for ‘right action’ -able to provide good sound arguments for what we believe and do Intersections of Identities- race, class, ability, sexual orientation, ethnicity/nationality Intersections of Systems-cultural, political, economic, legal, etc. -particular interests in patriarchy, colonialism, globalization Gender studies aims to understand these problems: -A failure to acknowledge that women’s experiences and needs are different from the experiences of men, whether or not those differences arise through biology or culture -A failure to recognize, appreciate and benefit from the experiences and contributions of women, whose lives have traditionally not been central in most social and cultural institutions; -Lives that are limited by inequitable gender relations, locally and globally, historically and currently Feminism-social justice movement -political movement -it disrupts for something more authentic and ethical Intersectionality-Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw -grounds feminism and gender studies -committed to challenging all forms of oppression and anti-racism Interdisciplinary Inquiry- involves people connecting and integrating ideas in pursuit of a common task Interplanetary Theory- men are men, women are women, two different binaries The Law of the Excluded Middle-Carol Tavris -how the many differences between men and women are because of deceptive distinctions -argues against the interplanetary theory Deceptive Distinctions-differences are resulted by the different positions and different arenas we are in, not gender -Cynthia Fuchs Nature vs. Nurture Biological Determinism- nature Differential Socialization- nurture -both agree that men and women are both different: sex vs. gender -both agree that gender differences cause gender domination: • Nature: women are more vulnerable because of pregnancy or men are born more aggressive • Nurture- social views Invisibility of Privilege- privileged people (such as men and white people) become defensive and angry when confronted with the statistical realities or the human consequences of racism and sexism Objective Male-Georg Simmel -most ideas are historically masculine -for example, if a woman asks states that all men in North America are privileged, she would be referred to as bias Hegemonic Masculinity-R.W Connell -> the ‘perfect man’ -Erving Goffman -> unblushing male -no hegemonic femininity because hegemonic masculinity arose from competition among men within patriarchal societies Emphasized Femininity-gender inequality -R.W Connell -a strategy to adapt to men’s power Mean Difference- differences in the average scores obtained by me
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