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GNDS 120 (16)


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

Dead White Man (DWM) - Western white male social and political thinkers and used to challenge the sexism, racism and classism in their thinking -reason, rationality, progress, science, and liberty, the principles of the Enlightenment and classical liberalism enshrines in the theories of DWM, are the bases of modern Western thought Knowers- modern white man Science-determined knowledge -non-whites were seen less advanced and not fully human because they didn’t have science, made slavery easier -gendered norms of masculinity and femininity were ‘scientifically’ linked to the biology of sex Postmodernism-emerged from WWII, the narratives of science, rationality, and progress -a response to the massive changes in technologies and globalization -people challenged existing knowledge -used deconstruction to expose the power and politics -theorists took on the supremacy of objectivity -questioning is epistemological and ontological, which politicizes subjectivity, and expose our own biases Epistemology- questions how we know what we know Ontologically - questions state of being Deconstruction- process of breaking down or taking apart the terms, concepts, and ideas that uphold truth claims -language is critical for the process of producing change -if language and practices are discursive (related to discourse), then there is a possibility of changing meanings and practice through discourse -discursive power is not the same as repressive power or power over, which is often observable as physical threats or acts of violence -productive power is less visible and more influential -as a way to participate in disclosure, postmodern feminist theorists began to deconstruct the phallocentrism and heteronormativity, because they are ideological and seem like common- sense ideas and remain unquestioned because of hegemonic culture -postmodern feminists contended that binary systems of inclusion and exclusion dictated by hegemonic culture were vested with the power to erase differences Phallocentrism- vested power of the phallus or penis, which constructed the proverbial modern man at the expense of women Queer Theory -rejects the idea of stable and unified gender and sexual categories and emphasizes fluidity, instability, and fragmentation of identities and multiplicity of gender and sexual categories -in the past used to exclude alternative sexualities -activists have remade the term as celebratory and unifying of lesbian-gay-bisexual- transgender-two spirited-intersexed-questioning (LGBTTIQ) -emerged in the 1990s to resist the norms -challenged the idea that queer experiences are all the same (homogenized) -focuses on individual truths and a self-understanding that demands the separation of sex and gender and sexuality -cisgender- gender identity -Mary Bernstein-queer politics -strives to be inclusive of all non-heteronormative identities, expressions, and practices -premised on difference and plurality rather than sameness Female Masculinity- a wide range of identities, from tomboyish to queerness -theorists off a third category of ‘gender neutr
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