Agency and Resistance Reading 3
80’s anti prostitution, anti pornography/ pro worker rights
Women’s Victim Model Attempt to empower women by suggesting that sex assault
victim, sex trade worker, & women victimized by pornographers or sweatshops could be
a Survivor, not a victim.
We see this as a necessary step for women’s rights
Resistance is manifest either individually or collectively, at the local level or at the level
of the state, as a first response or a last resort.
Forms of resistance: Battered women’s movement, Take back the night marches, No
means no date rape campaigns.
*All contributing to social change through awareness and funds.
Activism is a highly visible form of resistance as well as
Implications for childhood custody
However, law rarely has room for agency and even less for agency of women.
Women often depicted as victims, usually sexualized victims by the law
Mary Ebert’s: States that Law deals with only sexual aspects of women’s lives:
Staggenborg calls 3 wave feminism the global women’s movement because it focuses
on international issues including violence against women, and reproductive rights
Race, beauty, and the tangled knot of a guilty pleasure Reading 4
Miss America beauty pageant some women threw bras/ false eyelashes into the trash to
protest the “degrading mindless boob girlie symbol.”
Feminist scholarship remains caught between two competing analyses of beauty.
1 Framing beauty as part of a structure of oppression
2 Describing beauty as a potential pleasurable instrument of female agency
Bodies provide us with a principle means of expression, yet our bodies are read in ways
that defy our intentions. They are the subjects of targets and advertisements. They mark
us in ways the place us in social categories & may form the bases of solidarities.
Section 1: The place of race in feminism work on beauty
Presence, absence, and reappearance of race in feminist theories of beauty Racist ideologies often promote the appearance of the dominant group against the
purported ugliness of the subordinate group. In this reading, it is the case between
Whites & African Americans, or other ethnic groups.
Being white= considered selfevident beauty
Garveys mass African American movement Said “take all the pictures of white
women off your walls, and elevate your own women (African American) to that
place of Honour”
Young said Women take up the view of themselves as things “looked at, and
acted upon” and use cosmetics, diets and other disciplinary practices in attempt to
craft themselves into more beautiful things. She acts upon herself to realize the
will of a generalized male gaze.
It is clear that women as a group work to change their appearances more than men
The feelings of inadequacy produced by the presence of beauty standards in
women’s lives are arguably among the most personal manifestations of
gender inequality in our lives.
AfricanAmerican still marked as exotic, Asian women were portrayed as
*Racism & sexism intertwine in the form of a normalizing discourse that marks women
of colour as abnormal, and THUS flawed.
Section 2&3: how recent feminist analyses of beauty and attempted to complicate
earlier feminist theory by bringing women’s experiences of pleasure into the
analysis (Pleasure of beauty)
Cahill beautification is positive when it i