WSTA01H3 Chapter 1: Feminism Matters

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WSTA01 Feminism Matters CH 1
Don’t call me that! Feminism and other F-words
The F-word
- the bad reputation that feminism continues to experience are a result of the powerful
negative stereotypes in everyday culture
- essentialism: the idea that a woman or man can be defined by a single characteristic
or grouping of characteristics
- sex refers to whats between the legs while gender refers to what’s between the
ears
- the assignment of genitilia is fixed at birth, and holds so much social power
- by assuming sex is fixed, gender characteristics can be assigned accordingly
- the term gender is used to express socially and historically constructed assumptions
about women and men
- these are social exception women and men perform in certain ways: work, marriage,
parenting, politics, education, religion etc.
- gender is what it means to be feminine or masculine at any given time or place
- sex is used to refer to the biological characteristics that differentiate women and men
based on visible differences in genitilia and reproductive capacities
- gender is cultural; it reflects the ways in which the social categories of masculine and
feminine are performed
- we have been socialized to perform particular gender roles aligned with traditional
notions of masculinity and femininity
- characteristcs have implications for how we think about men, women and ourselves
- we should view women as: strong, sensitive, dynamic, outspoken, smart,
independant, subjective, rational and nurturing
- Why do these sexist stereotypes in society retain such a strong influence on us, even
as we reject them?
How can such definitions hold power over us?
- words, identities, and concepts are socially and historically constructed
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Document Summary

The bad reputation that feminism continues to experience are a result of the powerful negative stereotypes in everyday culture. Essentialism: the idea that a woman or man can be defined by a single characteristic or grouping of characteristics. (cid:1688)sex refers to whats between the legs(cid:1689) while (cid:1688)gender refers to what"s between the ears(cid:1689) The assignment of genitilia is fixed at birth, and holds so much social power. By assuming sex is fixed, gender characteristics can be assigned accordingly. The term gender is used to express socially and historically constructed assumptions about women and men. These are social exception women and men perform in certain ways: work, marriage, parenting, politics, education, religion etc. Gender is what it means to be feminine or masculine at any given time or place. Sex is used to refer to the biological characteristics that differentiate women and men based on visible differences in genitilia and reproductive capacities.

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