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Department
Sociology
Course
Sociology 2241E
Professor
Erin Demaiter
Semester
Winter

Description
First Semester Readings The Five Sexes: Why Male and FemaleAre Not Enough Anne Sterling • Her argument is very straightforward….the fact that nearly 4% of births are intersexual constitutes a definite recognizable minority of extant human beings • Males, females, herms, ferms, merms • It will take many generations for this monority to be accepted and openly integrated into society- just likeAfricanAmericans, homosexuals and other similar group. • Apart from the two traditional Western sexes (male and female), she proposes other three:
1) True Hermaphrodites (Herms):
 one testis and one ovary2) Male pseudohermaphrodites (merms):
 testes and some aspects of female genitalia but no ovaries3) Female psudohermaphrodites (ferms):
 ovaries and some aspects of the male genitalia but lack tests • The possibilities of variations in between those classic types, the percentage to which one has those those organs, are infinite though • Intersexuals are believed to represent 4% of the births • Her article brings some stories of intersexes revealing that since the MiddleAges in Europe they are being forced to choose between two sexes only • Most of her cases are from 1930 to 1960, from when compilations on the issue started being done in a systematical way to when surgical intervention to heterossexualize bodies become widespread • Some stories also highlight the possibility and naturility with which some persons escape the sex dualism and live their lives as intersexes • She says that contemporary medical practice is an example of Foucault's bio power on what objectified sexed bodies are made docile through medical interventions on the body and the essentialization of two sexes only • Society mandates the control of intersexual bodies because they blur and bridge the great divide • She proposes an utopian model in which medical treatment would be restricted to preserve life instead of adjusting bodies and behaviors to patterns of normality, and treatments in general would be a venture between physician, patient, and other advisers trained in issues of gender multiplicity Chapter 6 in Reader Listening to the Voices of Hijab Ruby • with the increasing number of muhajibah around the globe, the issue of the hijab has become a topic of debate • this “new” thing began two decades ago, and muslim women around the globe have since embraced it • HIJAB is often seen as a symbol of muslim women’s oppression and a restriction to their mobility • Many muslim women claim that it empowers them in numerous ways:
 making their identities distinct, taking control of their bodies, and giving them a sense of belonging to the wider muslim world • Because hijab is essentially just a piece of clothing that covers the female body, and women perceive it in different ways, the participants often feel pressure in the muslim community regardless of whether or not they are wearing a hijab Methodology and Sampling • Small population of muslim women in Saskatoon…author has personal contact with many of them and so she was able to identify participants • Using focus groups, 14 women interviewed from 12 different countries • Two groups of five- based on whether or not they wore a head scarf (each interview 90 mins) • The third group had four people and was a mixed group (interview 110 mins) • Ages ranged from 20-60 • Considered a case study • Alot of debates happen with the fundamental idea of temptation (whether or not hijabs are okay) • Scholars often associate the notion of temptation with women’s sexuality which is signaled by an uncovered appearance in public • Really this temptation could be looked at in the opposite way and that men have uncontrollable lust • The original definition of the reasoning behind the hijab said that it required lowering of the gaze and guarding modesty for both men and women….meaning a covered female body will not lead to a modest society until men behave in a similar manner What is the hijab? • Various definitions about what it is depending on who you ask • It is a physical garment, but also modest clothing that does not include covering the head…equally important in this research it also refers to modest behaviour • The idea of it with reference to head scarves or covering the body is only one element of it • The participants reported that if you are wearing one, it doesn’t not fully serve its purpose until the women believe in its practice • Modest behaviour is a fundamental aspect • They felt it is not just about covering your head but watching how you act as well • One women sees it as an ethical belief not just an article of clothing Why or Why not where a one? • It is argued that it sets a boundary between men and women that helps them avoid premarital relationships • Awomen’s beauty being concealed, because beauty brings a lot of other things… freedom for example • The hijab is a means of minimizing interaction between men and women • This promotes virginity, even though this is not restricted • One participant believes that it is a tool that diminishes sexual appeal and promotes a virtuous public domain • Some women wear it because they feel responsible for a moral society, others wear it because it offers them respect, dignity and protection • It desexualizes the body • Your relationship with the muslim religion should not depend on whether you are wearing one or not • Seen as cultural not so much based on religion according to the participants The Hijab as an Identity Symbol • “if I see a women wearing one, I know she is a muslim and it creates a sense of community which is a nice feeling” • they don’t want to identify with the west, they want to be identified with their culture • they don’t HAVE to wear it, but they want to embrace their culture • bad thing though- some bad stereotypes (terrorist) • not necessarily for personal identity, more so people know you are a muslim • when you wear one, you are representing the whole muslim community • appears as a sign of adulthood The Hijab, the Body, the Gaze • many prominent scholars say that veiling women is an act of control…they argue it is a result of oppressive social hierarchies • contrary to these beliefs…the women in this study actually felt as though the hijab let them take control of their own bodies • they feel it lets them set boundaries between them and the outside world • they argue that it is not a mark of oppression, but a sign of liberation that protects them from a sexist society • basically they all talk about being free from the male gaze • ***the non wearers of the hijab say that in canada, the head scarves are often scrutinized…she notices that when they go out in public with daughters that wear the hijab, people stare at them which is THE OPPOSITE of what it is supposed to do Through Western Eyes • in the media, women who wear hijabs are often seen as oppressed • visible signs of oppression have increased since 9/11 • they are often seen as others in Canadian society, which is supposed to be multi cultural • WOLF AND THE BEAUTY MYTH:
 often resulted in the objectification of women, and the expenditure of large amounts of money to achieve the ideal body Conclusion • Discusses the concept of the hijab and its meaning to immigrant muslim women • The idea of the hijab ranges from wearing it to demonstrate modest behaviour, some linked it with the morals of being muslim, and some thought it was a sign of opposing immoral values • For those who wear it, it is a religious obligation • The non wearers think it is a cultural symbol • MARK OF IDENTITY • North American usually see it as negative..and we almost always see it as a sign of oppression rather then any of the perhaps positive things that the muslim women see • The non wearers maybe do not have racism about wearing the hijab, but they will feel some sort of rejection in the muslim community • Basically it creates spaces between all levels Chapter Five: Doing Gender West and Zimmerman Next Thursday: Kessler attribution process and Joan archers macro level approach Next Tuesday: Institutionalization of Racialization ESSAYS SHOULD BE WRITTEN INASOCIAL CONTRUCTIONIST PERSEPCTIVE • Late 1980’s….doing gender always comes up, VERY SIGNIFICANT • In the beginning, there was sex and there was gender • Teachers were told to differentiate the two…they were not the same • Sex- ascribed • Gender- achieved • To introduce the two, they draw on singular case studies of hermaphrodites and anthropological investigations of strange and exotic tribes • The week of each term, students wre confused • Sex hardly seemed a given context • And gender didn’t seem like an achievement • Since 1975, the confusion had intensified and spread far beyond the classrooms • Learned that the relationship between biological and cultural processes were more complex and reflective • Certain structural arrangements between work and family for example actually produce or enable some capacities, such as to a mother, that we formerly associated with biology Purpose of the article: • To propose is an ethno methodologically informed, and therefore distinctively sociological understand of gender as routine, methodical and recurring accomplishment • “doing” gender is undertaken by women and men whose competence as members of society is hostage to its production • “doing” gender involves a complex of socially guided perceptual, interactional activities that cast particular pursuits as expressions of masculine and feminine natures • when the authors view gender as an accomplishment, an achieved property, the attention shifts from matters internal to the individual and focuses on interactional and institutional arenas • doing gender is a feature of social situations and various social arrangements • they begin an assessment of the received meaning of gender, particularly in relation to the roots of this notion in presumed biological differences between men and women They Criticize: • how both gender role and gender display focus kn behavioural aspects of being a man OR a woman…as opposed to a mix of the two perhaps Perspectives on Sex and Gender: • in western societies, the accepted cultural perspective on gender views women and men as natural defined categories of being • each having distinct properties of behaviour and thinking • adult members see differences between the two as fundamental and enduring • differences are supported by the divison of labor in womens and mens work • this is all rooted in the fact that men and women are perceived to be naturally different • the structural arrangements of society are presumed to be responsive of these differences • SEX DIFFERENCEAPPROACH… • reducing gender to a fixed set of psychological traits or to a unitary variable precludes serious consideration • Role Theory has attended to the social construction of gender categories called SEX ROLES • Roles are situated identities rather than master identities…the difference being that situated assumed and relinquished as the situation demands, master identities cut across situations • Many roles are already gender based….so male nurse sounds weird • The article argues that gender is not a set of traits, nor a variable, nor a role, but the product of social doings of some sort Goffman’s Gender Display: • Object here is to explore how gender might be exhibited or portrayed through interaction and thus be seen as natural, while it is being produced as a socially organized achievement • Goffman contends that when human beings interact with others in their environments, they assume that each possesses an ESSENTIAL NATURE • This nature can be discerned through the natural signs given off or expressed by them…think of asylums….this is seen as normal for then…a new reality MainArguments:
 • Provide a critical examination of what sociologists have meant by gender • Advance arguments beyond the idea of gender role and gender display….want to critically examine this • We DO GENDER EVERYDAY IN OUR INTERACTIONS • Sex, sex categorization and gender they talk about Sex: • The way we have talked about it • “a determination made through the application of socially agreed upon biological criteria for classifying persons as females or males” • penis or vagina is the sex criteria….ANATOMY…not that different from what we have talked about Sex Category: • sex category assumes sex and stands in as a proxy • you cannot physically seen ones anatomy, when you engage in discussion or convo with them, they argue sex categoryASSUMES one sex, stands in as a proxy for it… • “placements in a sex category is achieved through the application of the sex criteria, but in everyday life, categorization is established and sustained by the socially required identifacory displays that proclaim ones membership in one or the other category:
 • identification displays…facial hair, clothes, breasts, size of shoulders, voices, hands, way one acts, hair styles…signals from the person that they are different sex or the same sex • achieved is very different than ascribed…. • We cant visibly see a person’s genitals so we use this • Your interaction continues on and there is not really any conscious thought about it SO WHAT IF YOU ARE INCAPABLE TO PLACE THEM IN THESE CATEGORIES? **People really don’t like this idea that you meet someone, ambiguity occurs pg 33… disturbed by this question of category because of the society we have been brought up in Sex Categorization As Natural: • Not always linked to sex criteria… • BUT perceived as natural/biological • Based on social cues not biological, but the idea of sex categories is seen as natural which is strange • More status of two sex world • Embarrassed if don’t fit in • Embarrassed if cant classify • Keeps the two sex system in place and maximizes successful displays of sex categorization What is gender: • “the activity of managing situated conduct in light of normative conceptions of attitudes and activities appropriate for one’s sex category. Gender activities emerge from and claims to membership in a sex category:
 • gender is not simply an aspect of what one is • not biological • not a set of straits, variables or roles • gender is not a property of the individual • want to go beyond that gender is at the micro level- it is at the meso level • a “routine, methodical and recurring accomplishment” • doing gender is an action • achieved • constituted through every day interaction • created, recreated enacted and re enacted over the course of our lives • gender shapes your experiences as an individual and gender emerges from these experiences ACase Study: Agnes • understand the idea of gender being created • Agnes is a transsexual…born a male, has male genitalia, and wanted to be and felt like a female • at 17, adopted a female gender identify, and had SRS several yers later • then had to learn what it meant to be a woman • “the accomplishment of gender” • number of procedures that reinforce the woman roles…appropriate clothes, acted girly..tighter… • conscious of women’s behaviours in terms of their interactions • all in a tempt to pass and SUCCESSFULLY SEX CATEGORIZED as a “normal female” • constantly watched evaluated and judged What does doing gender mean: • creating differences • create differences between girls and boys and woman and men…that are not natural, essential, or biological…but look as though they are • different from what weve learned…weve learned that gender differences are innate and create inequality • but they argue that inequality is creating gender differences • what happens if we fail to do gender right? • It is us as individuals that are called into account when you don’t do it right…our motives, our character…they are challenged • “Doing deference and doing dominance” • invisible because cloaked in reflection of natural difference • act of doing gender, is invisible…under the cloak that gender is natural • reinforces and legitimizes status differences Example of doing gender:
 men opening doors for women…why? • Placed into two categories • Opening the door is a social cue…defines differences and recreates • Good for a man to do so • opening the door for a woman is an example of sex categorization…a random thing that we do place them in categories • Helps us to understand what gender is…reoccurring…always happens..not given a lot of though… • Shows how gender is interactional…how you experience being a boy or girl Gender and Accountability: • We hold ourselves and each other accountable for our presentation of gender • Others are constantly observing and evaluating and judging others • Held accountable in terms of how behaviour measures up to normative social categories… • Constant awareness makes it interaction Doing GenderAvoidable?: • “while it is individuals who do gender, the enterprise is fundamentally interactional and institutional in character, for accountability is a feature of social relationships…” • basically, we cannot avoid it • we are always doing it • as long as we live in a world saturated with ebeliefs about essentialist ideas of sex differences, you and everything you do and say will create and recreate gender even things that challenge this system • gender is OMNIRELEVANT- you will always be judged about what you will do as a man or woman….always held accountable for your action, Examples:
 • sex segregated washrooms…institutionalized within separate settings….womens have really nice washrooms….mens are really not like that all • organized sports • mating practices Strengths: • moves beyond biological • provides a mico/meso level analysis of gender and gender processes • improves on goffmans idea of gender displays…situates gender in all interactions, constituting one of the core features of interaction..goffman would say you only do this when necessary • helps us to understand how individuals produce and reproduce gender inequality through everyday interactions • doing gender is constant, unconsciously or consciously…OMNIRELEVANT • such a core feature of our interaction • doing difference…doing deference or dominance….we are producing and reproducing inequalities • bring down the social inequalities potentially Shortcomings: • tihngs over looked • WHY do we act the way we do? How did we get to where we are today? • The theory does not explain where the interpretation of normal male and female come from • Little room for individual resistance Focus heavily on gender and overlook other factors *Lorber   Biology as ideology  Society is built on two distinct classes  She is a social constructionist   Reality: men and womens bodily material is the same, besides genitals   Bodies differ physiologically but are transformed by social practices to fit into  binary categories (male and female)  In western societies there are two distinct categories   Once born either a boy or a girl  She talks about how society exaggerates our social ideas  Sport constructs gendered bodies  Men are strong and powerful, women are small and sexual  Secondary status is shown by these descriptions  Technology Constructs Gendered Skills:  Men, create program and market computers, boys play games, socialize and  commit cvrimes with computer  Women…lower skilled, desk jobs, data entry …girls, rarely involved in computer  clubs, camps or class rooms  YET: 1940’s, women did computer work that required demanding and complex  skills….  Men became interest in technology with social evolution, no biology here She argues:  Some physiological differences between male and female bodies  But these should be socially meaningless   Social practices transform the differences into social facts  Differences are exaggerated   How do men come to see themselves as superior to women?  CHODOROW****  Not biology…the result of a boys social relational experiences are from earliest  infancy  Child at young age   Freud=genitals  Nature and quality of social relations from birth with family and community   Gender gained through a process of separation and identification  Social – relationships   “social relational experience”  the self only know itself from relation to others  Primary Identification  primary attachment to mom  sense of oneness with mom  this stage is different for boys and girls (individualization and separation) Separation and Individualization­ Girls  mothers identify with girls more  mom encourages separation  through personal identification, identify with her at a bigger intensity  soft boundaries  ▯makes the child no able to fully individuate from her mother  girls understand themselves and gender roles through this connection with mom  no re inventing  girls see that mommy is the same  emulate mums roles, qualities and action  feminine personality develops  Separation and Individualization­ Boys   mom pushes the male away  encourages separation  dis identification­ opposite to mom  hard boundaries…and complete individuation occurs  define themselves in opposition to feminity   he defines himself in positional identification with dad, who is not often available   thus, he creates a fantasy of what a man is, because dad is unavailable and remote  masculine personality develops  Alternative Families  single parent families with mom as the primary caregiver… turns out the exact  same  single father (male child same as girls with their mums, maybe a more feminine  boy, girls are the same as mom and boy maybe more masculine) **the acquisition of gender is not biology ­gender identity is acquired/achieved   Freud: visible anatomical differences, sexual energy  Chodorow: separation and individualization process  Still reinforces a binary view on gender  Focuses on gender differences without fully accounting for power, institutional  dimensions of gender  **Leacock  Egalitarian   When women are able to exercise that same degree of autonomy or freedom and  control over their lives as men do  She looks historically and compares the change  How have the changes impacted gender relationships?  Have women always been lower than men?  Some societies existed that had NO gender inequality  Still there are differences, but the differences do not result in inequality   SHE IS AGAINST BIOLOGICAL DETERMINISM  The Montagnais: Naskapi People  17  century  she studied them  no advanced technology, no money, no market place to buy commodities  no processed food, no houses, no roads  nomadic society, they moved constantly which is how they survived   lived off of the land  three or four people in a tent  hunting and gathering  there was no existing hierarchy   sharing, patience  1. No marked division of labor (this doesn’t necessarily suggest NO difference)  2. Women had a say in daily decisions   3. Communal sense of responsibility for children  How were they organized?  Matrilocal kin (tend to live with wive’s family)  Divorce was OK, there was nothing to fight over  Polygamy was accepted  Sexual freedom, no worries about parenting  Any inheritance would go through the mother’s birth line  Egalitarian Society:  Maybe they didn’t do the same tasks, but men and women had the same equality  Equal access to power  Rise of the Fur Trade  Enter British and French  Fur trade was the primary economic activity  Separate spheres of men and women’s work  Men work taken out of the family context  Family groups broke down into smaller  Emphasis on your OWN children   Changed the emphasis on property and possession  Shift to individualism  Permanent settlements = TODAY  Matrilocal turned to patrilocal, and matrilineal turned to patrilineal  This had a huge impact on power  Emphasis on dad and son  Man making the economic contribution  SUMMARY:  Egalitarian vs. hierarchal  Group focus vs. nuclear family  No marked DOL vs. clear sex roles  Matrilocal vs. patrilocal kinship  Stasiulis Article: Focus Questions: 1. What is robust power of race in intersectional theory? • Thus far, feminists have started to include race to understand processes • Race is another way to segregate people into social groups….its a “common  sense way” • History of often being used to see people • Ex: nurses…white nurses thought they were better than black nurses….even  though they still have the same job • Race is drawn on because it gives some groups more power while keeping  other groups with less power  • Common sense, history, visual, power to certain groups, exploits others • Evokes psychosexual set of response….racism and sexuality...unconscious  response to people based on race and sex (false stereotypes) • Racism is empowering   • The physicality of race and the political level  • See race at all levels  2. What are the pitfalls of racial essentialism? • What are the problems of focusing so heavily on race? • 1. We created a dichotomy…white vs. black…excludes others…making these two  binary groups again…suggests that there are only two experiences again…again,  too simplified • 2. Link race to skin colour rather than structural location…focusing on individual  characteristics which isn’t necessarily a good thing • 3. Hierarchy of racial oppression based on skin colour…leaves out other groups  3. How do role, national, ethnic, and religious identities play in terms of  intersectionality theory? • Get rid of race? • Focus on other characteristics? Maybe better • not an additive model • they all interlock together and work together…not independent from each other • how do we define these terms then? • Much more complicated then gender and race…challenging to define • Not as “visible”… • So many variations here 4. What are the pitfalls of cultural essentialism  • Its bad to think of cultural as fixed • For example: the wearing of the hijab is for many reasons there are not set in  stone reasons why women wear hijabs, and essentialists would argue that there are • Essentialists would argue that you are a certain culture if you follow certain  guidelines, and that is not necessarily the case­ it can change over time and there  are many things involved with culture • The basic problem is applying “universal” laws to cultures, because cultures are  all so different • Potential of cultural othering….ethnocentrism  Film: “Iron Jawed Angels” • Alice Paul and Lucy Burns • First Wave Feminism • TheAmerican women’s suffrage movement 1. What are some of the concerns that kept women from wanting to be apart of the suffrage movement? • Portraying both sides of the suffrage movement… • Some women don’t really know what to do, and alice paul is the opposite • The warden is another example who doesn’t really know what to do…but she ends up helping them in the jail with the letter from alice 2. What kept Emily Leighton from participating at first? What do you think changed her mind? 3. Would you have sacrificed all thatAlice Paul and the other women did? 4. Are there any causes that you feel strongly about? How far would you go to further that cause? Feminism: Dead or Alive: ­Article ­third wave is hard to define • Don’t follow a single agenda • Don’t share same political motivation • Diverse, fluid and complicated • Future of Canada is NOT post feminism…active • Pushing movement  • Women who are younger than second wave feminists • Different style? Maybe yes • Pluralistic about sexuality and fashion…not just white middle class (multi racial) • Alert…compared to second wave to issue of class and race • Engaged in willing to use power….media…. • Don’t really need a definition or label…just younger • Recognizing difference among women o Women’s experiences are not all the same o Have to recognize diversity  • Building coalitions o A guy in the high school feminist organization o Never used to be like that o Try to combine power to make a difference  • Engaging in every day resistance  o Second wave wasn’t woven into every day lives o Second waves had rallies, conventions…then move on with their everyday lives o Things you may not think are feminism but they are…trying to promote feminism  all the time • BEING MEDIA SAVVY *** o Accessing media and using to benefit to push the argument and make progress o Ways to get ideas across and get info received quickly • EMBRACE AESTHICS AND CONSUMERISM o Embrace girl culture and that women can be pretty and sexy and have the latest  fashions and still be a feminist  • Focusing on individualism  o Look at individual person because everyone is different and experiencing life  differently  o Problem is that people will say how are you going to make change then? o Critique is how can you achieve anything significant if you’re focusing on the  individual  o SURRENDERED WIVES AND THE WAR AGAINST BOYS  Kaufman’s Research • It is men who are committing the rimes • The vast majority of men remain silent on this issue • The silence of men has allowed the violence to continue  • **”complex puzzle” Seven P’s • Patriarchal power  ▯male dominated societies are not only based on hierarchy of  men over women, but some men over other men…establishes pecking order… established in childhood, internalize violence, can sometimes even be self directed  violence, ensure the continued reaping of privileges and exercise of power… we  exist in a patriarchal…remaining silent….by not talking out they are agreeing  pretty much, violence is one way to maintain their hierarchy  • Sense of privilege  ▯his conscious is not experience is not the key here…violence  is often the logical outcome of his sense of entitlement of certain things….if a  man beats his wife for not having dinner ready, it is not only to make sure it  doesn’t happen again, but it is a
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