Reclaiming of the F word.docx

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Gender and Women's Studies
GWST 3520
Sandra Whitworth

Reclaiming of the F word By Catherine Redfern & Kristine Aune Preface - About reclaiming feminism - Core Argument: “That there are serious gender inequalities in the world today and feminists are acting to challenge them – remains true” - Feminists are still active - Mainstream media claim = feminism dead - Financial crises gendered - Causes and impacts, governments subsequent policy decisions, are gendered - Lethbridge calls “vulnerable employment” affects women more then men (causal, badly paid, poor conditions - Obama’s 2009 stimulus package, the American recovery and Reinvestment act helps both men and women - Gender equality in parenting and care (daycare, retirement homes, disabled relatives etc) - Sexual violence not taken seriously (New Delhi bus case) - Downplaying its seriousness (legitimate rape, grey rape, forcible rape, date rape) Introduction - “My experiences of the 1970s was you have a very clearly definable women’s movement. You have women in consciousness raising groups, political parties and in trade unions, critically, organizing a serious of demands….. and I don’t have that sense now that there is anything – well, there really isn’t – anything which cuts across all those different issues.” Patricia Hewitt pg 2 - “Survey of 1,000 readers of Cosmopolitan magazine in 2006 found that 96% believed a women should receive the same pay as a man for doing the same job, 96% thought women should have a right to a career as well as men. – or instead of – motherhood, and 85% believed women should have the right to choose abortion. “ - “500 British women questioned in 2006, 29% considered themselves feminists” - “A 2008 poll of 1,000 readers of Stella Magazine found that nearly 40% called themselves feminists.” Pg 4 - Feminism about equality and freedom of choice for men and women (pg 7) - Prime minister Margaret Thatcher “There is no such thing as society: there are individual men and women, and there are families. It’s up to the individual to decide how to live: to work hard, take risk and hopefully thrive… pg 9 - Talking equality report = negative headlines about feminism’s reputation among young people - Feminists want: 1. Liberated bodies 2. Sexual freedom and choice 3. An end to violence against women 4. Equality at work and home 5. Politics and religion transformed 6. Popular culture free from sexism 7. Feminism reclaimed Chapter 1 - Women’s lives are better, body concerns are still a large issue - Naomi Wolf pointed out economic power = beauty backlash - “The beauty myth is not about women at all, it is about men’s institutions and institutional power” Wolf - Lack of access to reproductive and health-care services, rise in HIV/STDS - Issue of sterilization - Demand: Liberated bodies, from an oppressive, negative culture of body hatred; shame and ignorance. And liberation to adorn and express them however we choose, and to decide what happens to them. Pg 20 - Beauty ideals from Asia, south America, middle east desire for whiteness (change eyes, hair, skin color) - British women worried about body size and physical appearance. - “Retail Therapy” glorified, criticized, demand - Acceptance of female menstrual cycle and reproduction - Katharina Dalton (1950) Believed women should stay in bed a week before and during their cycle. Chapter 2 - Covers sex education, double standards, pornography, homophobia, weddings, divorce, and sexual bullying. - Explores what prevents women from exercising free sexual choices - What is free choice? No choice is completely free from historical, social, cultural, economic and other influences. Pg 49 - Author believes human sexuality and relationships are varied, unpredictable and exciting Pg 50 - Double standards, virgins vs. whores - Key goal, women not being punished for saying yes to sex - Study of boys 14-16 found that they thought pressure and alcohol to get a girl to have sex was acceptable. Debate between “just a bit of pressure” and “proper rape” Pg 57 - Concern with pornography, male point of few, penetration the only “real form” of sex - People working in pornography objectified or not? - LGBTQIs (homophobia issue) discriminated against by family, work, religion, health-care etc - Homosexuality illegal in eighty countries, punishable by death in 5 (pg 62) - Compulsory heterosexuality, Adrienne Rich pg 65 - Freedom to leave marriage, Option of divorce (women forced to stay in marriages) - Representing men & women as equally desirable (men seen as attractive at any age, when women age and get “ugly” or unwanted) - Expanding women’s access to sexual information (She’s got Labe, The hand that cradles the rock) topics ranging from sex after childbirth to women-only sex parties Chapter 3 - Violence against women: forced abortions, female infanticide, female genital mutilation, acid throwing etc - Worldwide, at least one in three women will be beaten, coerced into sex, or otherwise abused in her lifetime (pg77) - This chapter: rape, sexual violence, domestic violence, abuse in intimate relationships, everyday harassment and violence suffered by women in the sex industry - Estimated 80,000 women are raped each yr in the UK (pg 78) - Sudan & Afghanistan, raped women can be prosecuted for adultery and even sentenced to death. (pg 78) - Issue: Blaming the victim, Rape presented as a women’s issue - “ We found no evidence that women who are more outgoing are more likely to be raped, this is completely inaccurate, we found no difference whatsoever. The alcohol thing is also completely wrong: if anything, we found that men reported they were willing to go further with women who are completely sober…. When I saw the article my heart completely sank, and it made me really angry, given how sensitive the subject is. To be making claims like the telegraph did, in my name, places all the blame on women, which is no what we were doing at all.” Pg 82 - Rebecca and Russell Dobash “the social positioning of marital partners supports men’s control and domination of women through various means, including the use of force.” Pg 87 - Issue of everyday harassment
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