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Women's Ways of Knowing
Transcript of Women's Ways of Knowing
Women of Silence
"To hear is to Obey
Women of Received Knowledge - Listening to the Voices of Others
Little confidence in their own ability to speak - believe the truth comes from others.
Women of Procedural Knowledge - Separate and Connected Knowing
Separate knowing (Doubting Game):
Critical thinking; tough minded
Assume that everyone, including self, might be wrong
Argument is possible only if pointless - still wary of hurting others feelings
Begin to allow self to vulnerability of others criticism
Feelings and personal beliefs are excluded
Women of Constructed Knowledge - Integrating the Voices
"Weaving together the strands of rational and emotive thought and of integrating objective and subjective knowing." (pg 134)
Women of Subjective Knowledge - The Inner Voice
"From Passivity to action, from self as static to self as becoming, from silence to a protesting inner voice and infallible gut" (pg 54)
Unquestionable submission to commands of authority figures
"Thinking for themselves violates their conceptions of what is proper for a woman" (p29)
See things in polarities - good/bad, win/loose
Only ability to describe oneself is through the views of others (just like children)
Surprised and relieved to hear others with the same point of views
Still believe authority figures as sources of truth
"Shun qualitative, welcome quantitative" (pg 41)
Comfortable with advancing self only if it is a means of helping others
"It is the act of giving rather than receiving that leads them to a greater sense of their capacity for knowing and loving" (pg 47)
No longer relying on authority for truth
Realizes that she has experiences that could be valuable to others, she too can know things
However still does not fully believe in their ideas and opinions - "not the masculine assertion that "I have a right to my opinion" rather the modest, inoffensive statement, "Its just my opinion". (pg 66)
Truth is a private matter and should not be imposed on others - less concerned than men are in persuading others to their point of view
Women of Subjective Knowledge - The Quest for Self
"Walking away from the past" - leaving oppressive relationships; branching out from strict family lives. Transition from depending on others to "going it alone"
Anti-male mentality for some
"Relationships feel unstable and the future is dim" (Pg 80) yet more optimistic than ever
Transition in how they view themselves - used to derive who they were from other peoples descriptions and their job roles etc
Some become oppositional and argumentative, however still are concerned with not hurting feelings of others
Predominant learning mode is of inward listening and watching; observations very important.
Still not ready to speak out about their perceptions
Women of Procedural Knowledge - The Voice of Reason
"The voice we hear in this chapter is much humbler, although ultimately more powerful... it is the voice of reason.
Intuitions may deceive and gut reactions can be irresponsible
Things are not always as they seem, knowing requires careful observations and analysis
Inner voice turns critical - think before speaking - sometimes often do not speak at all "but this is not a passive silence, on the other side of this silence, reason is stirring" (pg 94)
Try to gain control over their lives in a planned and deliberate fashion
Connected knowing (Believing Game):
Self is "allowed to participate"
Capacity for empathy but realize you can only approximate others experiences
Begin with interests in facts about others lives, but then switch to focus on others ways of thinking
"Purpose is not to judge, but to understand" (pg 116) - take a nonjudgmental stance
"What is needed is not reversion to sheer feeling but some sort of integration of feeling and thinking" (pg 130)
"Rather than extricating the self in the acquisition of knowledge, these women used themselves in rising to a new way of thinking." (pg 134)
"Women want to avoid what they perceive to be a shortcoming in many men - the tendency to compartmentalize thought and feeling, home and work, self and other." (pg 137)
Passionate knowing - use the self as an instrument of understanding - weaving passion and intellectual life
Listening to others no longer diminishes the capacity to hear own voice.
Replace doubting mentality with believing mentality
These women aspire to work that contributes to the empowerment and improvement in the quality of life in others.