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Gender - Revision Tutorial

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Jed H

on 28 October 2014

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Transcript of Gender - Revision Tutorial

Gender - Revision Tutorial
Feminism
Overview
First Wave
18th-early 19th century. Strong focus on removing legalities that disadvantaged women.
Second Wave
Began in the early 1960’s in the USA and ended in the early 1980’s. Broader focus on addressing de-facto inequalities as well as legal inequalities unlike first wave feminists. Rise of radical feminism.
Third Wave
Third Wave feminism: Loosely defined, 1990’s to present day. Response to perceived failures and backlashes of/against second wave feminism. Abolishment of gender roles and stereotypes and total gender equality, not just for women. Much more broadly politically active than previous waves.
"We all fight over what the label 'feminism' means but for me it's about empowerment. It's not about being more powerful than men - it's about having equal rights with protection, support, justice. It's about very basic things." - Annie Lennox
Feminist Theory
Examines the:
Creating a Feminist Reading
What's your Intention?
To
Closely
examine how gender imbalances manifest themselves through a text.
operation and effect of the patriarchy.
positioning of each gender in relation to each other and the power structures suggested by this positioning.
imbalance of power between genders and if a text reinforces/challenges the marginalisation of women.
attitudes/beliefs about gender the text positions the reader to naturalise.
use of patriarchal language to marginalise and discount females.
What is it?
A collection of movements and ideologies aimed at defining, establishing, and defending equal rights for women.
The Patriarchy
Social system in which males hold power. Men dominate in roles of political leadership, moral authority, social privilege, control of property and, in the domain of the family, fathers/father-figures hold authority.
Creating a Feminist Reading Cont.
Things to look for and Questions to Ask:
1. Look at the relationship of female characters to each other.
2. Review the role of females in relation to males and examine their differing occupations.
3. Examine how different characters influence the outcome(s) of the story.

4. Examine who holds power and evaluate how 'powerful' each character becomes.
5. Look at the construction of male and female characters.
6. Examine how male and female roles as well as masculinity and femininity are defined.

7. Look at what happens to the male characters as opposed to the female characters.
8. Examine the images, symbols and descriptions that are affixed to each gender.
9. How are characters named?
10. Look at what the text says about the effects of patriarchy.
11. Think about what attitudes the author appears to convey.
12. Look at the gender experience the text focusses on. Who's the protagonist?
13. Examine the assumptions about gender that've been made by the author or need to be made to understand the text.
14. Look at the context of the text's publication and at what this reveals about the operation of patriarchy.
Feminist Jargon
Traditional gender expectations:
Men: “rational, strong, protective, and decisive.”
Women: “emotional (irrational), weak, nurturing and submissive.”
Othering:
re-defining someone’s position in a manner that is most convenient to the definers.
Subject:
the person/group doing the defining.
Object:
the person/group who is being defined. In a patriarchal society, females are not allowed the power to define themselves.
False consciousness:
condition that “others” and disempowers a person (in this case females), who never question this condition because they view it as natural and normal.
Traditional gender roles:
Patriarchal masculinity.
Patriarchal femininity.
Binaries and dichotomies:
Rational vs. irrational; dominating vs. submissive; public domain vs. domestic realm; provider/protector/breadwinner vs. caretaker/mother/nurturer; strong vs. gentle/weak.

How do females react to patriarchal expectations:
Transgress/subvert/defy or succumb/submit/conform?
What happens to the patriarchy:
Entrenched/reinforced or destabilized/subverted/challenged?


Small Change - Meg Mundell, 2013
The woman’s blink rate tells him she’s nervous: almost once per second, four times the normal count. Jack knows a touch of nerves can help soften up a client, especially in the clinic’s private waiting cubicles, but if he overdoes it she may fear opening her wallet. And that must be avoided at all costs.
Today’s tuning strategy will combine his intuition with her file data: Kate Moore, 36, legal consultant, IQ 128. Single, lives alone, one cat; decent income, eldest child, immigrant-made-good parents who scrimped to afford private schools. Non-smoker, gym-goer; moderate drinker, wheat allergy. Likes the ocean, cinema games, soul music, fresh flowers – especially jonquils. Favourite colour: orange. No illicit drugs, no major social transgressions. Dog phobia. Body issues. Unremarkable sexual history. Referred by her mentor, who’s treating her for Type B depression, mild anxiety and low self-regard. Anxious about ageing, lack of partner, declining fertility, career plateau, etc. Yep, he gets the picture. And visually? A six out of ten. For now.
[...]
So she’s not prepared for the fresh-faced woman behind the desk; the medico can’t be older than late 20s, which Kate knows is impossible. Dark glossy hair swept back off a porcelain forehead, immaculate skin and symmetrical features, generous lips and a bright blue gaze. Slim, of course. And pale, fashionably pale. She stands to greet Kate, offers her hand: her smile is assured and perfectly aligned, her hand soft. Kate tries not to stare. The woman’s skin appears completely poreless. Focus, she tells herself. The medico is speaking.
Small Change - Synopsis
A speculative, futuristic tale of a woman who attends a clinic to have a whole-body cosmetic procedure.
The clinic is fine-tuned to convince clients to spend their money.
From a control room, a man called Jack alters lighting, releases scents and sounds that are registered only subconsciously, and controls cameras that shows the client’s body on a big screen.
Small Change - Your Reading
Guidelines:
1. Consider the points discussed earlier.
2. Use
feminist jargon
to add sophistication to your response.
3. You reading should be
2-4 sentances
in length.
4.
Be specific
- avoid wide, sweeping, general statements.
5. Consider the text as a whole.
6. Ensure you are creating a
thematic
reading.
QUIZ
What was one drawback of second-wave feminism?
Drawbacks:
Its radical concepts divided feminists. They also antagonised mainstream society, resulting in the formation of numerous negative stereotypes.
It was too 'essentialist' in focus, only concerned with the white population.
Name one thing a feminist would critique in a traditional Disney Fairy Tale?
Things to critique:
Presentation of women as helpless and reliant on men.
The emphasis of outward beauty in the princesses.
What distinguished third-wave feminism from previous waves?
Points of distinction:
Wider focus on total equality in society - not just gender-related equality.
Made feminism available to men.
Bigger focus on minority groups such as African American females.
What does the term 'False Consciousness' mean with reguards to Feminism?
False consciousness:
condition that “others” and un-empowers a person (in this case females), who never question this condition because they view it as natural and normal.
Character X refuses to marry Character Y, who she loves, in order to advance her career. She has _______________ traditional gender expectations.
Challenged.
Give a sample Feminist Reading of
Frankenstein
. You will be required to defend and justify your reading in response to input from your peers.
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