Gender studies

1. How the first, second, and third waves of feminism are similar and different [For example, see the Ch. 1 intro material and “This Isn’t her Mother’s Feminism”]The main purpose of the first wave of feminism,  took place during the late 1800s to 1920, was to promote women’s legal rights. These rights, particularly the right to vote, were fought for by women for an equal participation in society (Shaw and Lee p. 4).1st Wave – The aim was to give women the same legal / political rights, and was most prominent in the US and the UK.The second wave of feminism occurred during the sixties and seventies. It began when there was a demand for women to be represented in academic studies, such as the demand for literature by female authors to be studied in a collegiate setting. This wave of feminism went on to accomplish legal and political changes such as freedom from sexual harassment and assault in the workplace and college, establishing equal pay, and the development of the EEOC, where discrimination cases in the workplace were handled (Shaw and Lee p.4). 2nd Wave – The aim of second wave feminism was to address the personal, psychological, and sexual aspects of female oppression.1950s-1980s Social Context: civil rights, reproductive and educational access, body image, putting women into the public sphere, wage equality/women’s right to work, came into context after WWII, women (specifically white middle class women) had been working during the war and were basically told to go back home, Health movement.First wave feminism resulted in the right to vote and the removal of the notion that married women are property of men.Second wave accomplished Roe vs Wade, equal pay act, access to birth control, illegalized workplace discrimination for women.The third wave of feminism emerged in the 1990s. Activists of the third wave were critical of the activists of the second wave that had come before them, accusing them of focusing on mostly white, middle class experiences. This third wave effectively took feminism more international, more multicultural, and more gender open. This wave is more inclusive of other inequalities as it does not solely focus on the white middle class experience. 3rd Wave – The aim of third wave feminism was to challenge and expand common definitions of gender and sexuality. From the third wave patriarchy was introduced which is a system where males dominate because power and authority are in the hands of adult men.2. What feminism is and why we still need it [For example, see the Ch. 1 intro materials, reading #2, 4 and 5 and “This Isn’t her Mother’s Feminism”]Feminism is when a person who believes in and work toward social, economic, and political equality for women. Feminism is the paradigm for understanding self and society in women’s studies. There are many different definitions of feminism, but the two core principles are concerns equality and justice for all women and men (goal: human dignity and equality for all people, women, and men) and Inclusive and affirming of women. It is a perspective political theory and a social movement.We need still need feminism because of the intersectionality of inequalities that women still face today such as racism, sexism, ageism, class, and sexual orientation. We need feminism because educating and empowering women matters and is important to achieve equality for women.3. What unearned privilege is in relation to identity categories such as race, class, gender, and ability looks like, and how this impacts people [For example, see the Ch. 2 intro material, reading #10, and “Talk,” video]I would say that the unearned privilege in relation to race, class, gender, and ability looks like is intersectionality because the identity categories are interconnected. Intersectionality seeks to examine how race, class, gender, and ability, but they simultaneously contribute to different degrees of systematic injustice and social inequality.The category of race is racism which is the unearned privilege of negative feelings, beliefs, and preconceptions about people of a particular race. And there is white privilege which is the unearned perks or advantages of being white, which often goes unrecognized by people who are whites. The category of class is class privilege which is the unearned perks or advantages of being middle class, which often goes unrecognized by the middle class. The category of gender is sexism which is a system of advantage based on sex that presents prejudices or discriminations based on a person’s sex. One sex is assumed to be superior to the other and discrimination results. According to this understanding of sexism, both men and women can be harmed by sexism. Sexism and gender-based prejudices can be used as interchangeable. The category of ability is able bodied privilege which is the unearned perks or advantages of being able-bodied, which often goes unrecognized by those who are able-bodied.Oppression affects every person of a targeted group. I believe that the targeted group is the un-privileged group. I know that oppression is full of contradictions. In reading #10 by Audre Lorde states how we are depending on our biases to create a specific form of oppression and give one priority or power over another. She also urges that we should not think of the various forms of oppression as distinction from each other, but rather as a whole, which extends to all forms of oppression. She says, “There is no hierarchy of oppression.”. Lorde stresses the value of embracing all the aspects, or subjectivities, of the self which in her case, include prominently ‘black’, ‘lesbian’, ‘feminist’ and ‘poet’ in saying “I simply do not believe that one aspect of myself can possibly profit from the oppression of any other part of my identity.”.4. What we can do to fight back against racism, sexism, heterosexism, and any other isms or forms of inequality [For example, see the Ch. 2 intro material, “5 Tips for being a Proactive Ally” video]Ally is a person of privilege who acts in solidarity with a disadvantaged group to fight the social and structural injustice from which they benefit.5. What it means for gender to be socially constructed, and how this impacts our lives [For example, see the Ch. 3 intro materials, reading #18, “Always #Like a Girl,” and “Childhood Gender Roles in Adult Life”]6. What it means to be transgender, what kinds of injustices transgender people face, and how these injustices have been resisted and challenged [For example, see the Ch. 3 intro materials, the Katie Couric interview of Laverne Cox]7. How minority women resist beauty norms (related to size, ability, ethnicity, and/or race) [For example, see the Ch. 4 intro materials]8. How globalization impacts beauty norms, creating problems particularly for women who aren’t part of the dominant Western ideal for beauty [For example, see the Ch. 4 intro materials, and “Julie Chen’s Secret” video clip]9. What is the “male gaze” and how can it be resisted? — [For example, see the Chapter 5 intro materials; reading #27; and supplemental materials from Miss Representation]10. How the media shapes conceptions about gender and gender norms, and how and why these messages are problematic for women and men — [For example, see the Chapter 5 intro materials; reading #27 and; and supplemental materials from Miss Representation]11. What compulsory heterosexuality is, and how this norm impact people who do not identify as heterosexual [For example, see the Ch. 6 intro materials, “The Myth of the Gay Agenda,” and “Coming Out of Your Closet” video]12. How the concept of virginity is problematic for young people, and how virginity and promiscuity are used to constrict women’s sexuality [For example, see the Ch. 6]

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