How the man is keeping us (women) down Patriarchy Traditional Gender Roles Masculine Feminine Things Men Dont Do? Being a Man in Patriarchal Culture
Most of the behaviors listed on the previous slide, behaviors forbidden to men, are probably considered womanish. Inferior, beneath the dignity of manhood Men who cry are called sissies (sound like sister?) One of the most devastating verbal attacks on a man is to compare him to a woman Therefore, whenever patriarchy wants to
undermine a behavior it portrays it as feminine Conversely Being a Woman in Patriarchal Culture The patriarchal concept of femininity which is linked to frailty, modesty, and timidity disempowers women in the real world
According to traditional gender roles: It is not feminine to succeed in business It is not feminine to be extremely intelligent It is not feminine to earn the big bucks It is not feminine to have strong opinions It is not feminine to have a healthy appetite (for anything) It is not feminine to assert ones own rights Now to be clear, Im not knocking Hilliary
Clinton. I would have voted for her had she gotten the democratic nomination What were talking about here is how women like Mrs. Clinton are often perceived and represented because their behavior does not align with
traditional gender roles http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jAKM _YqhPws Dont believe that these patriarchal ideas are deeply
rooted in our society? Lets look at the fairytales most children are indoctrinated with. Fairytales To illustrate the debilitating effects of patriarchal gender roles Femininity is equated with submission Our heroines
Tolerate familial abuse (evil stepmothers, etc) Wait patiently to be rescued by a man View marriage as the only reward for right conduct In these same stories, masculinity requires men to be wealthy rescuers Responsible for making women happy ever after Men must be unflagging super-providers without emotional needs - (consequently, stereotypical gender roles are damaging for men as well as for women). Por ejemplo
In Snow White, Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella A beautiful sweet girl females must be beautiful, sweet and young if they are to be worthy of romantic admiration is rescued For she is incapable of rescuing herself By the dashing young man who carries her off to be married to him and live happily ever after. Marriage to the right man is guaranteed happiness
and the proper reward for all right-minded young women In all three tales, the main female characters are stereotyped as either good girls (gentle, submissive, virginal, angelic) bad girls (violent, aggressive, worldly, monstrous) Tink revels in being an abandoned creature
These characterizations imply that if a woman does not accept her patriarchal gender role, the only role left for her is that of monster. In all three the evil women are also vain, petty, jealous and infuriated because they are not as beautiful as the main character Even when women are evil and powerful, their concerns are still trivial What kind of goal is being fairest of them all?
In two of the three stories, the young maiden is awakened from a deathlike slumber by the potent kiss of her would be lover. This ending implies that the proper patriarchal young woman is sexually dormant until awakened by the man who claims her. Patriarchal ideology is pervasive and hegemonic, it programs us without our knowledge or consent. How many of you have really thought about what
all your favorite Disney princesses were teaching you? The Binaries Male and Female Masculine and Feminine Good girls and bad girls There are only two identities a woman can have.
If she accepts her traditional gender role and obeys patriarchal rules, shes a good girl. Madonna/whore, angel/bitch The Key Concerns of Feminism Women are oppressed by patriarchy economically, politically, socially, and psychologically; patriarchal ideology is the primary means by which they are kept so.
In every domain where patriarchy reigns, woman is other: she is objectified and marginalized, defined only by her difference from male norms and values, defined by what she (allegedly) lacks and that men (allegedly) have. All of Western (Anglo-European) civilization is deeply rooted in patriarchal ideology numerous patriarchal figures and female monsters of Greek and Roman literature and mythology
the patriarchal interpretation of the biblical Eve as the origin of sin and death in the world This is further exaggerated by the apocryphal Lilith and The Nameless One that came in- between Fixes the contradiction between Genesis 1:27 male and female created he them and the Gen 2: 22 lonely Adam rib scenario the representation of woman as a non-rational creature by traditional Western philosophy The stereotype that men think and women feel
the reliance on phallogocentric thinking (thinking that is male oriented in its vocabulary, rules of logic, and criteria for what is considered objective knowledge) by educational, political, legal, and business institutions. even the development of the Western canon of great literature, including traditional fairy tales, was a product of patriarchal ideology. Gender issues play a part in every aspect of human production and experience, including the production and experience of literature, whether we are consciously aware of these issues or not.
While biology determines our sex (male or female), culture determines our gender (masculine or feminine). for most English-speaking feminists, the word gender refers not to our anatomy but to our behavior as socially programmed men and women. You behave like a woman (for example, submissively) not because it is natural to do so but because you were taught to do so. all the traits we associate with masculine and
feminine behavior are learned, not inborn. This contradicts the long standing humanist belief in essences Identity that is unique to you, the product of some core self, unchangeable aspects or markers at the heart and center of you
Sex (male/female), gender (masculine/feminine), sexualty (homo/hetero), religious beliefs, nationality Feminists challenge that gender is a part of this essential self From other theories the rest of these essences are challenged Queer theorists question the essence of homosexuality and two gender systems Post-Colonialists challenge the false dichotomy of us and other Lacan believes that the entirety of your identity is shaped by language. Theres no essential you there at all.
The essential self is replaced by the subject. Subjects are mutable constructions. All feminist activity, including feminist theory and literary criticism, has as its ultimate goal to change the world by promoting womens equality. Thus, all feminist activity can be seen as a form of activism A Succinct Feminist History MAKING WAVES First Wave
Mary Wollstonecrafts A Vindication on the Rights of Women (1792) Right to education and participation in citizenship Organized movement emerged in Britain in the 1850s Concerned with: Education Employment Marriage/Custody Laws
Essentially the plight of intelligent middle-class single women. This implies that they were not primarily concerned with the problems of workingclass women (which is important to later critiques of feminist philosophy) Second Wave The term 'Second Wave' was coined by Marsha Lear, and refers to the increase in feminist activity
which occurred in America, Britain, and Europe from the late sixties onwards. America: rose out of the Civil Rights and anti-war movements Women were disillusioned with their second-class status Britain:
working-class socialism strike of women workers at the Ford car plant for equal pay in 1968. 'the personal is political' not just to extend the range of social opportunities open to women intervention within the spheres of reproduction, sexuality and cultural representation, to change their
domestic and private lives Third Wave / Post Feminism American, English and French Feminist Critical Theories Getting beyond Patriarchy Practice and Theory Marxism vs. Marxist Critical Theory
Marxism is a model of history and political theory that foregrounds class Marxist Critical Theory is a way of looking at text that foregrounds class Psychoanalysis vs. Psychoanalytical Critical Theory Psychoanalysis is a model of the human psyche and an approach to treating it Psychoanalytic Critical Theory is an approach to texts using these same ideas
Feminism vs. Feminist Critical Theory The Many Forms and Goals of Feminist Criticism Contemporary Feminist critics work towards Rediscovering the works of female writers overlooked by masculine dominated culture Revisiting books by male authors and reviewing them from a woman's point of view to explore how they shape the attitudes
that have held women back Exploring the experience of women in post-colonial societies Exploring womens autobiographical writings Exploring the Lesbian experience Considering womanliness as masquerade Exploring the role of film and other popular media in the construction of the feminine gender It is also helpful to think of feminist critical theory as having three main branches Three Critical Branches
American Feminism Reevaluating the canon, rereading texts written by males, rediscovering texts written by females Exploring what canonical male authors (Hemingway, Shakespeare) reveals about gender perceptions Looking at Frankenstein as an exploration of womens issues Feminist Film Theory is also largely American in origin French Feminism Understanding the differences between masculine and feminine language Ophelias language as the failure of the masculine to understand
feminine modes of communication English Feminism Rooted in History and Politics, the practical feminism Exploring the portrayal of Ophelia on stage over time. American Feminist Critical Theory Focus on textual analysis rather than abstract lingual theory Reviewed canonical works by male authors
Revisionist re-readings Examined portrayals of women characters Exposing patriarchal ideologies Gynocyntrists Study the writing of women Feminism and Visual Pleasure Feminist Film Theory Mulveys Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema (1975)
Classical Hollywood cinema is organized around a binary opposition established between male spectator (the subject) and the female spectated (the object) Drawing on psychoanalysis, the spectator enacts gaze. The masculine subject gazes, the female object is gazed at. This draws in the audience Classical film editing aligns spectators in the audience with the masculine spectator in the film Subjective camera
Shot/reverse shot This leads to the masculinization of spectators, spectators identify with the masculine subject position The feminist critique of objectification Objectification is not inherently bad The idea that it is, is often
misinterpreted or overplayed Abusive objectification is the problem Reducing someone to their status as an object Otherwise, we all look, or look at other people; perceiving them with horror, indifference or pleasure.
Sex and Gender Female and male refer to sex Biology plumbing Feminine and masculine refer to gender The constructed product of culture, rather than the inevitable product of biology and anatomy.
For some feminist theorists, even sex is a construction because we cannot understand the anatomy apart from our cultural ideas about gender Sex is always already gender Always already once a certain place in time is achieved, the being of places in time earlier than that place is transient, problematic, or unthinkable. the modern subject has always already learned language, it being, in a certain sense, inconceivable to consider the pre-linguistic subject
Gender identity, certainly, is performance. Learned, practiced, acted Judith Butler Sex may also be performance if sex is inseparable from gender French Feminist Critical Theory Feminist Critical
Theory A Foreword Closed Systems Freudian Psychoanalysis is one example of a closed system. Part of what this implies is that you cannot argue against it within the strictures of its own logic. Por Ejemplo You say: Oedipal desire is a load of hooey! I dont want
to sleep with my mother! Thats yucky! Freud says: Ah, the degree to which you are repressing your Oedipal desire only serves to emphasize its strength! If you did not wish to sleep with your mother you would not be protesting so vehemently! French Feminist Critical Theory is also a closed system. If you disagree with it, that only works to prove the degree to which your abilities of perception are limited by phalocentric language. The more you disagree, the righter they are
French Feminist Critical Theory Focus on language, analyzing the way meaning is produced. Draw on Lacan (Lacan drew on Saussure). A child enters into the linguistic realm (Lacans symbolic order) just as it comes to grasp its separateness from its mother. Once you realize its not all you, its a good time to start
learning words for things Like mama The language learned reflects a binary logic Active/passive, masculine/feminine, sun/moon, father/mother, head/heart, son/daughter, intelligent/sensitive, brother/sister, form/matter, phallus/vagina, reason/emotion
Because this logic tends to group masculinity with such qualities as light, thought, and activity, French feminists consider the structure of language to be phallocentric. It favors the phallus, or, more generally, masculinity masculine desire dominates speech and posits woman as an idealized fantasy-fulfillment for the incurable emotional lack caused by separation from the mother Language, then, systematically forces women to choose one of two points of view: They imagine and represent themselves as men imagine and
represent them They perform their role Palin? Wendy? Or they can speak, but speak as men. Hillary Clinton? Tinkerbell? - You silly ass A possible third option is to choose silence, becoming
in the process invisible and unheard Tiger Lily? A (Better) Third Option? Many French feminists believe that language only seems to give women such a narrow range of choices. Women can develop a feminine language Lecriture feminine Kristeva writes: Feminine language is semiotic rather than symbolic. Semiotic For Kristeva, this is the aspect of language that involves
intonation, rhythm and body language. - This is an atypical definition. Semiotics is more widely perceived as the study of symbols. Others argue that rather than rigidly opposing and ranking elements or reality, feminine language is fluid and unifying Chaotic, under the faulty male perspective - Ophelia - Ophelias language might approximate what is suggested by French Feminists - That it approximates this could factor into why we perceive it as mad
Feminine Language Derived from the pre-oedipal period of fusion between mother and child Maternal A threat to culture Perhaps better expressed cultural homeostasis A medium through which women can be creative in new ways Cixous (See Sue)
Kristeva, who associated feminine writing with the female body, was joined in her views by Cixous. Cixous wrote, Women must write through their bodies, they must invent the impregnable language that will wreck partitions, classes and rhetoric's, regulations and codes, they must submerge, cut through, get beyond the ultimate reserve-discourse, including the one that laughs at the very idea of pronouncing the word
silence Such is the strength of women that, sweeping away syntax, breaking that famous thread (just a tiny little thread, they say) which acts for men as a surrogate umbilical cord. Irigaray Irigaray advocates a specifically womans language that she sees in the language of womans pleasures and in the bodily shape of women's
sexuality. For her, the contrast between female and male sexual pleasure is far more diversified, more multiple in its differences, more complex, more subtle, than is commonly imagined. Therefore feminine language is more complex, more multiple in its meanings, more diversified. Irigaray
She writes that woman touches herself in and of herself without any need for mediation, and before there is anyway to distinguish activity from passivity. Woman touches herself all the time, and moreover no one can forbid her to do so, for her genitals are formed of two lips in continuous contact. Thus, within herself, she is already two but not divisible into one(s) that caress
each other. Why do women and men think differently? Cixous, Irigaray and Kristeva argue Women maintain their prelinguistic, imaginary relationship to the mother Difference is rooted in the body and the way the body experiences reality Think in terms of ways in which men are singular and women
are multiple Men are then more capable of thinking only in singular terms where women perceive things more multitudinously. - Trites - Linear cause and effect vs. spider webs This argument about different ways of thinking seemingly verges on essentialism rather than social constructivism - It might also reinforce the stereotype of women as illogical and irrational. - French Feminists would argue that this is the fault of masculine thinking and only a perception. Closed System! (you have to admire it just a little bit) Review
Feminist Critical Theory Like Postcolonialism, feminist literary theory is not a method in the same way as New Criticism, Structuralism, Deconstruction and Psychoanalysis. Not a method, but an area of interest It has an agenda Modern third-wave feminism uses much of the same language and approaches as
deconstruction does. To some extent, feminist, queer, post colonialist and Marxist critical theory are all agenda based What Feminist Critics Do Rethink the canon, aiming at rediscovery of texts written by women Revalue womens experience Examine representations of literature written by men and women Challenge representations of women as other or lack
Examine power relations with a view to breaking them down, seeing reading as a political act. Recognize the role of language in making what is socially constructed seem transparent and natural. Raise the question of whether men and women are essentially different because of biology, or are socially constructed as different. Explore the question as to if there is a feminine language
Question the popular notion of the death of the author, asking whether there are only subject positions constructed in discourse, or whether, on the contrary, the experience of the author (black, lesbian, etc) is central. Make clear the ideological base of supposedly neutral or mainstream literary interpretations. exnomination We dont refer to straight culture, but we do refer to gay culture That we lack the word for it suggests that it is the natural order, and that all else is deviant Anything that expresses an exnominated view is really working to maintain cultural homeostasis and further repress marginalized groups Putting it to work
How to write a paper using feminist critical theory Ask What does the work reveal about the operations (economically, politically, socially or psychologically) of patriarchy? How are women portrayed? How do these portrayals relate to the gender issues of the period? Reinforce? Contradict?
How is the work gendered? How does it seem to define femininity and masculinity? Do the characters behavior always conform to their assigned genders? Does the work suggest alternative genders? What does the work suggest in regards to the possibility of sisterhood undermining patriarchy or generally improving a womans position?
What does the history of the works reception or interpretation tell us about the operations of patriarchy? What does the work contribute to the ongoing debate as to the possibility of a specifically feminine form of communication? Multicultural Feminist Criticism Accad
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