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Opinions, Opinions


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This is a presentation given to the faculty of the School of Arts and Letters at the College of St. Scholastica on newspaper coverage of the opening of the Building for Women in Duluth

This is a presentation given to the faculty of the School of Arts and Letters at the College of St. Scholastica on newspaper coverage of the opening of the Building for Women in Duluth

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  • 1. Opinions, Opinions!: The Opening of the Building for Women on the Editorial Pages
  • 2. Overview of the Presentation
    • Explanation of research process
    • Contextualization of larger project
    • Theoretical presuppositions
    • Methodological Considerations
    • Analysis and Conclusions
  • 3. Have Project Will Travel
    • Postmodern Assumptions
      • Mumby describes postmodern research as contingent and contextual
      • Subjectivity of researcher shapes projects and processes
    • Inductive Approach
      • Existing Relationship to BFW
      • Later, artifacts to theory
  • 4. The Overall Data Pool
    • Excluded Materials
      • Interviews with Welsh and Rocco
      • Donor lists
      • Grant narratives
      • Letters to donors
      • Articles in small, local publications
    • Included Materials
      • News Stories included in DNT
      • Opinion Pieces in DNT
      • Advertisements in DNT
  • 5. The Heterosexual Matrix
    • In Gender Trouble , Butler defines the heterosexual matrix as “that grid of cultural intelligibility through which bodies, genders, and desires are naturalized” premised upon “a stable sex expressed through stable gender [. . .] that is oppositionally and hierarchically defined through the practice of heterosexuality” (151)
  • 6. . . . Across the disciplines
    • Scholars in various disciplines theorize the heterosexual matrix
      • Sociology of sport
      • Art
      • Education
      • International Women’s Studies
      • Leadership Studies
      • Disability Studies
  • 7. Foci in Comm Studies
    • Performance
      • Blood donation
      • Pride festivals
      • Coming Out
      • Bildungsroman
      • Political activism
    • Heteronormativity
      • Will & Grace
      • bad girls
      • Next Best Thing
      • Media coverage of Brandon Teena’s murder
  • 8. The Analytical Goal
    • In Bodies that Matter , Butler contents that the goal of using the heterosexual matrix analytically is to question the law of binaries which maintain “sexes” as different and opposite (11).
  • 9. Generative Criticism
    • Inductive
      • Interesting or puzzling artifact or case
      • Artifact or case leads to theory
    • Clustering
      • Key Words
    • World Views
      • Key words in context describe a world view
  • 10. Manifest Content
    • Bishop Schweitz’s resignation from United Way Board
    • United Way and Neutrality on Abortion
    • Programs versus Agencies
    • Building for Women and Abortion
  • 11. Potential Key Words
    • Abortion
    • Pedophilia
    • Mothering as work
    • Women and children in poverty
    • Fetus infantalized
    • Women infantalized
    • Adoption
    • Lesbianism
    • Secrecy
    • Arrogance
    • Hierarchy
    • Their women
    • Intrinsic value of women
  • 12. “Their Women”
    • Texts written by or quoting pro-life women
    • These women often tokenized in discourse
    • 12 artifacts written by pro-life women
  • 13. Women Infantilizing Fetuses
    • Julie Woodley, “It was essential for women to dispose of an unwanted ‘fetus’—our ‘creed’ never allowed us to call it a child” (13 Feb. p. 14A)
    • Julie Frost, “They [the United Way] need to reconsider this because killing unborn children is truly a shame of the human race” (27 Dec., p. 5A)
  • 14. Jan Pilon: First to Speak
    • "The three organizations are the YWCA and the Program for Aid to Victims of Sexual Assault, both United Way agencies, plus Women's Health Center, Duluth's only abortion clinic."
    • "A friend of mine, one who has generously supported many good causes, was approached for a gift by one of the partners. She was not told of the coalition and was shocked to learn later that her money would benefit (directly or indirectly) a clinic that performs more than 1000 abortions each year."
  • 15. Conclusions
    • Many authors infantilize fetus by calling them “babies” or “children.”
    • Many writers infantilize women by assuming they make uninformed choices.
    • Many pro-choice authors claim men have only a supporting roles in pregnancy decisions.
  • 16. Conclusions Continued
    • Pro-Life authors compare Bishop Schweitz regularly to Martin Luther King, Jr.
    • Many writers employ quasi ad hominen arguments
      • Women as selfish
      • Catholic priests as pedophiles
  • 17. Secrecy
    • All writers define secrecy and neutrality in terms of personal interest
    • If a writer knew about the BFW it was not a secret; if they didn’t, it was a secret.
  • 18. Neutrality
    • Pro-Life Authors:
      • “ How many of us, do we suppose, seek shelter behind that safe and conventient word” (Elaine Strand, 25 Jan., 5A)
    • Pro-Choice Authors:
      • “ By trying to remain neutral United Way is accused of being pro-choice” JoAnne Axtell, 14 Jan., 5A)