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Who stole feminism
Who stole feminism
Who stole feminism
Who stole feminism
Who stole feminism
Who stole feminism
Who stole feminism
Who stole feminism
Who stole feminism
Who stole feminism
Who stole feminism
Who stole feminism
Who stole feminism
Who stole feminism
Who stole feminism
Who stole feminism
Who stole feminism
Who stole feminism
Who stole feminism
Who stole feminism
Who stole feminism
Who stole feminism
Who stole feminism
Who stole feminism
Who stole feminism
Who stole feminism
Who stole feminism
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Who stole feminism

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  • 1. Who Stole Feminism? The difference between men and women, where it came from and where it’s at.
  • 2. Feminine vs. Masculine Outlooks <ul><li>Essential characteristics of a feminine outlook: holistic, simultaneous, synthetic </li></ul><ul><li>Essential characteristics of a masculine outlook: linear, sequential, reductionist, and abstract thinking </li></ul><ul><li>Although these represent opposite perceptual modes, every individual is generously endowed with all the features of both. </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Shalian, 2000 </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  • 3. The meaning of gender <ul><li>Gender is a social, symbolic creation (or is it?). Mary Wollenstonecraft may have been the first to recognize the social character of gender when, in 1792, she declared that most differences between the sexes are socially created, not natural. The meaning of gender grows out of a society’s values, beliefs, and preferred ways of organizing collective life. A culture constructs and sustains meanings of gender by investing biological sex with social significance. Consider current meanings of masculinity and femininity in America: To be masculine is to be strong, ambitious, successful, rational and emotionally controlled. Femininity in the 1990’s is also relatively consistent with earlier views, although there is increasing latitude in what is considered appropriate for women. To be feminine is to be attractive, deferential, unaggressive, emotional, nurturing, and concerned with people and relationships. </li></ul><ul><li>The fact that the social meanings of gender are taught to us does not mean that we are merely the recipients of cultural meanings; we also influence them and have the choice to accept or reject cultural prescriptions. </li></ul>
  • 4. Biological Differences <ul><li>New research (Hales, 1999; Legato, 1998, Wheeler, 1998) suggests that men and women have some significant biological sex differences aside from the obvious. </li></ul><ul><li>Women are more likely than men to experience pain. They are also more able to cope with pain and tend to have higher pain tolerance than men. </li></ul><ul><li>Women are more likely than men to suffer from migraine headaches and lupus; men are more likely than women to suffer from cluster headaches. </li></ul><ul><li>Women’s livers metabolize drugs, including alcohol, more slowly than do men’s. </li></ul><ul><li>Women’s digestive systems work more slowly than men’s. </li></ul><ul><li>Women are more likely to suffer from depression and anxiety, whereas men are more subject to violent behavior and abuse of drugs, including alcohol. </li></ul>
  • 5. Brain Differences <ul><li>Women and men’s brains are structured differently and therefore process information and stimuli, and develop differently. </li></ul><ul><li>Women’s thinking specializes primarily in the right lobe whereas men’s thinking specializes primarily in the left lobe. </li></ul>
  • 6. Gender development in children <ul><li>By the age of three-or earlier-children develop gender constancy , the understanding that gender is relatively unchanging. The child views their gender as a fixed aspect of their identity. Many ideas of these roles come from parents and siblings, however by this age children have identified their roles so clearly that in daycare and preschool, most children will conform to the social standards of gender- meaning that the girls are playing together with dolls while the boys build with blocks (Martin, 1994 &amp; 1997, Gilligan, 1998; A. Campbell, 1993 ). </li></ul>
  • 7. Hominid to Human <ul><li>Hominid development lead to the growth of brain size (meaning longer childhoods to develop), meaning that hominid females became absorbed in feeding, toting and keeping offspring warm. The hominid female became the first of any animal species who could not easily take care of herself in the postpartum period. She needed help. Food sharing evolved as a distinguishing trait of the hominid line, and its collateral attributes-altruism, kindness, generosity, and cooperation also increased. </li></ul>
  • 8. Hunters and Gatherers <ul><li>With females increasingly busy taking care of the young, the males had to assist both mothers and children and began to do something that other predators rarely do- Hunters resisted the urge to consume game where it had fallen and instead undertook the arduous task of dragging their prizes back home. There, elders, women and children would share the meat. The increasing importance of hunting induced changes in female sexuality. </li></ul>
  • 9. Hunter and Nurturer Societies <ul><li>Hunters (male) made man transcendent , elevating him above his previous existence, giving him purpose, meaning and an exciting task. The female, on the other hand, performed repetitious routines that had little glory or reward but kept her immanent. Women’s work was not inspiring because it was not dangerous, but it was recognized in its value to the tribes overall well-being. Because hunting was not always successful, gathering edibles remained a vital source of nutrition. In general, the men hunted and the women continued to gather. </li></ul>
  • 10. <ul><li>In is important to note here that estrus disappeared from the hominid females around this time and that menses became prominent, meaning that as women shed the lining of their uterus’ every 28 days which resulted in a loss of blood- containing the critical element of iron. Women lacking in iron can lead to iron-deficiency anemia, lack of vigor, and increased susceptibility to all diseases. The infants of iron-deficient mothers are sickly from birth and less likely to survive. There is a high concentration of iron in meat and while males have little need for iron, females absolutely must have it. If sex-for-meat was the unspoken exchange that rewired the female’s physiologic responses, then her appetite for iron would motivate her to be ever more sexy. This, in turn, would increase meat’s value to the male. His sexual drive would goad him into taking greater risks to kill game in order to impress the female he desired. Menses was the prod that inspired males to become audacious hunters. </li></ul><ul><li>Note: The loss of estrus (replaced by menses) is also responsible for the disturbing fact that among mammals rape is common only in our species and orangutans. </li></ul>
  • 11. Where did the gender war come from? <ul><li>The idea that women are in a gender war originated in the midsixties, when the antiwar and antigovernment mood revived and redirected the women’s movement away from its Enlightenment liberal philosophy. During this time, New Feminism emerged and New Feminists began to direct their energies toward getting women to join in the common struggle against patriarchy, to view society through the sex/gender prism. </li></ul>
  • 12. <ul><li>To me, to be a feminist is to answer the question, “Are women human?” with a yes. It is not about whether women are better than, worse than or identical with men… It’s about justice, fairness and access to the broad range of human experience… It’s about women having intrinsic value as persons, as human beings, in other words. No more, no less. </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Katha Pollit, The New Yorker, 1994. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  • 13. Old Feminism/First Wave Feminism <ul><li>Old feminism (the original and most common feminism) was traditional and classically liberal, with a specific agenda demanding for women the same rights before the law that men enjoyed. The suffrage had to be won, and the laws regarding property, marriage, divorce and child custody had to be made equitable. More recently, abortion rights had to be protected. A First Wave Feminist wants for women what s/he wants for everyone: fair treatment, without discrimination. </li></ul>
  • 14. Misguided Feminism <ul><li>The concerns of some feminists focus solely on women’s victimization and oppression. This is also considered to be “victim feminism”. The problem is, the concept of feminism is no longer one that most women can relate to. </li></ul><ul><li>Men’s Movements, including Father’s Rights Activists and the National Organization for Men Against Sexism were founded as a result of the power struggle and misinformed women’s groups resulting from the second wave and power feminists. </li></ul>
  • 15. The End of Middle Class America <ul><li>Today, the 13,000 riches families in America have almost as much income as the 20 million poorest. </li></ul>
  • 16. Women in the workforce <ul><li>In 1950, 33% of all married American mothers with children under the age of 18 worked for pay. </li></ul><ul><li>In 1947, 47% </li></ul><ul><li>In 2000, 73% </li></ul><ul><li>Currently (2001) 2/3 rds of women with children between the ages of 1 and 3 work full time outside of the home. </li></ul>
  • 17. Salary <ul><li>It is not that the wife’s salary is totally optional; these days both his salary and hers just about total what a man’s salary used to bring in when it was based on union wages in a robust manufacturing sector. In a sense, women’s work is a way the family has absorbed the deindustrialization of America and the decline in men’s wages. </li></ul>
  • 18. Household Labor Division <ul><li>Nationwide study from the University of Michigan states that: Comparing men and women interviewed in 1969 with those interviewed in 1999, Juster and his co-workers found that men were doing some more housework (262 hours a year more) and women were doing much less (783 hours a year less). As a result, the housework gap between men and women has narrowed by 1045 hours a year. Even so, a gender gap remained in hours put in at home of 675 hours annually or 12.9 hours a week. </li></ul>
  • 19. <ul><li>But the researchers discovered that, starting in 1994, men had started to do less housework again. In 1994, men averaged 8.2 hours a week, and in 1999, 7.1. </li></ul><ul><li>Is the pendulum swinging back? </li></ul><ul><li>If men are doing less housework, will they become less active with their children as well? </li></ul>
  • 20. The Second Shift <ul><li>Not only do women work more than men at home, but the work they do is generally more taxing and less gratifying. For example, whereas men’s contributions tend to be sporadic, variable and adjustable in timing (ie. Repairing an appliance, mowing the lawn), the work women typically do is repetitive, routine, and constrained by deadlines. Furthermore, more than men, women engage simultaneously in multiple tasks. For example, many women help a child with homework while preparing dinner. These features render women’s work in the home less gratifying (Hochschild, 1989). </li></ul><ul><li>Another way in which women’s contributions to home life are greater is in terms of what is known as psychological responsibility, which is the responsibility to remember, plan, and make sure things get done. </li></ul>
  • 21. <ul><li>The consequences of women’s “second shift” are substantial. Hochschild reports that among the couples she studied, women were extremely stressed, fatigued and susceptible to illness as they were constantly trying to meet the double responsibilities of their jobs inside and outside of the home. In addition, the inequity of the arrangement is a primary source of resentment and dissatisfaction, especially for women, and of marital instability. Marital instability is more closely tied to equitable divisions of housework and child care than to a couple’s income (Fowers, 1991). </li></ul>
  • 22. Where did the sexual revolution go wrong? <ul><li>65% of housewives staying home with their children feel guilt for their choice (Crittenden, 1997). </li></ul>
  • 23. Resolving Conflict: Male vs. Female <ul><li>Masculine individuals (whether female or male) tend to use more unilateral strategies to engage in and to avoid conflicts (Snell, Hawkins, &amp; Belk, 1988) </li></ul><ul><li>Feminine individuals more typically try to please, defer, submit, or compromise to reduce tension, and they employ indirect strategies when they do engage in conflict (Howard, Blumstein &amp; Schwartz, 1986; Miller, 1986; White, 1989). </li></ul>
  • 24. The myth of Education <ul><li>A review of the facts shows that boys, not girls, are on the weak side of an educational gender gap. Boys, on average, are a year and a half behind girls in reading and writing; they are less committed to school and less likely to go to college. In 1997, college full time enrollments were 45 percent male and 55 percent female, and the US Department of Education predicts this gap will widen greatly over the next decade. And yet none of this has affected the “official” view that our schools are “failing at fairness” to girls . -Sommers, 1999. </li></ul>
  • 25. Disregarding the research <ul><li>A great deal of research exists currently suggesting that the American society is shortchanging girls. Contrary to this biased view, a review of the facts shows that suicide among males between the ages of 10-14 increased 71 percent between 1979-1988 (suicide among the same age group-female-increased by 27%). </li></ul>
  • 26. <ul><li>Most famous is the study released by the AAUW entitled “How schools shortchange Girls” (March, 1999) which is so bizarrely inaccurate- particularly that it was released at a time when girls were outperforming boys academically in almost every area. And yet this report inspired a major campaign to persuade the American public to push for the Gender Equity in Education Act which categorized girls as an “under-served population” on par with other discriminated-against minorities. Millions of dollars in grants were awarded to study the plight of girls and learn how to cope with the insidious bias against them. </li></ul>
  • 27. Thoughts: <ul><li>I believe that gender is relational. What would feminine mean without the idea of masculine? How do changes in social definitions of one gender affect views of the other one? </li></ul><ul><li>Think about how you learned about gender. Can you recall early interactions in your life when you understood that others defined you as a girl or a boy? Did you receive clear messages about what being a girl or a boy meant in terms of what you were expected to think, act, and be? </li></ul><ul><li>Think about your sex and gender. Deciding which sex you are won’t be difficult, but identifying your gender may be more complicated. How closely do you conform to society’s views of masculinity and femininity? Do you have what our culture defines as masculine and feminine qualities in yourself? </li></ul>

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