Chapter 10 relationships with men

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  • 1. By Rachel Kravitz
  • 2.
    • This phrase was made famous to express the belief that individual problems are symptoms of larger social problems.
    • The sexual revolution in the 1960s and 1970s made it more acceptable to be sexually active outside marriage.
    • Women are being encouraged, again, to explore their sexuality and express this in ways that was not allowed before.
    • It is important to remember that individual men and women enter into relationships not just with their own background & baggage, but also with the weight of generations of cultural and familial expectations.
      • Pg 155
  • 3.
    • This can be defined in many ways including:
      • Having one or many lovers
      • An occasional casual sexual encounter
      • A committed relationship without marriage
      • No sexual or romantic relationships at all
    • A woman being single can be a result of some kind of trauma, illness, or loss (i.e.-rape)
    • Some single women who want biological children but see no father in sight are beginning to chose to have children on their own.
      • Pg 156
  • 4.
    • “Although many communities admire independent single women, most of us are told from childhood that our lives will be incomplete until we find a man. The hardest thing about being single, some women say, is not loneliness but the negative stereotypes we must confront from others, and to the extent we have internalized such stereotypes in ourselves”
      • pg157
  • 5.
    • “When we are happy and strong on our own, we are better able to choose freely and carefully the men we do become close to. Creating a safe and equal relationship with a man can then become a challenge we seek and enjoy out of mutual attraction, admiration, and love.”
      • Pg 157
  • 6.
    • What does personal power mean?
      • Self-esteem
      • Sense of identity
        • Group and/or individual
      • Positive body image
      • Self- confidence
      • Enjoyment in what one does
      • A sense of contributing to the community
      • Financial stability/ earning power
      • Self-reliance
      • Ability to communicate
    • Finding personal power means finding inner strength- a sense of ourselves and who we are, what we need, and what we want.
      • Pg 158
  • 7.
    • Social and cultural factors can make a big difference in how one understands oneself in the context of relationships
    • There are external social, cultural, economic, and historical factors that contribute to the formation of each person.
    • Feminists believe that earning power and actions in the public sphere are intimately connected to personal power and self- esteem- and therefore to intimacy- in the private sphere
        • Women who face discrimination due to a physical disability have to deal with a host of public and private issues that women without those challenges do not.
          • Example- a woman with severe muscular dystrophy
        • Racism and classism can also affect women's power in the public and private spheres
        • Pg 159
  • 8.
    • Prayer, meditation, walking, writing, playing or listening to music, and provide women with a source of inner strength that can be used when trying to sustain relationships.
      • Women, however, find that men can sometimes be threatened by their confidence and successes.
      • Pg 159
  • 9.
    • “ Intimacy is a precious state of relationship in which we feel safe enough to expose our whole selves and know that we will still be loved. The great challenge with intimacy is that, in order to achieve it, we must risk the possibility of rejection” (pg 160).
    • Intimacy requires honesty.
      • This requires having the courage to share difficult feelings, needs, or problems, even if we are afraid they will scare our partner away.
      • Intimacy also requires feeling safe with our partners.
    • Our conception of intimacy and what we want from an intimate partner may change over time as we grow into both ourselves and our relationships.
      • Pg 160
  • 10.
    • Single women confront particular risk as we start new relationships with men. Below are some ideas to help you stay safe
      • Take a mans number rather than giving him yours
      • Meet in a public, well populated place.
      • Tell a friend where you will be
      • Keep an eye on your drink
      • Be prepared to discuss and practice safer sex with a male partner
      • Know your own rules
        • Know your limits and requirements before becoming sexually active
        • Pg 161
  • 11.
    • Why do we decide to get married?
      • Because we want our love and connections with our partner to be celebrated and supported
      • Because we believe marriage offers spiritual and material stability
      • Because we want health benefits, property rights, residency privileges
      • Because we want children and we want them to grow up in a legally recognized family.
        • Pg 163
  • 12.
    • Half of all marriages in the United States end in divorce.
      • Given this statistic, why do you think women still want to get married?
    • Some women find that marriage brings both social recognition and a more personal sense of stability and peace.
    • Many women marry with the consciousness that marriage remains an unjust social arrangement in most religions and states because only heterosexual relationships get such recognition.
      • Pg 164
  • 13.
    • While some look to lifelong monogamous relationships as the ideal, other seek open relationships either for short term or for a lifetime.
    • Other women practice polyamory in which we maintain committed relationships to more than one person at a time.
    • For some of us, monogamy is not a given but something that we grow into as a way of expressing our commitment to our partner.
      • Pg 165
  • 14.
    • Develop good communication
    • Pay attention to each other
    • Enjoy separateness
    • Develop other friendships and community
    • Know when to leave
      • Get help if you are having trouble accomplishing this
      • Seek therapy or friends or family for help
        • Pg 166-168
  • 15.
    • Has anyone in the class ever found themselves feeling true intimacy with a partner? If so, what did it feel like?