A2 fem gen

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A2 fem gen

  1. 1. Judith Butler Angela McRobbie A2 Media Theory Gender & Feminism
  2. 2. Feminism <ul><li>What is your current understanding of the term ‘ feminism ’? </li></ul><ul><li>Would you describe yourself as a ‘ feminist ’? </li></ul>
  3. 3. What is Feminism? <ul><li>A doctrine that advocates equal rights for women </li></ul><ul><li>The movement advocating equality of women with men in all areas: social, political, familial, ecclesiastically, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>A social theory or political movement supporting the equality of both sexes in all aspects of public and private life; specifically, a theory or movement that argues that legal and social restrictions on females must be removed in order to bring about such equality. </li></ul>
  4. 4. A Brief History…or Herstory <ul><li>Feminism is considered to have occurred in ‘waves’. </li></ul><ul><li>First-wave feminism is considered to have occurred during the 19 th and early 20 th centuries. </li></ul><ul><li>Mary Wollstonecraft published ‘A Vindication of the Rights of Women’ in 1792. </li></ul><ul><li>Wollstonecraft’s ideas shaped the thinking of the suffragettes who campaigned for the women’s vote. </li></ul><ul><li>Some women (Over 30yo + householders, wives to householders or graduates) received the right to vote in 1918 with voting parity with men achieved in 1928. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Second-wave Feminism <ul><li>This is generally considered to have occurred during the 1960s and 70s </li></ul><ul><li>First-wave feminism was primarily concerned with legal obstacles to equality whereas Second-wave feminism had wide-ranging concerns, attempting to deal with sexuality, reproductive rights, pornography, family as well as marital rights, educational equality and remaining legal inequalities </li></ul><ul><li>It can be viewed as a response to male and female roles during WW2 </li></ul><ul><li>A notable book was ‘The Feminine Mystique’ by Betty Friedan, published in 1963 </li></ul>
  6. 6. Post Feminism? <ul><li>This term came to prominence in the 1980’s and was part of a backlash against Second-wave Feminism </li></ul><ul><li>It’s a contentious term as it seems to imply that feminism achieved its goals, that we are ‘beyond’ feminism or that feminism has lost its relevance </li></ul><ul><li>Furthermore, Post Feminism seemed to argue that the Women’s Lib movement of the 70s was the source of many problems plaguing women in the 80s </li></ul><ul><li>The influence of the media was also considered </li></ul>
  7. 7. Third-wave Feminism <ul><li>Third-wave feminism began in the early 1990s </li></ul><ul><li>This newer form of feminism focuses more on the individual empowerment of women and less on activism. </li></ul><ul><li>It celebrates women’s multiple and sometimes contradictory identities in today’s world. It also celebrates diversity. 70s Women’s Lib was criticised for focusing too narrowly on the experiences of middle-class, white, heterosexual women. </li></ul><ul><li>Third Wave feminists like to think of themselves as survivors, not victims. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Feminism Now <ul><li>And now we can laugh about it: </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oftOCN1jkNo </li></ul><ul><li>What do you think feminism has achieved? </li></ul><ul><li>Do you think there is an ongoing need for feminism? </li></ul>
  9. 9. Angela McRobbie <ul><li>Angela McRobbie is a British cultural theorist. She is currently Professor of Communications at Goldsmiths College, London </li></ul><ul><li>McRobbie’s early research work focused on young women and social class, popular culture, subculture, music and style </li></ul><ul><li>She notably researched the relationship between teenage girls and magazines </li></ul>
  10. 10. CLASS TASK <ul><li>From a feminist perspective, what is positive and negative about this magazine cover? </li></ul><ul><li>What does this magazine communicate to its audience? </li></ul>
  11. 11. Angela McRobbie & Magazines <ul><li>David Gauntlett suggests that “she has paid close attention to the ways in which the magazines have changed since the 1970s, and has repeatedly asked difficult questions about what kind of magazine feminists would want, if they are unhappy with today's magazines.” </li></ul><ul><li>CLASS DISCUSSION: What would a feminist magazine be like today? </li></ul>
  12. 12. Angela McRobbie & Youth Culture <ul><li>McRobbie puts distance between herself and those feminist writers who denounce women's magazines outright. Whilst some of their content may be disappointing to feminist readers, McRobbie notes, many of the messages are positive and empowering to young women. </li></ul><ul><li>She also broadened her study into gender and youth culture, looking into clothing, fashion, music etc. She was particularly critical of the dominant analysis of youth culture as she felt it overlooked the role of gender. </li></ul>
  13. 13. McRobbie & Youth Culture <ul><li>She emphasised the need to analyse the nature of young women’s cultural life, in order to establish whether it was structured differently from that of boys. </li></ul><ul><li>Her key text on this was ‘Feminism & Youth Culture’, published in 1991 </li></ul><ul><li>CLASS DISCUSSION: Do you think that ‘girl culture’ and ‘boy culture’ are significantly different? How important is this to young women and men? </li></ul>
  14. 14. Judith Butler <ul><li>Judith Butler is Professor of Comparative Literature and Rhetoric at the University of California, Berkeley </li></ul><ul><li>She is well known as a theorist of power, gender, sexuality and identity </li></ul><ul><li>She has relevance to feminism, gender studies and queer theory </li></ul>
  15. 15. Gender Identification <ul><li>Which is male? Which is female? </li></ul><ul><li>Why? </li></ul>
  16. 16. Gender?
  17. 17. Judith Butler - ‘Gender Trouble’ <ul><li>In her most influential book, Gender Trouble (1990), Butler argued that feminism had made a mistake by trying to assert that 'women' were a group with common characteristics and interests </li></ul><ul><li>That approach, Butler said, performed 'an unwitting regulation and reification of gender relations' - reinforcing a binary view of gender relations (men and women) </li></ul><ul><li>She argued that, rather than opening up possibilities for a person to form and choose their own individual identity, feminism had closed the options down </li></ul>
  18. 18. Judith Butler & Gender <ul><li>“ There is no gender identity behind the expressions of gender; ... identity is performatively constituted by the very &quot;expressions&quot; that are said to be its results.” (Butler) </li></ul><ul><li>In other words, gender is a performance; it's what you do at particular times, rather than who you are </li></ul>
  19. 19. Butler & Queer Theory <ul><li>Butler argues that as we all put on a gender performance anyway (whether traditional or not) it is not a question of whether to do a gender performance, but what form that performance will take. By choosing to be different about it, we might work to change gender norms and the binary understanding of masculinity and femininity. </li></ul><ul><li>This idea of identity as free-floating, as not connected to an 'essence', but instead a performance, is one of the key ideas in queer theory . Seen in this way, our identities, gendered and otherwise, do not express some authentic inner &quot;core&quot; self but are the dramatic effect (rather than the cause) of our performances </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AIbZZhZb8ms&feature=related </li></ul>
  20. 20. Queer Theory & Identity <ul><li>Queer theory, being heavily infleunced by Butler’s ideas, raises significant - and philosophical - questions about who we are. There are ‘new’ concepts and vocabulary. Butler proposes that definitions of sexuality are directly linked to how you define your gender which in turn is based on your sex - as if there is a continuum </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ov9sjwO0rmA&feature=related </li></ul>
  21. 21. Queer Theory <ul><li>This implication of ‘fluidity’ allows us to consider concepts such as transgenderism (moving between genders), transsexualism (physically changing gender), intersex (both sexes present, affects 1 in 2000 babies), pansexual (sexual attraction not based on gender) and trigender (a gender outside of male or female) amongst others </li></ul><ul><li>At it’s most radical, it implies all currently accepted definitions of sex, gender and sexuality are questionable, if not redundant </li></ul>
  22. 22. Homework Essay <ul><li>Between 500 and 750 words in total </li></ul><ul><li>Give careful consideration to McRobbie and Butler’s ideas - how are these relevant to youth? </li></ul><ul><li>Consider youth culture from the past but also your experience of contemporary youth culture and identify examples which support McRobbie and Butler’s key concepts (ie: For Butler, are there youth cultures that ‘play’ with gender identity? For McRobbie, are there youth cultures which have excluded girls and others that have embraced them?) </li></ul>

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