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Theories of Gender Oppression. Chapters 12 and 13.

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please note
These slides are meant to help students think about the material. They are not meant to replace reading the material or taking notes. Using these slides as your only means of garnering information could harm your ability to understand the content of this class.

Please turn off cell phones, MP3 players and other technology of which I’m unaware.

Please Note:
what is theory
What is Theory?
  • 1) A set of assumptions that are used to develop testable hypothesis about reality.
  • 2) Every theory has:
      • Assumptions -educated guesses that cannot be proven.
      • Propositions – statement of relationship between two or more ideas.
      • Social Policy Implications – Formal rules that affect people living in particular locale
classical liberal theory
Classical Liberal Theory
  • 1) Historical Significance of CLT
    • Most influential theory shaping public policy today.
    • Both Republicans and Democrats justify their policies using the foundation of CLT
    • CLT moved societies from theocracies to democracies in a period call “The Enlightenment.”
    • CLT and Anarchy were contemporary theories vying for prominence in U.S, U.K. and France.
clt continued
CLT continued
  • 2) CLT assumptions about Human Nature
      • Humans are rational
        • Rationality is a mental capacity that allows all humans the ability to act on their own self-interest. Thus, we seek rewards and avoid punishments.
        • Rationality creates:
          • Abstract Individualism --
          • Free Will Rules. Networks and Social Class Don’t
          • Dualism: Mind/Body Split
          • We are not governed by emotions or social pressure
are we rational
Are We Rational?
  • Myth/Fact?
    • Annual job reviews increase productivity.
    • Teaching about birth control in schools increases teenage pregnancy
    • Politicians are equally influenced by constituents regardless of money/power
    • Supreme Court Justices are neutral
    • I always make the most economically rational decision for myself and my family
dan arielly predictably irrational
Dan Arielly: Predictably Irrational
  • Start at –2:39
clt cont
CLT Cont
  • Problems with Abstract Individualism and Dualism.
  • How do these problems affect Meritocracy – the driving assumption of our society.
clt continued9
CLT Continued

3) Propositions

Given assumptions about rationality, the following propositions exist:

a) Neutral state exists so that it can control inevitable conflict that will occur due to rational people pursuing their best interest

b) Education ensures that people will act rationally rather than based on emotions (such as bias, racism, sexism, etc).

applying clt to classical liberal feminist theory
Applying CLT to Classical Liberal Feminist Theory
  • 1) Use the same assumptions and propositions as CLT.
  • 2) They argue that oppression occurs because they are acting irrational.
clft policy for ending oppression
CLFT Policy for Ending Oppression
  • 1) Education
  • 2) Government sanctions

1) Marx and Historical Materialism

  • Social context of Marx’s writings
  • What is historical materialism

2) Marxism –

A) Assumptions of human nature

species being – given that production and reproduction are fundamental….

B) Propositions

Class is relational

Capitalism causes: exploitation, alienation, false consciousness, hegemony

State and other institutions are tools of capitalists.

Hegemony is a tool capitalists use to maintain power.

C) Policy to end oppression: ?

D) Marx’s problem about other oppression besides class.

socialist feminism
Socialist Feminism
  • 3) What do Socialist Feminists claim?
    • A) Assumptions about human nature –
        • Species being – no group enjoys oppression, be it class, gender or race.
    • B) Propositions
      • Capitalists will organize society so that they benefit from patriarchy (public/private split).
      • Men as a group organize so that they benefit from patriarchy (Public/private split)
      • The State works for capitalists
sf continued
SF continued
  • C). Solutions to End Oppression
  • Get rid of public/private split, class oppression.
radical feminism
Radical Feminism
  • 1) History – This theory emerged in the sixties. Critiqued Marxist theory.
  • 2) What do Radical Feminists claim?
      • Assumptions – Patriarchy-- Men as a group desire control over women as a group and organize society around oppression. Other theories cannot explain footbinding, infibulation, sex trafficking, porn. etc.

B) Propositions:

Men and women control women through:

Controlling Motherhood (and devalue it)

Controlling Sexuality

State helps in control by failing to write laws or writing laws that allow men to control women’s bodies and role in society.

C) Solutions -- Allow women to control motherhood and sexuality.

multi racial feminists
Multi-Racial Feminists
  • 1) Assumptions
      • Species Being; the world will always be heterogeneous. Oppression exists when people deny differences.
  • 2) Propositions
      • People’s racial identities lead to macro-level segregation, which leads to oppression. (for instance, biology shows people who live closer have chromosomes most similar).
      • Racism and Sexism are organizing principles of society. Segregation leads to different kind of sexism and classism in homes of people of color.
  • 3) Solutions:
      • Get rid of segregation
      • Understand the relational nature of race oppression.
post modern feminists
Post-Modern Feminists
  • 1) Assumptions – Positivism is false. There is no knowable reality. Just people struggling to control what is considered knowledge.
  • 2) Propositions – Oppression is caused by powerful people controlling language, discourse. For example, many of us believe violence is everywhere because media.
  • 3) Solutions – Open up media and other institutions so everyone has opportunity.
  • Solution: Reality needs to be deconstructed to examine how power is used. Deconstruction is: Breaking down social reality to examine the subtext embedded beneath the surface of social reality.
  • What is it?
  • Why does the word have such a bad rap?
  • History of Feminist Movement
    • First Wave – cult of true womanhood, moral
    • Second Wave – equality, consciousness-raising
    • Third Wave? – Women should exploit the little power they have