Gendered World Views (Fall 2016, Section 17)
About this class
Pink is for girls and blue is for boys, or at least that's what many of us were taught as children. But what are these stereotypes really telling us? Assumptions like these force men and women into specific roles, and from a very young age, we socialize boys to be aggressive and girls to be nice – we then assign an aesthetic to each group that reflects this. But how do real people deal with these expectations? What does it mean to see the world through gendered terms?
This course will introduce students to the patriarchal world view that created the gendered stereotypes we live with today and the ways in which gendered assumptions structure society. We will then focus on the challenges that have been raised by the feminist world view and explore how women deal with gender inequality. The second half of the course will be largely dedicated to masculinity studies and feminist observations regarding how the patriarchal world view hurts men as well. Finally, we will end with a brief look at what queer theory has to say about gender. Students will be asked to reflect on their own world views and how gendered ideas have effected their lives. A participation grade will be assigned.
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This post effectively describes the faults in our society when it comes to overwhelming abundance of rape culture in the media by bringing up key points such as women being subordinate to men, violence in men and the overall objectification of women.
It seems like you naturally took a utilitarianism approach when analyzing this advertisement as you focused on the consequences of this advertisement on the larger population. Like the definition states, utilitarianism focuses on the outcome of events. Some of the consequences you brought up that result from hyper sexual ads like this one are seeing women as sexual objects, the reinforcement of gender roles, and the unrealistic standards imposed on women. In order for a phenomenon to be ethical under a utilitarian lens, it must bring the greatest good to the greatest number of people. It is evident that this advertisement surely does not meet these standards as women make up fifty-one percent of the world population yet women surely do not appreciate being treated unequal to their male counterparts.
An approach you may not have considered is focusing on the actions of the people accountable for creating these sexists images in the media. This method is known as deontology which focuses on the action itself and not the outcome since it cannot be accurately predicted. Deontology focuses on the fact that there are a set of rules that are inherently applied to society which includes respect towards each other. This objectifying advertisement doesn't give women the respect that they have the fundamental right to. It seems like most advertising firms have a long way to go before becoming ethical under any framework.
Thanks for the post ! You make reference to a very prominent issue in society. In your article, you state that you believe men have a difficult time taking orders from women mainly because of their very different personality traits. You state that due to the fact that women are more compassionate and understanding than men (who are more direct and dominant by nature), this is what results in men having a harder time with the idea of a woman being in charge. While I completely agree with your point, I also believe that this way of thinking is a direct result of the social construct, or how society creates categories in order to make make sense of the world, known as “the Man Box”. This box essentially serves as a “checklist” and includes traits of what a real man should look and act like. A few points present in “The Man Box” are dominance, demonstration of power and control (especially over women) as well as the ability to make decisions on their own, without any help from others. The problem with this is that it defines the social construct of male gender and leads men to believe that they are seen as less of a man for acting anything other than what’s written in “The Man Box”. They fear that not conforming to the traits of the box will lead to negative consequences, such as being called derogatory names, being bullied or in more severe cases, being physically harmed. Taking orders from someone else, especially another woman, puts their masculinity into question and makes men feel less important. I think this box is also a reason why men tend to have a hard time obeying their female colleagues or bosses.
I’ve attached below an interesting article relevant to this issue.
I appreciate the way you used an article written by someone who has fallen victim of, as well as witnessed, the treatment Africans receive in India first-hand. This gives readers more of a realistic outlook on the topic, leaving them aware of the gravity of the issue. The part that struck me the most is your reference to how mobs of Indian men target African women in a sexually harassing manner. The issue of mistreated Africans in India is one that deserves recognition, however looking at the problems namely African women face while living in India becomes a problem of its own. Female Africans in India must worry about the intersectionality that comes with their identity. Intersectionality is the overlapping and reinforcing of inequality, discrimination, or oppression in one’s life. African Women in India are not only discriminated against for their race, but also for their gender. This leaves this group of women at a more severe degree of oppression and ultimately, in danger. Here’s more on intersectionality: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intersectionality
Hello meg52, you brought up a very interesting point when you mentioned that due to bad cops good cops are also being placed under a harsher light. Also I agree that it is unjust for black people to be losing their lives because of modern racism. If you look at the statistics it can be seen that the majority of African Americans being attacked by police are male. This is drawn from the ideology that black men are more violent. Hegemonic masculinity states that men must be white to be considered the perfect man. For black men to conform they must over conform in other areas and society states that they must be more athletic and violent. Those who believe in hegemonic masculinity believe blacks do not have enough self-control and this is where the idea stems that black people are more dangerous. This stereotype is what leads police to believe that black men are more likely to be violent with them. This idea means that black men need to be violent enough to survive in society’s harsh conditions yet not too violent as to attract attention from the police. Black men who must conform to this are always on guard as no one is truly their ally. If you want to learn more on black masculinity here is a link you can look at: https://www.theodysseyonline.com/defining-black-masculinity
Hello Sconti, I agree strongly that women deserve to be equal with men I do however disagree that women should flirt to get what they want. In doing this women are making themselves to be sexual objects. They are showing men that women’s purpose is to seduce men. Sex positive feminists claim that women should be able to freely express their sexuality. However this does not mean they believe women should exploit themselves. Women in doing this are taking steps back and turning themselves into sexually passive ones who should be dominated. This is unhealthy to teach women and girls as it could lead them to think they need to look a certain way since if women flirt to get everything they want only those who society deems beautiful will thrive. This could also feed into the ideology that pornography brings that woman “always want it.” A very harming and anti-feminist ideology that some men use to justify sexual assault. While it is okay to flirt with people you like or wish to peruse. Flirting with people to simply get your way is not empowering to women. It makes women sexually objectify themselves, which in turn allows men to feel they can do the same. If you want to learn more on sex positive feminists here is a link you can look at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sex-positive_feminism
Your article is extremely well done, and gave me joy to read. An important part of your article is that we are finally starting to take down some of the social constructions that we’ve created in society. An analysis of social constructs would have furthered your research. A social construct is a category created and labeled by society, many of these govern the way men and women should act. These social constructs have not only encouraged women to wear makeup in order for them to conform to the beauty standards but have also made it unacceptable that men be associated with makeup. Society has created a very strict image of what a man should look like and act, same goes for women. Over time, and with the help of third wave feminists, makeup has increasingly become a hobby rather than an attempt to conform. However, Covergirl has also been extremely good at breaking barriers recently with their new ‘Lash Equality Campaign’, interesting additions to their covergirls include James Charles and a hijabi woman, Nura Afia, and these steps in the right direction is very exciting!
Here is an article about social constructions that would deepen your research: http://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences-and-law/sociology-and-social...
Hey! I loved your piece on subtle racism, and I relate because it has happened to me many times before. I appreciate your shared experience at the end because in addition to “lecturing”, you are able to give a real life example to those who may not see it. I like that you pointed out that race is a social construct, though at this point in history I honestly believe that fact to be totally irrelevant. As the Thomas Theorm says “things that are identified as real are real in their consequences”, meaning, whether or not race is real, it has already had so much of an impact on our world that it no longer matters where it came from. I do not know your gender, but I know in my case, as a visible minority, as well as a woman, amongst other “minority statuses” I may hold, the term intersectionality is highly important. Intersectionality is the constant reinforcing of minority statuses in one person. For example someone who is of Hispanic decent , but also a woman, has her gender and race reinforcing each other and oppressing her more than a white woman or a Hispanic man. This being said, I’d just like to bring light to how much worse things can be when you are a double or triple minority. Especially when it is visible, you may not only be subjected to racism, but also sexism and homophobia. When they are compounded they actually create a worse problem than had they been just by themselves. This was an interesting topic and I think looking at it through a gender lense makes it even more interesting!
Thank you for sharing your thoughts on sex and gender. I fully agree with you regarding the fact that today’s society has made striking progress in accepting different gender-orientations. I think you make an excellent point that sex and gender are two very different categories and that people should feel respected enough to freely express their identity in this day and age. Looking back on material seen it class, I’d like to bring up some reasons that can help explain why some individuals unfortunately struggle to express their identity as freely as they’d like to. It is first important to mention that gender is a social construct that has been used to define how members in our society should act based on their sex. Consequently, the idea of gender performativity emerged, which stipulates that gender is performed, and its performance depends on the social context a person is in, as well as the idea that people who do not perform their gender “correctly” are penalized. By this I mean that they do not conform to the ideals set by the patriarchal “man box”, which notably promotes heterosexual, white male dominance. To recap, an individual can express or perform a gender in a way that does not correspond to the way they identify gender-wise. For example, someone might be born with what is biologically considered the male sex, yet can identify as female. Unfortunately, “the man box” would peg this person as feminine and many members of society who strongly believe in the patriarchal view would cast this individual away. In this case, the person may choose to “put on an act” where they perform a socially accepted male gender, but truly identify as female. Therefore I think that the important nuance is that expressing our identity on paper is one thing, but doing so in real life situations is a different matter. Thank you again for the insightful post, I thoroughly enjoyed reading it!
The title is very catchy and this text is very well written. For the most part, I completely agree with you. It is very interesting that you chose to use the term “white supremacy”, because in my opinion, the key concept here is white privilege. Privilege: unearned assets that allow some individuals to navigate any and all social systems more easily than others people can. It can be based on gender, race, sexual orientation, religion, class, and so on. “Would this case have been treated differently if Turner had been black or latino? Yes.” Because race is one of the most important factors in defining privilege. The most privileged people are straight, white, men. In addition to being all of the above, Brock Turner’s wealth has also opened a lot of doors for him.
Another keyword that I would like to focus on is "rape culture". Rape culture is a culture that trivializes and normalizes rape; it is the means by which we create an atmosphere in which rape is allowed to continue, and in which it seems normal that men have unrestricted sexual access to women’s bodies.
The example of Brock Turner shows us how privilege and rape culture reinforce one another. Not only Turner being white turned to his advantage but the judge being white strengthens this privilege even more. You have made an excellent point by bringing up the long term psychological consequences that the victim will face and I would like to add that in cases like this, victims are often blamed. This tactic facilitates rape culture and makes it easier for rapists to get off on a shorter sentence.
Since this case has received a lot of attention in the media, it sets a precedent for other rapists, making them think that rape is okay and that they will get away with it because they are straight, white, men. Rape is not okay. But because of their privilege and how normalized rape is, they might get away with it, like most rapists do. One in five university-age women in North America have been sexually assaulted and only a small minority of accused rapists do jail time. This is not okay.
“Is it morally acceptable to treat someone differently because of his skin colour? No.” I agree, but does it happen? Every single day. “Rape is wrong in any case regardless of the situation.” This is the idea that we, as a society, should stand up for.
Rape has become so common; if you’re not looking for it, you probably won’t see it. Here is an article about rape on the small screen that you might find interesting. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/arts/television/how-has-rape-become-such-...
Your post encompasses your passionate ideas about the horrific reality that is the police brutality and racial profiling issue in the United States. The compelling evidence included exhibit the harsh reality of the situation and drive your argument. This post relates to the concept of “double consciousness”, which means that when people are of a visible minority group, they must juggle their identities between their legal rights and freedoms as human beings and citizens with society’s impression of their minority. They must adapt how they act based on how society perceives their minority group rather than themselves as individuals. With double consciousness comes the concept of Intersectionality is the socially constructed categories such as race, class and gender, that apply to a certain individual. These various labels overlap creating a unique position for this individual due to the benefits and consequences that come with various factors of identification. Black men are stereotyped to be excessively violent, aggressive, and dangerous. The victims of the acts of police brutality know they deserve to have due process and have the right to life however, the society they live in still has these racist ideas which prevent them from enjoying their natural rights. This article from the Baltimore Sun demonstrates a less severe, but emotionally painful example of double consciousness and intersectionality. Even though you know you deserve fair treatment, because of your visible identities creates your unique life experience which comes with its various challenges and the rest of society categorizes you based on them. http://articles.baltimoresun.com/1998-04-05/news/1998095013_1_black-susp...
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