Oct 27, 2009

•  A dichotomy is the complete separation of things into two unique parts. •  A dichotomy describes EVERYTHING. Everything must be either A or B. There is no option C.

Gender as a Dichotomy
•  Gender tends to be understood as a dichotomy. •  Gender also tends to be used interchangeably with ‘sex’… •  There are a few unavoidable problems with this way of thinking…

How to define “SEX”?
•  By anatomy? •  Between 0.1% and 1.7% of people are born with intersex characteristics. •  That’s between 7 million and 120 million people world-wide.

How to define “SEX”?
•  By chromosomes? •  Many different conditions can lead to men or women being “wrongly” chromosomed. (Like androgen insensitivity)

Theories About Gender

“One is not born, but rather becomes, a woman.” - Simone de Beauvoir “Gender is one of the ‘conditions’ of intelligibility…by which the human emerges, by which the human is recognized.” - Judith Butler

•  Gender Roles
–  The division of labor according to gender –  Fuels the public space/ domestic space dichotomy

•  Gender Stereotypes
–  Gender-based characteristics and behaviors

•  Gender Stratification
–  Structural inequalities that give people different access to power and resources, according to their gender.

•  First wave feminism
–  Gained strength at the and of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century –  Focused on de jure inequalities between men and women, like the right to vote.

•  Second Wave Feminism
–  At its height in the 1960s and 1970s –  Fought against “unofficial inequalities” between men and women. –  “Women’s Libbers” –  Equal Pay Act of 1963 –  Birth Control

•  Third Wave Feminism
–  About 1990 to the present. –  Aims to correct past mistakes of the movement. –  Recognizes a diversity of genders and gendertypes, and the fluidity of gender identity.

When Reading Kottak Ch9
•  Look at the dates for his references. •  What was happening in America at that time? •  What was happening in the feminist movement at that time? •  What cultural constructs and values were being reconsidered at that time?


Dreamworlds 3

•  How is masculinity defined? Is there more than one way? •  How is femininity defined? Is there more than one way? •  In what ways are these concepts used to define each other? •  What keeps these ideas recurring over and over again?

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