Multicultural feminism and collective representation Essay

Multicultural feminism and collective representation Essay.

There is no doubt that the evolution of feminist theories, frameworks and ideologies have been instrumental in reassessing, redefining and reconstructing the social, economic, cultural and political contributions of women. Feminism’s rise and continuous growth in varying areas and communities paved the way for different movements which are readily geared toward emphasizing gender equality; asserting women’s rights and eventually abolishing the patriarchal hegemony. Indeed, the descendants of Eve are no longer confined into the oppressive realms of domestication and gender-based roles and stereotypes.

However, it cannot be denied that while feminism seems to encompass the experiences and reality scope of each and every woman, it cannot be denied that the constraints presented by cultural and geographical differentiation seem to hinder feminism from achieving a strong, cohesive and united stand. Basically, this particular problem has been the focus of the multicultural-feminist approach. From the term “multicultural,” it can be then argued that multicultural feminism gives feminism a new approach in terms of bridging the social and cultural gaps that prevent women from having consensus (Streitmatter, 1999).

Under this context, feminism is not merely focused on identifying women’s problems in general. It is also concerned on understanding the underlying the social and cultural situations wherein these problems emanate. To a certain extent, it is more specific, since issues of race and ethnicity are given much importance so as to further avoid discrimination and enable a dynamic participation among marginalized groups or sectors (Code, 2000). This is why collective representation proved to be important under this context.

But then again, while it is true that collective representation seems to be an efficient tool for spreading feminism, this action also presents some of the major problems confronted by the multicultural approach. Take for example the case of Chicana Feminism (Rotger, 2003). Its existence cannot be merely attributed to have a feminist movement in Latin America. From a critical perspective, it can be argued that the rise of Chicana Feminism is a reaction to the failure of multicultural feminism to express or articulate the needs of Latin American women.

The aim to bridge social and cultural gaps did not materialize and even cause further divisions and fragmentations. Once and for all, if one has to employ a multicultural approach, this requires a thorough and substantial understanding of the community or group’s experiences. The rampant utilization of western paradigms and frameworks may help, but this does not necessarily mean that it will eventually reflect the Latin American experience. Discussions that are drawn from an outsider’s point of view are very limiting as compared to those who have direct involvement with the matter.

Clearly, this situation tends to further aggravate divisions and fragmentations. From another angle, despite of the fact that Chicana Feminism is worthy of recognition because of its strong efforts to put focus on women’s issues in Latin America, this is nonetheless prone to suffering “identity politics (Kramarae & Splender, 2000). Kramarae and Splender (2000) explained that identity politics occur when group or collective members tend to disregard individuality when it comes to the pursuance of goals and objectives.

The two further added that this can result to internal conflicts wherein the legitimization of principles and ideologies becomes fully hierarchical. Although collective members may share similar sentiments regarding a particular issue, this does not necessarily mean that they will converge when it comes to the approaches and solutions to be employed. From an individualistic level, this can also vary. This therefore tends to weaken the collective. The arguments they present transform into a salvo of rhetorical debates. Collective representation is indeed a challenge to multicultural feminism.

Efforts should be continuously exerted so as to lessen the instances of marginalization and further subdivisions. A broad-minded perspective should be readily employed so as to reduce the chances of identity politics to be able to formulate appropriate and effective solutions.

References Code, L. (2000). Encylopedia of Feminist Theories. New York: Routledge Kramarae, C. and Splender, D. (2000). Routledge International Encyclopedia of Women. New York: Routledge Rotger, M. (2003). Battlegrounds and Crossroads. Netherlands: Rodopi Streitmatter, J. (1999). For Girls Only. New York: State University of New York Press

Multicultural feminism and collective representation Essay

Feminism is for Everybody Essay

Feminism is for Everybody Essay.

Feminism is a social, cultural, moral and political advocacy encompassed on gender issues such as inequality. In this regard there are several writings that concerns the principles of feminism. The contents of literary works about feminism vary, some writers intend to advocate for the very cause of feminism blindingly, some authors, conversely, intend to provide information about feminism in a non-political or non-equalitarian manner. One such notable content can be found in Bell Hooks’ publication, Feminism is for Everybody.

Hooks’ book gives the reader a whole different perspective on the radical feminist theory.

The primary intention of her book is to bring the feminist point-of-view to non-believers, apathetics and unfamiliar. Hooks also counters the popular notion regarding feminism as she feels that these notions should be given proper attention and correction. In this manner, the common misconception on the ideas of feminism will be clear to society.

In the book, Feminism is for everybody, the author rejects the usual beliefs connected to feminism and considers such belief as nothing more than a myth.

Hooks puts the arguments and advocacies of feminism in a summarized manner in order to provide a simpler context to readers as well as well as a new concept of what feminism should be. Hooks’ new concept of feminism suggests a fight against stiff sexism in a benevolent society, thereby ultimately advocating for an inclusive movement.

In Feminism is for Everybody, Hooks traces the roots of the feminist movement and gives detail on what it has achieved so far. an advocacy minus the associations of anti-sexism (Hooks, 2000). The historical background of feminism is given in order to put emphasis on the misconstrusion that happened along the way and to give way to the new concept of the movement. Hooks raises the question is feminist a philosophical belief or a political cause, given that the author tackles the arguments of the radical feminists.

The debate whether feminism is a philosophical belief or a political cause can also be caused by one of the book’s chapters tackling gender oppression. The basis may be seen on the idea typecasting male as the enemy, the categorization of man as the oppressor and woman is the oppressed is the primary reason behind feminism’s second wave, however, Hooks also does not take away the fact that females are also responsible for such opression given that it took time for the supposed oppresed to spearhead for change (Hooks, 2007).

Hooks furthers this by giving the past mistakes of feminism and the misleading beliefs that feminists associated themselves with. This is on the account that most feminists focus on the problem and not on the solution. In a personal account, I am taken to a different world as far as feminism is concerned, primarily because Bell Hooks’ gives a different appraoch in discussing the cause of feminism. It is also notable that the author diminished the complexities of the feminist thought but still detailed enough to get me educated.

The book caused me to reconsider my prior beliefs regarding the arguments presented by feminists. The non-traditional manner of Hooks’ presentation eliminated my angst towards feminists and made me realize that it is time for change, Hooks compelled me to believe that it is time to dispose of the misleading conventional feminist beliefs of the past and focus on the current issues, moreover, Hooks made me believe that feminism is indeed for everybody.

References Hooks, B. (2000). Feminism is for Everybody. Cambridge: South End Press.

Feminism is for Everybody Essay

Reflection Domestic Violence Essay

Reflection Domestic Violence Essay.

The article on _Controversies Surrounding Mandatory Arrest Policies and the Police Response to Intimate Partner Violence_ by Amy Leisenring brings up a very interesting point on domestic violence among couples. Whether they are married or dating or if they are black or white. She makes a strong argument based on other research that has been done about how the Mandatory Arrest Policies (MAP) is necessary. Leisenring makes interesting point that the use of Mandatory Arrest Policies can be beneficial for women who are battered and those who are also in domestic violent relationship.

She states that, “…intimate partner violence is a serious crime and is matter of public concern instead a private issue between the two people involved.” (PG276; Leisenring) Domestic Violence should no longer be an issue between two people but more a social issue. She makes arguments that domestic violence should be looked at more serious and taken to account that it’s a crime against women.

The state, the men in uniform should be able to know and fulfill their duties to insure that the woman is protected.

People advocate for mandatory arrest policies because it not only will the police not treat the women like as a second wound (secondary victimization). This terminology I learn in my victimology class and its means that when a victims experience a crime whether its robbery, abuse or rape; they depend on police or first responders to provide comfort and assistance but instead they receive a negative treatment, which makes them feel worse. Leisenring clearly makes this point, which I just explained, “…law enforcement officials for intimate partner violence reported that police officers commonly minimized the seriousness of their situation…”(Pg276; Leisenring) She also mention that some women are not for the MAP, because they believe it wouldn’t benefit them and it makes them feel at a disadvantage based on race, class and culture.

In the second article, _Domestic Violence: The Intersection of Gender and Control_ by Michael P Johnson also make interesting points on domestic violence but only difference is he explain the violence isn’t based on gender unless it symmetric to one another. In the culture of masculinity and femininity men are the central aspect of abusing women. If looking from a sociological perspective, most perpetrators are men and the victim are women. He uses this concept of “coercive control as a context for violence” (PG278; Johnson) to explain power and control in the relationship. He goes explaining that the difference between Intimate Terrorism and Violent Resistance. Male are mostly the intimate terrorist who hover some sort of power and control over his significant other.

He uses threats or a form of scare tactics to show his wife or girlfriend that he has power because he is a man. A woman would be the violent resistance who response to the attacks or threats from the intimate terrorist. Which in some cases, if she can’t find a way to handle the situation, in most cases will end up killing the man. For example, the show Snapped basically depicts different types of women and the reasoning behind the killing of their husbands or boyfriends. Most men who tend to abuse women in anyway, shape or form; are oblivious to the fact that women are plotting to get revenge one way or another.

It’s a form that leads women to a breaking point to where she ends up either chopping him up in his sleep or the old fashion way; poisoning him. Women who have marched and protested in the feminist movement have spoken out to see a change. Johnson states, “The women’s movement has been extremely effective in educating both the public and the criminal justice system about the nature of intimate terrorism.” (PG285; Johnson) Women who are in those type of relationship needs more counseling in order to cope with the abuse.

Reflection Domestic Violence Essay

Women’s Rights between 1750 and 1914 Essay

Women’s Rights between 1750 and 1914 Essay.

The era spanning 1750 CE and 1914 CE was the era of revolutions. These revolutions were political, economic, and cultural, and usually very drastic. Perhaps the most visible cultural change was that in working-class women’s rights and conditions, which improved significantly during the era of revolutions. The most visible improvements in women’s rights were seen in Western Europe and China, where women gained many rights but remained under patriarchal authority and could not vote.

Western Europe was the home of revolution.

Social revolution grew out of Europe, and Renaissance men and women heralded human rights. Revolutions of the people were built upon the support of women, and in women used their dedication during wartime to garner support for peace-time rights. Women in Western Europe tried to harness the spirit of freedom, equality, and popular sovereignty. It was during the era of revolution that large women’s rights movements were established, providing women with their own unions. Enlightenment thinkers presented very convincing arguments for female rights, and in many cases persuaded governments to grant women rights such as free public education, inheritance, and legalized divorce.

However, little in terms of actual rights were achieved.

In China, industrialization had become a part of life following the mid-eighteenth century. Unlike European industrializing power, China industrialized while relatively remote from other industrial nations, allowing it to develop its own strand of industrialization. Before industrialization, the humiliating practice of foot binding was very popular. Girls were often victims of infanticide, as boys could grow up to become government officials whereas girls would be married and become subservient to another family. Population growth in China caused by industrialization led to social change, and social revolution came in the form of the Taiping program, which decreed that men and women were equal. Though quickly put down, this showed that on the small scale, Chinese women were gaining more rights and independence, and a many people believed that they should no longer be treated as subservient individuals.

Throughout the era of revolution, women maintained a, to some degree, subservient position to men. Despite the many attempts by feminists to try and gain equal rights, little besides recognized was gained for the feminist cause. Indeed, it was not until after World War I that women gained suffrage. Up through 1914, women throughout both China and Western Europe maintained the same generally subservient role in the male household, despite gaining several token rights. It required large-scale social change in order to change the ingrown attitude towards women.

Overall, working-class women in Western Europe and China gained little between 1750 and 1914 CE. They built the ideas and foundation that they would need in order to gain rights such as suffrage and legal equality later in the twentieth century, but little more than symbolic rights were granted them.

Works Cited

Hosken, Fran P., ‘Towards a Definition of Women’s Rights’ in Human Rights Quarterly, Vol. 3, No. 2. (May, 1981), pp. 1-10.

Lockwood, Bert B. (ed.), Women’s Rights: A “Human Rights Quarterly” Reader (John Hopkins University Press, 2006), ISBN 9780801883743Lafitau, Joseph François, cited by Campbell, Joseph in, Myth, religion, and mother-right: selected writings of JJ Bachofen. Manheim, R (trans.) Princeton, N.J. 1967 introduction xxxiii

Women’s Rights between 1750 and 1914 Essay

Dead White Males Essay Essay

Dead White Males Essay Essay.

The two opposing ideologies in this play are liberal humanism and post-structuralism.

How are they represented? How does the play operate to position the audience to finally prefer one above the other? Dead White Males is a play about a sexually deprived lecturer, Dr Grant Swain, who attempts and almost succeeds in bedding one of his students, Angela Judd, by utilising his position in the university, and by imbuing his views upon his students. Alongside this plot is the conflict between two ideologies, liberal humanism and post-structuralism. Angela, the main character of the play is compelled to make a choice between post-structuralism represented by Dr Swain, and liberal humanism, (Shakespeare), who is constantly opposed and criticised by Swain. By the end of act one it is quite obvious who the villain of this play is. In the opening scene the villain first shows his destructive nature through his unnecessary violence. “ANGELA How is it that you know so much about us? [SHAKESPEARE is just about to answer when a MAN in his thirties, dressed in fashionable casual clothes appears behind him.

] MAN He doesn’t you know. [The MAN pulls out a pistol and shoots SHAKESPEARE dead. ANGELA looks at the MAN, horrified]” (Pp 1)

The man in this scene is of course Dr Grant Swain, and his dramatic entrance encourages us to dislike him, because we feel it is wrong to shoot people for no apparent reason. Swain appears to us the villain, due to his unmistakable character, for, aside from his violent episodes, we find that he is interested in only one thing. Sex. He tries to hit on Angela, but she declines his offer. After Melissa accepts his offer of dinner later on, he quickly and conveniently loses interest in Angela making it obvious that he was concerned with only one thing. Another quality we disfavour him for is his over-confidence. From the beginning of the play, when introducing himself and his course, he is “animated by the intense certainty that he has a supremely important message to communicate and is enormously well equipped to deliver it.” Swain endeavours to shoot Shakespeare several times, and although this is only in Angela’s imagination, we are positioned to agree with Angela’s attitude towards Swain because she is one of the sympathetic characters. The audience sees Angela as one of the “good guys”. She is a sympathetic character, and her circumstances as well as her attributes position us to see her as such.

Sympathy is evoked for her: 1. Because she seems naive, and readily falls prey to Swain’s way of thinking 2. Because she is a victim of the villain 3. She has been deprived of the nurturing her mother should have provided 4. Because she has suffered through her childhood as a result of her parents’ “happy marriage” 5. When she is embarrassed in front of Steve Also she defends Col, and takes on the rest of the family. In doing so she becomes a sort of heroine, defending the helpless and upholding the truth, and this positions us to like her character even more. The warring ideologies in this play are represented not only as favourable and unfavourable in this play, but also by certain characters. By establishing who are the “good guys” and who are the “bad guys”, the representation of the characters’ respective ideologies are also determined. Post-structuralism is without doubt the unfavourable ideology in this play. This is simply because it is expended through the villain of the play. Even though Angela admits that she ‘think(s) there is some truth in what he (Swain) says’ (Pp 80) the fact that Swain subscribes to post-structuralism still conquers, causing post-structuralism to seem as flimsy as its subscriber does.

Even when Angela reprimands Shakespeare for his disgraceful casting of women, liberal humanism still holds its approval above post-structuralism, as Shakespeare asks to be wished back to an era of sanity, implying that Angela’s views are insane. Because post-structuralism is the unfavoured ideology, liberal humanism has no other option but to be seen as the favoured one. It’s values and attitudes are mouthed by unobjectionable characters and so are preferred over that of post-structuralism. The play operates by using conventions such as characterisation/casting, tone, dialogue, and conflicts, as well as using our own ideologies to position us to view all the characters and ideologies as we do. When there are conflicts between the characters we instinctively choose sides, as we look for a character to feel for and a character to be disinclined to. This helps to support liberal humanism throughout the play, as in each individual conflict we find that the pitiable characters are those that speak the patriarchal type ideologies, whereas the aggressive characters mouth the more modern ideologies.

This occurs between Swain and Shakespeare, Col and his daughters, Col and Sarah, and Sarah and Martin. The casting and characterisation of Dead White Males plays a major part in determining who and what are preferred above the others. By having certain characters approve certain ideologies, it encourages the audience to also approve or disapprove of those ideologies. Swain an objectionable character is so very offensive because of his character. He is power hungry, as well as sex orientated as we see in his reaction to Melissa’s let down. ‘SWAIN You’ve really made and idiot of me, haven’t you? MELISSA Are you saying the marks you gave me weren’t genuine, because if you are – SWAIN Of course there were genuine, but – MELISSA Good marks equals sex. Is that what was going on in your mind? SWAIN No! For God’s sake this was not a case of exploitation. I have grown extremely fond of you! [ANGELA enters. SWAIN makes a great effort to control his anger.’ (Pp 91) By using him to mouth the more passive ideology, the audience becomes less receptive to it.

However it is not enough to just have the good guys endorsing the dominant ideology, and the more offensive guys endorsing the bad one, for the audience to accept the prominent ideology. So the good guy (Angela) becomes a victim of the evil post structuralism, and then is shown the light. In the end she succumbs to liberal humanism causing the audience to look upon it favourably. Ironically, the majority of the males in this play are far from the liberal humanist version of the typical dominant male. They are all somewhat spineless to s certain extent and are all victims of their dominant ideology. Swain, being ridiculed for his view, Col being abused by his family for being loyal to a mate, Steve and Martin, both being not very assertive and so are run down by their lack of confidence. The females too are far from their docile liberal humanist stereotype. Sarah is a headstrong feminist, Melissa is ready to give Swain exactly what he deserves and Angela is almost bullies her father as much as the rest of the females do.

In fact the characters although mouthing liberal humanist beliefs (well, some of them) actually conform to post-structuralist stereotyping. However, this juxtaposition of the cast with the plot only reinforces liberal humanist attitudes, suggesting that if the males and females had been playing their respective roles then perhaps the story would not have been so miserable. The play uses our own ideology as well to make us choose one of the plays ideologies above the other. Note that it is very difficult to gain the support for an alternative ideology from an audience when dominant ideology of our society is liberal humanism.

The two opposing ideologies in this play are liberal humanism and post-structuralism. Dead White Males operates by using techniques such as characterisation to position us to prefer one ideology above the other. The main way the play does this is by having an objectionable character, mouth the values and attitudes of post-structuralism, causing us to prefer liberal humanism. In the end I feel there is only a slight preference of one over the other because although Swain is the villain who shoots himself in the foot, much of what he says is historical fact. Bibliography : Dead White Males by David Williamson

Dead White Males Essay Essay

Gloria Steinem Essay

Gloria Steinem Essay.

Gloria Steinem views America as a largely male-dominant culture. In her efforts to speak out and fight against this unbalanced form of society she strongly enforces her views of female anti-submissiveness. Because of the seemingly unfair amount of rights men have deprived American women of, Steinem calls for drastic changes in the way women view themselves and are viewed both in the society and within the home.

Steinem’s biggest problem with our society is the harsh stereotypical views that are laced all throughout the culture.

Children are raised with the ideas that men dominate certain areas of life, and women others, and crossing these dividing lines into areas reserved for the other gender is an act seen as both unnatural and taboo. In her essay “Life Between the Lines” Steinem touches upon the common marital problem of housework. (Steinem, 8) Because of the deeply rooted tradition of females and housework, many women struggle with feelings of helplessness and even embarrassment when trying to get their husbands to help out around the home.

In “Huston and History”, Steinem writes that because of the secondary status women are traditionally seen as having, they are more likely to relate to minorities and those seen as “less fortunate”. Frederick Douglass recognized this when he stated that “the cause of the slave has been peculiarly women’s cause.” Relating back to the fight to end slavery, which was most enthusiastically fought by the women. The essay “Sisterhood” presses on this topic as well when it declares that the “deep and personal connections among women living under patriarchy” often causes them to “leap barriers of age, economics, worldly experience, race, [and] culture.” (123) Even though society builds many walls between different people, the common goal of subordination remains a very strong uniting factor.

Male and female roles in society have always been seen as vastly different. The common children’s poem: “What are little girls made of? Sugar and spice, And everything nice, That’s what little girls are made of.

What are little boys made of? Snips and snails, And puppy dog tails, That’s what little boys are made of.”

(internet: http://showcase.netins.net/web/marys/LittleBoys.htm) is a perfect illustration of the generalizations our country has towards the two genders. Steinem suggests in her essay “College Reunion” that, through education, the boundaries between the two sexes might start to dissolve. Steinem states that “Women’s colleges have rarely taught us to fight for ourselves, or for other women.” (137)

Only in teaching women the skills necessary to break down the walls that tradition has built up, and “equality and full humanity of women and men” is achieved, can true feminism be accomplished. (5) Another major topic illustrated in this book is the author’s concern about the sexual relationships between male and female. According the Steinem, our culture’s stereotypical views of the sexes often envelopes all aspects of life, bringing male-dominance even into the bedroom. Three essays focusing primarily upon the sexual dominance of men are “Erotica vs. Pornography”, “I was a Playboy Bunny” , and ” If Men Could Menstruate”.

“Erotica vs. Pornography” centers on way the American society frequently sees sex. In America, children are raised with images of female sex symbols strewn all across the media which make women vulnerable for the pleasure of men. Steinem attributes the sexual male-supremacy to this trendy media tool. A common quote illustrating this point is “sex will sale anything”. Because of the steady moral decline in society, “sex is also confused with violence and aggression in all forms of popular culture.” (239) Pictures of females are seen in every form of media, from the television to the internet to the paper. This imagery drastically influences the way females think of themselves, and are viewed by others.

“I was a Playboy Bunny” speaks of the time in which the author went “undercover” to become one of the famed “Playboy Bunnies”. Once within the Playboy realm the glamour and intrigue quickly started to fade. Steinem saw that the bunnies were used in affect as cheap labor to feed the vastly popular Playboy clubs. Working long hours with no or little pay (54), outrageous regulations on hair, heels, clothing, and even the bunny demeanor all added to the unspectacular life of a Bunny.

“If Men Could Menstruate” is a comical look at how the world would be different if it was in fact the male sex who was on a periodic menstrual cycle. “Clearly, menstruation would become an enviable, boast-worthy masculine event: Men would brag about how long and how much,” and “Sanitary supplies would be federally funded and free.” (367) Although the essay is an interesting satire on what “could be”, no real arguments are held or reinforced. It is in affect an amusing look at how the culture might react if men were given the attributes of the “weaker sex”.

Although many of Steinem’s arguments are well supported and easily seen as valid, they frequently focus on either to broad, or to narrow a topic. Essays like “Men and Women Talking” express the communication habits between males and females all over the world, from Europe (193), Australia (194), Japan (203), and the U.S. – a very large base from which drawing any solid conclusions becomes drastically more difficult. The other extreme argumental stance occurs in being to narrow. Essays like “Ruth’s Song” concentrate on a single instance and circumstance. Because of the narrow focal point it is hard to relate a specific example to a larger, more common instance.

In “Ruth’s Song” Steinem says that “the biggest reason that my mother was cared for but not helped for twenty years was the simplest” her functioning was not that necessary to the world.” (143) Inferring that because her mother was a female, Steinem suggests that her only role in the economy was to produce and care for her offspring, and that because she no longer could do either one, she was not an important member in society. Although her point may be well made, it relates directly to only those females who have, or are directly effected by a mental breakdown. Because of the illness of one woman, it is hard to conclude that the fate of a single person would be the same for everyone else having a similar fortune.

Steinem’s arguments all have the underlying theme of female limitation in a male-dominant society. To combat this she proposes that women learn to stand up for themselves and take action. Only through active change in every individual, can full and complete equilibrium among the sexes take place.

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Gloria Steinem Essay