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Entries Tagged as 'Violet'

Butler quote 2 Group Three

November 5th, 2011 · 5 Comments

As a result, the “I” that I am finds itself at once constituted by norms and dependent on them but also endeavors to live in ways that maintain a critical and transformative relation to them. This is not easy, because the “I” becomes, to a certain extent unknowable, threatened with unviability, with becoming undone altogether, when it no longer incorporates the norm in such a way that makes this “I” fully recognizable. There is a certain departure from the human that takes place in order to start the process of remaking the human (Butler 2004, 3-4).

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Butler Quote Group Three

November 2nd, 2011 · 5 Comments

Bodies still must be apprehended as given over. Part of understanding the oppression of lives is precisely to understand that there is no way to argue away this condition of primary vulnerability of being given over to the touch of the other, even if, or precisely when, there is no other there, and no support for our lives. To counter oppression requires that one understand that lives are supported and maintained differentially, that there are radically different ways in which human physical vulnerability is distributed across the globe.  Certain lives will be highly protected, and the abrogation of their claims to sanctity will be sufficient to mobilize the forces of war. And other lives will not find such fast and furious support and will not even qualify as “grievable” (Butler 2004, 24).

Tags: Emily · Group Three · Jillian · Maddy · Star · Violet

Mohanty- Gender- Final

October 12th, 2011 · No Comments

Mohanty’s book, Feminism Without Borders, examines the role of Third World women in the world and within feminist efforts. One of her largest critiques of how Third World women are conceptualized is that they are often placed together, based on their gender, as women without the acknowledgement of their different situations and histories. Mohanty stresses the distinction between the two different conceptualizations of the female gender – Woman and women. A Woman is the conceptualized notion of how the female gender should be and is produced by hegemonic discourse; women are historical subjects that reflect women in different locations with different histories. Thinking of Third World women as a universal group defined as Woman is very problematic for Mohanty. One of the groups that she is questioning is Western Feminists and the fact that they conceptualize the Western female gender much differently than the Third World female gender, and seem to group all Third World women together universally because it seems as though white privilege is what provides individualism. Mohanty does believe that change is possible but only when differences are acknowledged and explored so that there can be solidarity without universalism.

For Mohanty one of the largest critiques of Western Feminism and travesties for Third World women is that Western Feminists blur the line between the idea of Woman that is produced by hegemonic discourse and women as unique historical subjects. All different third world women become grouped together and thought of as one Third World Woman. They are defined by society’s conceptualization of a gender without looking at any of their differences or uniqueness. Third World women as a group are then characterized universally as powerless victims. “This is because descriptive gender differences are transformed into the division between men and women. Women are constituted as a group via dependency relationships vis-à-vis men, who are implicitly held responsible for those relationships.” (25) In this light there is a monolithic notion of sexual difference and the world is transformed into victims and oppressors – There is little room for individual histories. Western Feminists use this grouping of women as a category of analysis and try to make universal claims about male dominance because of their assumed “sameness” of oppression. They incorrectly analyze Third World Women and claim that they are all; victims of male violence, universally dependent, playing specific roles in familial structures, oppressed by religion and development, and that married women are victims of the colonial process. Even without knowing much about the topic and lacking research it seems absurd to me to believe that all women in the Third World are oppressed in all these ways. There must be differences based on individual locations and histories, and that is exactly Mohanty’s critique.

For Mohanty gender is important on two fronts. Firstly, she is critical of the reality that Third World women are grouped as one based purely on their gender without examining any of their uniqueness and secondly, it is important to note that for Monhanty there is a large difference between the conceptualization of Woman in the third world vs. the Woman in the Western world. Western Feminists discourse gains power from the systemizational oppression of Third World women. Mohanty believes that change will occur only when we start to acknowledge the different realities women from around the world and stop trying to group them together and study them universally. The focus should then be on real shared oppressions like how labor roles are defined and Third World women are exploited within these roles. This will lead to solidarity in the cause without the troubles caused by using only one conceptualization of the female gender for Third World women.

 

-Violet Batcha

 

Tags: Group Three · Uncategorized · Violet

Mohanty- Gender

October 5th, 2011 · 1 Comment

Mohanty’s book, Feminism Without Borders, examines the role of Third World women in the world and within feminist efforts. One of her largest and most universal critiques and complaints about how Third World women are conceptualized is that they are often placed together, based on their gender, as women without the acknowledgement of their different situations and histories. Thinking of Third World women as a universal group just because of their gender is very problematic for Mohanty. One of the groups that she is questioning is Western Feminists and the fact that they conceptualize the Western female gender much differently than the Third World female gender, and seem to group all Third World women together universally because it seems as though white privilege is what provides individualism. Mohanty does believe that change is possible but only when differences are acknowledged and explored so that there can be solidarity without universalism.

For Mohanty one of the largest critiques of Western Feminism and travesties for Third World women is that Western Feminists blur the line between the idea of Woman that is produced by hegemonic discourse and women as unique historical subjects. All different third world women become grouped together and thought of as one Third World Woman. They are defined by society’s conceptualization of a gender without looking at any of their differences or uniqueness. Third World women as a group are then characterized universally as powerless victims. “This is because descriptive gender differences are transformed into the division between men and women. Women are constituted as a group via dependency relationships vis-à-vis men, who are implicitly held responsible for those relationships.” (25) In this light there is a monolithic notion of sexual difference and the world is transformed into victims and oppressors – There is little room for individual histories. Western Feminists use this grouping of women as a category of analysis and try to make universal claims about male dominance because of their assumed “sameness” of oppression. They incorrectly analyze Third World Women and claim that they are all; victims of male violence, universally dependent, playing specific roles in familial structures, oppressed by religion and development, and that married women are victims of the colonial process. Even without knowing much about the topic and lacking research it seems absurd to me to believe that all women in the Third World are oppressed in all these ways. There must be differences based on individual locations and histories, and that is exactly Mohanty’s critique.

For Mohanty gender is important on two fronts. Firstly, she is critical of the reality that Third World women are grouped as one based purely on their gender without examining any of their uniqueness and secondly, it is important to note that for Monhanty there is a large difference between the conceptualization of Woman in the third world vs. the Woman in the Western world. Western Feminists discourse gains power from the systemizational oppression of Third World women. Mohanty believes that change will occur only when we start to acknowledge the different realities women from around the world and stop trying to group them together and study them universally. The focus should then be on real shared oppressions like how labor roles are defined and Third World women are exploited within these roles. This will lead to solidarity in the cause without the troubles caused by using only one conceptualization of the female gender for Third World women.

-Violet Batcha

Chandra Talpade Mohanty (2004) Feminism Without Borders: Decolonizing Theory, Practicing Solidarity. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

Tags: Group Three · Violet

Gender – a point of oppression in the matrix of domination- final

September 23rd, 2011 · No Comments

Patricia Hill Collins Black Feminist Thought is centered on the idea of gender and gender differences because it is a study of black women’s feminism.  For Collins, the term “gender” has a specific role in the construction of black feminist thought. She puts forth the convincing argument that everyone has an individual standpoint on the world based on his or her specific place in the “matrix of domination”. Collins says; “U.S. black women encounter a distinctive set of social practices that accompany our particular history within a unique matrix of domination characterized by intersecting oppression.” (Collins, 26) What she means by this is that no two black women experience the exact same oppression but because all American black women share intersecting oppressions they can build a collective standpoint. The intersectionality of the matrix of domination implies that all of the different oppressions are linked to each other and build off each other. In the U.S. the different oppressions that can intersect to build even greater oppression are race, class, sexuality, citizenship, religion, and gender. A lower class black female is never thought of as being a woman alone without the other oppressions. For Collins and the construction of black feminist thought the two most important and disadvantaging oppressions that all black women share are race and gender and it is based on these intersecting oppressions that a collective group standpoint is built.

Collins brings up some important distinctions between what it means to be white and female versus black and female and notes that gender construction is different for different races. Historically black women have never been able to split the spheres of their public and private lives because starting during slavery they have had a history of their privacy being violated. This poses a problem for black women and their gender ideology because “the public/private binary separating the family households from paid labor market is fundamental in explaining U.S. gender ideology.” (Collins, 53) It is generally assumed in our society “that real men work and real women take care of families.” (Collins, 53) This causes black women to be thought of as less feminine because they have to work outside their homes and are often the primary breadwinners for their families making their construction of the female gender different. “Framed through this prism of an imagined traditional family ideal, U.S. Black women’s experience and those of other women of color are typically deemed deficient.” (Collins, 53) What Collins is getting at is that of Black women’s sense of the female gender is forced to be constructed differently because of their shared intersecting oppressions of race and gender. This construction of what it means to be a black female is widely accepted and perpetuated by controlling images of black women that were created and are still used by the media to create a completely hegemonic cultural view of black women.

For Collins what the black female gender is conceptualized as comes from a historic inability to split the public and private sphere and is perpetuated by the medias controlling images. This creates a shared intersection of oppression for all black women that puts them in a unique standpoint in the matrix of domination. Black feminists have had a long history of resisting the power the matrix of domination creates against them. It is believed that the only way to get rid of the oppressions of the matrix of domination is to transform the unjust social institutions that that perpetuate the different oppressions. Maybe a start could be to remove the controlling images that help perpetuate the difference of black female vs. white female from the media, one of our unjust social institutions.

Patricia Hill Collins (2008) Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness and the Politics of Empowerment. New York: Routledge

-Violet Batcha

Tags: Group Three · Violet

Gender – a point of oppression in the matrix of domination

September 16th, 2011 · 2 Comments

Patricia Hill Collins Black Feminist Thought is centered on the idea of gender and gender differences because it is a study of black women’s feminism.  For Collins, the term “gender” has a specific role in the construction of black feminist thought. She puts forth the convincing argument that everyone has an individual standpoint on the world based on his or her specific place in the “matrix of domination”. Collins says; “U.S. black women encounter a distinctive set of social practices that accompany our particular history within a unique matrix of domination characterized by intersecting oppression.” (Collins, 26) What she means by this is that no two black women experience the exact same oppression but because all American black women share intersecting oppressions they can build a collective standpoint. In the U.S. the different oppressions that can intersect to build even greater oppression are race, class, sexuality, citizenship, religion, and gender. For Collins and the construction of black feminist thought the two most important and disadvantaging oppressions that all black women share are race and gender and it is based on these intersecting oppressions that a collective group standpoint is built.

Collins brings up some important distinctions between what it means to be white and female versus black and female and notes that gender construction is different for different races. Historically black women have never been able to split the spheres of their public and private lives because starting during slavery they have had a history of their privacy being violated. This poses a problem for black women and their gender ideology because “the public/private binary separating the family households from paid labor market is fundamental in explaining U.S. gender ideology.” (Collins, 53) It is generally assumed in our society “that real men work and real women take care of families.” (Collins, 53) This causes black women to be thought of as less feminine because they have to work outside their homes and are often the primary breadwinners for their families making their construction of the female gender different. “Framed through this prism of an imagined traditional family ideal, U.S. Black women’s experience and those of other women of color are typically deemed deficient.” (Collins, 53) What Collins is getting at is that of Black women’s sense of the female gender is forced to be constructed differently because of their shared intersecting oppressions of race and gender.

Patricia Hill Collins (2008) Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness and the Politics of Empowerment. New York: Routledge

-Violet Batcha

Tags: Group Three · Patricia Hill Collins · Violet