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Entries Tagged as 'Erika'

Butler Quote 2 Group Two

November 5th, 2011 · 6 Comments

The terms by which we are recognized as human are socially articulated and changeable.  And sometimes the very terms that confer “humanness” on some individuals are those that deprive certain other individuals of the possibility of achieving that status, producing a differential between the human and the less than human. These norms have far-reaching consequences for how we understand the model of the human entitled to rights or included in the participatory sphere of political deliberation (Butler 2004, 2).

Tags: Brooke · Erika · Group Two · Jennifer R · Kate · Olivia · Troli

Butler Quote for Group Two

November 2nd, 2011 · 6 Comments

The body implies mortality, vulnerability, agency: skin and the flesh expose us to the gaze of others but also to touch and to violence. The body can be the agency and the instrument of all these as well, or the site where “doing” and “being done to” be equivocal. Although we struggle for rights over our own bodies, the very bodies for which we struggle are never quite our own. The body has its invariably public dimension; constituted as a social phenomenon in the public sphere, my body is and is not mine (Butler 2004, 21).

Tags: Brooke · Erika · Group Two · Jennifer R · Kate · Olivia · Troli

Mohanty and Gender (Final)

October 10th, 2011 · No Comments

Chandra Mohanty’s Feminism without Borders addresses many critical and multifaceted issues and present-day feminism. Mohanty establishes essential links and connections between the working lives of women in the Third World as well as the United States and how these connections show similar ideological patterns within varying class/ cultural structures. Mohanty looks at the gendered politics within the global labor force. Mohanty deconstructs the ideologies around female labor forces in Narspur, India and the Silicon Valley, California and how the out-of-the-home jobs are seen as secondary to their wife and motherly duties.

The second section, Demystifying Capitalism, looks at the exploitation of Third World women workers, by comparing various situations in many diverse locations. First, Mohanty expresses the idea of “the sexual politics of global capitalism” (141) and how globalization has led to the exploitation of women workers across national borders. Mohanty goes on to discuss a few key examples of women workers in the Third World and how the work they are doing, or how they are viewed doing the work leads to patriarchal domination. Before going into the specifics of the examples, Mohanty sets the stage very nicely by stating: “While the global division of labor looks quite different now from what it did in the 1950s, ideologies of women’s work, the meaning and value of work for women, and women’s struggles against exploitation remain central issues for feminists around the world. After all, women’s labor has always been central to the development, consolidation, and reproduction of capitalism in the United States and elsewhere” (146). Mohanty looks at the ways in which women of different races, ethnicity’s, as well as social classes have profoundly different experiences of work in the developing economic world. The increasing division of the world into consumers vs. producers has had a tremendous effect on Third World women workers who have been seen internationally as anything from agricultural workers, manufacturing workers in textiles, electronics, garments as well as toys, to workers of the sex and tourist industry (146). This is further deconstructed when Mohanty says: “The value, power, and meanings attached to being a consumer or a producer/ worker may vary enormously depending on where and who we happen to be in an unequal global system” (146-47). In comparing situations of women workers, Mohanty first looks at the lace makers in Narspur. The women of Narspur are responsible for making products, and ultimately mean that men “live on profits from women’s labor” (149). Mohanty discusses the polarization between that of men and women’s work. “Men actually define themselves as exporters and businessmen who invested in women’s labor, bolstered the social and ideological definition of women as housewives and their work as ‘leisure time activity’” (149). Through this we see a patriarchal definition of work and Mohanty looks at this definition of work to further her discussion of worker and non-worker, and ultimately how it leads to the further exploitation of women. “In other words, work, in this context, was grounded in sexual identity, in concrete definitions of femininity, masculinity, and heterosexuality” (149). Naomi Katz and David Kemnitzer show a comparison of the Third World “women’s work” to that of “women’s work” within the US in looking at the production strategies/ processes that produce an “ideological redefinition of normative ideas” of Third World factory workers in the Silicon Valley of California, where immigrant women are the primary workforce. Katz and Kemnitzer discuss that gender stereotypes are used in the Silicon Valley to attract females who may be “more suited” to perform “tedious, unrewarding, poorly paid work” (Mohanty 153). Through this patriarchal view of women and women’s work we see how the “normative definitions of women as wives, sisters, and mothers- always are in relation to conjugal marriage and the ‘family’ (150). Clearly these stereotypes and heterosexual, patriarchal ideologies around gender are used to devalue the work that women do outside of the home. Here we see a disparity between the labor of men and women once again. Men are seen as the “businessmen, the exporters of goods” (149), and the so-called basis for capitalism, but in all actuality the men are “running of the same economic wheel” as the women, but the work of men is always more highly regarded. Men’s work is seen as something of great value as well as believed to be the basis for the economic system. Since men run the economic system, the work of the women in production and manufacturing is not highly regarded and the women get looked over. The work of men is being commodified and the work of women is not even acknowledged on the same scale to be considered an asset to the global economy, almost as an unnecessary/ disposable resource. Men should try to sustain a global economy without the use of women’s work in production and manufacturing as see just how “disposable” or unnecessary women’s work is and see how far they get!

In these instances we see how Mohanty examines globalization and capitalism in terms of division of labor to show how ideas of “woman’s work” come into play, not only in Third World countries, but within the United States as well. These examples of the lace workers in Narspur and the electronic workers in the Silicon Valley show the “gendered” politics of the global labor market. Mohanty establishes essential links and connections between the working lives of women in the Third world as well as the United States. These connections show similar ideological patterns within varying class/ cultural structures. Woman’s work is viewed in terms of leisure time or something to do in their “free time” and comes secondary to their roles within the family structure; taking care of the children, the house, and being their for the husbands. Based on these ideas woman’s work outside the home is judged on a completely different scale compared to men, but Mohanty explains how woman’s work has indeed been the backbone of the capitalist system for some time.

Tags: Erika · Group Two · Uncategorized

Mohanty and Gender

October 5th, 2011 · 4 Comments

Chandra Mohanty’s Feminism without Borders addresses many critical and multifaceted issues and present-day feminism. Mohanty establishes essential links and connections between the working lives of women in the Third world as well as the United States and how these connections show similar ideological patterns within varying class/ cultural structures.

Mohanty looks at women in the Third World and how “gender” is portrayed. When Mohanty says: “This average Third World woman leads an essentially truncated life based on her feminine gender…” (22), which signifies the idea that the lives of women in the Third World are sexually constrained. What binds these women together is their “sameness” of oppression (22). Women, as a gender, have been labeled as “powerless, exploited, and sexually harassed…” by varying scientific, economic, legal, and sociological discourses (23). Mohanty brings up the concept of “object status” in regards to gender. Mohanty expresses that when women have been previously defined as “victims of male violence, universal dependents…and the victims of the economic development process” (23), women’s status then becomes objectified. As women of the Third World they are simplified to objects, or property then in which men acquire rights over (27). Through the economic development process, globalization, and the capitalist economy, women of the third world are once again being exploited by a dominating patriarchal society.

The second section, Demystifying Capitalism, looks at the exploitation of Third World women workers, by comparing various situations in many diverse locations. First, Mohanty expresses the idea of “the sexual politics of global capitalism” (141) and hoe globalization has led to the exploitation of women workers across national borders. Mohanty goes on to discuss a few key examples of women workers in the Third World and how the work they are doing, or how they are viewed doing the work leads to patriarchal domination. Before going into the specifics of the examples, Mohanty sets the stage very nicely by stating: “While the global division of labor looks quite different now from what it did in the 1950s, ideologies of women’s work, the meaning and value of work for women, and women’s struggles against exploitation remain central issues for feminists around the world. After all, women’s labor has always been central to the development, consolidation, and reproduction of capitalism in the United States and elsewhere” (146). In comparing situations of women workers, Mohanty first looks at the lace makers in Narspur. The women of Narspur are responsible for making products, and ultimately means that men “live on profits from women’s labor” (149). Mohanty discusses the polarization between that of men and women’s work. “Men actually define themselves as exporters and businessmen who invested in women’s labor, bolstered the social and ideological definition of women as housewives and their work as ‘leisure time activity’” (149). Through this we see a patriarchal definition of work and Mohanty looks at this patriarchal definition of work to further her discussion of worker and non-worker, and ultimately the further exploitation of women. Naomi Katz and David Kemnitzer show a comparison of the Third World “women’s work” to that of “women’s work” within the US in looking at the production strategies/ processes that produce an “ideological redefinition of normative ideas” of Third World factory workers in the Silicon Valley of California, where immigrant women are the primary workforce. Katz and Kemnitzer discuss that gender stereotypes are used in the Silicon Valley to attract females who may be “more suited” to perform “tedious, unrewarding, poorly paid work” (Mohanty 153). Clearly these stereotypes/ ideologies around gender are the basis for exploitation of these workers.

In both instances we see how Mohanty examines globalization and capitalism in terms of division of labor to show how ideas of “woman’s work” come into play, not only in Third World countries, but within the United States as well. These examples of the lace workers in Narspur and the electronic workers in the Silicon Valley show the “gendered” politics of the global labor market. Mohanty establishes essential links and connections between the working lives of women in the Third world as well as the United States. These connections show similar ideological patterns within varying class/ cultural structures. Woman’s work is viewed in terms of leisure time or something to do in their “free time” and comes secondary to their roles within the family structure; taking care of the children, the house, and being their for the husbands. Based on these ideas woman’s work outside the home is judged on a completely different scale compared to men, but Mohanty explains how woman’s work has indeed been the backbone of the capitalist system for some time.

Tags: Erika · Group Two

Hill Collins and Gender by Erika Seaver (Final)

September 21st, 2011 · No Comments

Gender oppression is the oldest and possibly the most fundamental oppression within history in which other oppressions could/ most often are based on, due to the intermingled system of Intersectionality. Hill Collins describes this idea of Intersectionality as the place in which intersecting oppressions, such as sex, class, race, nation, and gender; meet (138). All of these categories in which women have been placed within have lead to their further oppression by the elite white male society. It is through these intersecting ideas that Collins points out the fact that black women are oppressed in so many different areas due to the interconnectedness of the ideas and expectations around sex, class, race, nation, and gender, which have been constructed through the eyes of white males. Ultimately, perpetuating the system of patriarchal domination and oppression of black females.

Hill Collins first looks at Heterosexism, “the inherent superiority of one form of sexual expression over another and thereby the right to dominate” (Collins 139). Heterosexism is a framework in which black female’s sexualities are looked at and anything deviating from the norm of heterosexual expression as being “normal, natural, and normative” (Collins 139). In expanding further on heterosexual norms there are black female images such as the “hoochie” that are viewed as “unnatural, dirty, sick and sinful” (Collins 139) or “wild, [or having an] out-of-control sexual appetite” (Collins 140). This lens in which we look at Black women surrounding sexuality feeds into the ways in which black women face oppression based on this clearly visible racism through sexuality. The classes in which black women experience oppression will be discussed further to follow when specifically discussing controlling images of women within certain classes. Race is also an intersecting oppression to women and Hill Collins is choosing to tell the stories of specifically black oppressed women, so the ideas and struggles we read about are focused on the basis of race, and the struggle of black women.

In looking further into the oppression of women based on race, gender and class, Patricia Hill Collins’ Black Feminist Thought describes how black women have been portrayed in various lights that confront these very ideas of race, gender, and class oppression. Women, black women more specifically have been oppressed by the white patriarchal society and how this oppression and objectification has led to black women’s experiences and life stories in some way to serve interest or benefit the elite white males. Throughout Black Feminist Thought, Collins discusses the oppression paradigms of race, class and gender to conceptualize domination and resistance. “Gender” comes to the forefront when Collins brings up the ideas of “controlling images”. Examples of controlling images around Black women include; “The Mammy- the maid/ housekeeper (Collins 80), the “Matriarch”- head bread winner of the household (Collins 83), the “Welfare Mother”- mother who spends too much time with her children (Collins 86), the “Jezebel”- the powerful and masculine women” (89), and the “hoochie”- the sluty/ distasteful black women (Collins 90). All of these images are examples of gender exploitation and created in the eyes of white males. In my opinion these gendered images serve to coerce/ force black women into acting a certain way based on the image they have been associated with.

When Hill Collins states: “Intersectional paradigms remind us that oppression cannot be reduced to once fundamental type, and that oppressions work together in producing injustice” (Collins 21), she is looking at the intersectionality between sexuality, race, class, and gender within the specific Black women community to show how these aspects within a black women’s life are what contribute to the oppression in which they received, based on the patriarchal society and expectations in which we live in. With the examples given above and discussed thought out all of Black Feminist Thought, we see that women’s experiences are always going to be gendered, raced, and classed.

It is important to note that as we see through controlling images of black women, that all black women do not share the same experiences and therefore cannot relate to specific situations directly but through what Hill Collins describes as the Matrix of Domination- how intersection oppressions are organized (21), can find common ground/ themes and a new angle to define themselves individually, as a community and within the society. These collective powers of black women allow them to find an outlet of the gendered patriarchal society and allow them [black women] to shape particular standpoints of black women in the United States.

Tags: Erika · Group Two

Erika

September 19th, 2011 · 2 Comments

Patricia Hill Collins’ Black Feminist Thought describes how black women have been portrayed in various lights that confront the ideas of race, gender, and class oppression. Women, black women more specifically have been oppressed by the white patriarchal society and how this oppression and objectification has lead to black women’s experiences and life stories in some way to serve interest or benefit the elite white males. Throughout Black Feminist Thought, Collins discusses the oppression paradigms of race, class and gender to conceptualize domination and resistance. “Gender” comes to the forefront when Collins brings up the ideas of “controlling images”. Examples of controlling images around Black women include; “The Mammy- the maid/ housekeeper (Collins 80), the “Matriarch”- head bread winner of the household (Collins 83), the “Welfare Mother”- mother who spends too much time with her children (Collins 86), the “Jezebel”- the powerful and masculine women” (89), and the “Hootchie”- the slutty/ distasteful black women (Collins 90). All of these images are examples of gender exploitation and created in the eyes of white males. In my opinion these gendered images serve to coerce/ force black women into acting a certain way based on the image they have been associated with.
Collins expressed how through Black Feminist Thought, black women are able to look past these controlling gendered images and share experiences/ ideas with other black women to provide them with a new angle to define themselves individually, as a community and within the society. These collective powers of black women allow them to find an outlet of the gendered patriarchal society.
Nash also mentions “controlling images” in “Strange Bedfellows: Black Feminism and Anti-pornography Feminism”, which looks into the world of pornography and how black women are portrayed as objects in another “patriarchal tool” (Nash 62). Pornography as another patriarchal tool is where male power and inequality are “innocently” masqueraded as sex. Nash also talks about how even in the gendered division of pornography between mean and women; women are depicted differently even further when broken up into white women and black women. Men depict white women in porn as being “pillow- soft pussy willows” (Nash 54) and black women as “shit” (Nash 55). These male depicted views play a huge factor in how women are viewed/ seen in pornography. Nash explains “the treatment [views] of black women’s bodies in the 19th century Europe and U.S. may be the foundation upon which contemporary pornography as the representation of women’s objectification, domination, and control is based” (Nash 55); meaning to me that these gendered images of women depicted by men is what has led to the control and domination of women by men. Overall, Nash’s argument can be summed up in when Nash said: “anti-pornography feminism’s fingerprints smudge the lens through which black feminism examines sexuality, pornography, and pleasure” (Nash 52).
Based on these readings it seems apparent that gender oppression is the oldest and possibly the most fundamental oppression in history in which other oppressions could be based on, due to the interlocking system of intersectionality. Nash provides the pillars to Collins in showing a visual representation in Collins’ Ideology that black women fall outside of white female sexuality and respectability.

Tags: Blogging the Theoretical · Erika · Group Two

Gender

September 7th, 2011 · 4 Comments

Tags: Erika · Group Two