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Entries Tagged as 'Jennifer R'

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 Feminism (Final)

October 11th, 2011 · No Comments

Within her book, Feminism without Borders, Chandra Talpade Mohanty chooses to express and highlight some problems in which she finds crucial. She argues that the problematic point is that women in third world countries are misrepresented because of the “Third world difference”. She goes onto to explain the context behind difference and that they rely on the relationship between being a ‘woman’ and ‘women’. Being a woman is the cultural and ideological composite which is constructed through the representations of the discourse. When it comes to women, they are real, historical subjects. These images are constructed but carried through the Western discourse. However, these distinctive representations of woman and women that shape them in society are not only the problem. The problem is that women, especially ‘third world women’, are seen as a powerless group, often victimized by particular socioeconomic systems. These examples can be seen in the ways women are represented in the workforce and how they are provided with educational opportunities.

Women have been always been in the workforce but “the fact of being women with particular racial, ethnic, cultural, sexual, and geographical histories has everything to do with our definitions and identities as workers” (142). This given due to the fact that   even though the power gap division that stands between women and men in these ‘third world countries’ is centralized, there is still a domination and exploitation in terms of race and gender. “Work becomes an extension of familial roles and loyalties and draws upon cultural and ethnic/racial ideologies of womanhood, domesticity, and entrepreneurship to consolidate patriarchal dependencies” (159); women’s identity as workers is secondary to their familial roles. The idea and concept behind the ideology of work, which in this case is considered an invisible form of work, is the ideologies of domesticity, dependency, and (hetero)sexuality, which designates women as housewives/mothers and men as economic supporters/breadwinners (159). This shapes the idea that the work women do outside the home, is not really considered work or labor because of this house wife ‘role’. This reflects the displayal of women as they concentrate more on domestic, housewife roles that are supposed to benefit the family and not really them. It shows how there is still an oppression of choice for the ‘Third World woman’ who has to reflect two roles, worker and housewife, instead of one. The role in society for ‘Third World women’ is to stay under the subordination of men and masculinity because the need for them to work doesn’t necessarily create their identity. It is the “identity of women as housewives, wives, and mothers that is assumed to provide the basis for women’s survival and growth” (160).

Another factor that plays a role in the feminist outlook is the issue of educational opportunity. With the constant growth of industries and the attempts to maintain poverty within a certain level, it is the reason behind many controversial issues that have affected those who are least opportunistic. “If American higher education is in the process of undergoing a fundamental restructuring such that yet again it is women and people of color who are at risk…” (186). This economic cycle of limiting opportunities for those who are less likely to surpass their class status has circulated the mainstream economic system for quite a while. If we compare the education accessible in ‘Third World’ countries to the educational opportunities sustained in the U.S today, one can notion that it is still women and people of color who are less likely to attend prestigious schools where they can get a ‘well balanced supplemental education’ or any education for that matter. They are the ones being disadvantaged due to the lack of recognition they receive in society. Education is perceived to be more ‘tolerable’ for the men who are the dominate form and the so called ‘supporters and breadwinners’. They are the ones encouraged to attend school since they will be the ones going out into the labor force supplying the family. However, when I say dominate form, I refer to the white male domination because just like women, people of color are limited to the educational opportunities and are in a sense ‘privileged’ if they do attend a higher institution.

These forms of gender, labor, educational and other oppressions make us question whether or not the evolution of women oppression has surpassed throughout geographical locations –such as, Africa, the U.S., Mexico, India and etc. Do women of ‘Third World’ countries and the U.S. differ? Are they not both oppressed and limited to opportunities that are more available to men and the dominate norm? These limitations reflected onto women due to certain limitations enable the construction of ideologies that enable us to keep considering possibilities outside of the norm and as women, it helps us challenge them. From oppression, we choose to become activist and feminist and seek knowledge. And as feminist, we tend to use that knowledge to answer the same questions we continue to raise.

Tags: Group Two · Jennifer R

Mohanty and Feminism

October 7th, 2011 · 4 Comments

Within her book, Mohanty chooses to express and highlight some problems in which she finds crucial. She argues that the problematic point is that women in third world countries are misrepresented because of the “Third world difference”. She goes onto to explain the context behind difference and that they rely on the relationship between being a ‘woman’ and ‘women’. Being a woman is the cultural and ideological composite which is constructed through the representations of the discourse. When it comes to women, they are real, historical subjects. These images are constructed but carried through the Western discourse. However, these distinctive representations of woman and women that shape them in society are not only the problem. The problem is that women, especially ‘third world women’, are seen as a powerless group, often victimized by particular socioeconomic systems. These examples can be seen in the ways women are represented in the workforce and how they are provided with educational opportunities.

Women have been always been in the workforce but “the fact of being women with particular racial, ethnic, cultural, sexual, and geographical histories has everything to do with our definitions and identities as workers” (142). This given due to the fact that            even though the power gap division that stands between women and men in these ‘third world countries’ is centralized, there is still a domination and exploitation in terms of race and gender. “Work becomes an extension of familial roles and loyalties and draws upon cultural and ethnic/racial ideologies of womanhood, domesticity, and entrepreneurship to consolidate patriarchal dependencies” (159); women’s identity as workers is secondary to their familial roles. This reflects the displayal of women as they concentrate more on domestic, housewife roles that are supposed to benefit the family and not really them. It shows how there is still an oppression of choice for the ‘Third World woman’ who has to reflect two roles, worker and housewife, instead of one. The role in society for ‘Third World women’ is to stay under the subordination of men and masculinity because the need for them to work doesn’t necessarily create their identity. It is the “identity of women as housewives, wives, and mothers that is assumed to provide the basis for women’s survival and growth” (160).

Another factor that plays a role in the feminist outlook is the issue of educational opportunity. With the constant growth of industries and the attempts to maintain poverty within a certain level, it is the reason behind many controversial issues that have affected those who are least opportunistic. “If American higher education is in the process of undergoing a fundamental restructuring such that yet again it is women and people of color who are at risk…” (186). This economic cycle of limiting opportunities for those who are less likely to surpass their class status has circulated the mainstream economic system for quite a while. If we compare the education accessible in ‘Third World’ countries to the educational opportunities sustained in the U.S today, once can notion that it is still women and people of color who are less likely to attend prestigious schools where they can get a ‘well balanced supplemental education’ or any education for that matter.

These forms of oppression make us question whether or not the evolution of women oppression has surpassed throughout geographical locations. Do women of ‘Third World’ countries and the U.S. differ? Are they not both oppressed and limited to opportunities that are more available to men and the dominate norm? These limitations reflected onto women due to certain limitations, enables the construction of ideologies that enable us to keep considering possibilities outside of the norm and helps us challenge them.

Tags: Group Two · Jennifer R

Feminism in the words of Collins and Nash (Final)

September 23rd, 2011 · No Comments

 

When it comes to Feminism, there is no specific definition. There are only theories as to what Feminism is. Some figure that feminism has risen into its nature because of oppression suppressed by all women when it comes to certain humane rights. These produced systems of oppression have led to the feminist theory of intersectionality. Intersectionality is in fact due to the way in which the economy, segregation, and certain ideologies have shaped this oppressive theory, leaving a distinctive perspective on this theory. However, this does not mean that this theory cannot be altered or perceived through a different lens. Even though there are controlled images of a certain race or gender, it does mean that one has to perceive themselves within that controlled image. For instance, if a black woman is stereotyped as a ‘golddigger’ or ‘hoochie’, it does not mean that she has to level herself to that standard. She can look past the controlling images of society and find a job and buy her own things.

Controlling images, which would have been stereotypical images of Black womanhood, were designed to make racism, sexism, poverty and other forms of social injustice appear to be natural, normal, and inevitable parts of everyday life (77). These images were those that kept Black women suppressed and under control of the dominate discourse. These images shape the normality within society which kept the whites as the upper class and any other race as the less unfortunate lower class. A controlling image that was displayed to a U.S. Black woman was the concept of mammy- the faithful, obedient domestic servant. This image symbolizes the dominant group’s perception of the ideal Black female relationship to elite white male power because it supports the racial superiority of White employers (80). These controlling images have even reached a point where it has affected schools, the news media, and government. For example, in schools, during social science research, the Black woman’s sexuality has been influenced by assumptions of the jezebel. Two topics both deemed as social problems were the results in which Black woman’s sexuality appears within AIDS research on adolescent pregnancy. With the growing influence of media display – radio, movies, videos, CDs and internet- the controlled image of Black women has ambushed and circulated at a higher rate and speed. With pop culture being quick to promote sexual images of Black women, there has also been trouble with the way these women have been portrayed through Black hip-hop music videos (93). The fact that they are seen as exploiting themselves puts an even denser effect on the controlled image perspective.

In her book, Black Feminism Thought, Patricia Hill Collins, discusses Black Feminism and the oppressions that many Black women struggled through. One way she describes Black feminism is “as being a racial, class, gender, and sexual constitute mutually constructing systems of oppression” (246). This idea of Black feminism is the standpoint behind the developed concept of controlling images that many women have been trying to overshadow since the World war era and etc. During the 1900s, many Black women were enslaved and positioned as domestic servants. They worked on plantations, where they were seen as the “Aunt Jemima’s” or “mammy’s” because they stayed within a particular work field…which was domesticity and tending to others. Today, some would say that many Black women have strayed away from these domestic duties or any particular job description that tends to exploit them within the domestic work field. However, some theorists like, Omolade point out that Black women have not in deed strayed away from historic domestic duties, such as care taking for white families or maintenance duties. In fact, they have taken new forms, such as working in nursing homes, day care centers, dry cleaners and etc (44).  The positions that these Black women held within the domestic sphere were influenced by the controlling images they were first suppressed by. These controlling images, in due to feminism, have regarded in positioning Black women in another suppressed state due to the controlling image of the ‘Jezebel’. This is where the Black women’s sexual desires come into play. Collins discusses the history of the 19th century conception, the white imagery of female black body and its sexuality. She goes onto distinguish the ways Black women have been portrayal and the social enslavement they have endured due to the dominant race. The ‘Jezebel’ image is this portrayal and sort of “social enslavement” because of the fact that her sexual appetite is inappropriate and insatiable, which labels her as a “freak” (91).  This image is also seen as one side of the normal/deviant binary which gives black women a bad representation.

Jennifer Nash’s article entitled “Strange Bedfellows: Black Feminism and Antipornography Feminism” critiques Patricia Collins and her view of controlling images. According to Nash, “Collins describes ‘controlling images’ as dominate representations that produce and entrench racial-sexual mythologies. These images depict black women as licentious, animalistic, libidinous jezebels; …Collins envisions these images as serving a social purpose: providing justification for the states continued disciplining of the black female body” (57). However, Nash states that one cannot presume a particular view in race because of the systems that have oppressed certain women due to race, class, poverty and inequality. Within her article, Nash declares that she has a problem in which anti-pornography displays and exploits race. Nash vows for the theory of self representation and stands to the claim that images should not be controlled substance for a certain race or class. She holds on to the idea that there should be choice on whether a woman wants to be seen a certain lens. She argues so that sexual desire or pleasure does not limit a woman, for the thought that a woman should be labeled based on her own terms and interpretations and she wants women to drift away from controlling images.

While, Nash focuses more on the Anti-pornographic view, Collins goes against the exploitation or objectification of women within the stages of oppression on a historical stance. Nash’s concept of sexual exploitation through pornography shows how black women’s bodies and black women, especially those with big butts, are perceived. Black women tend to be racialized and sexualized more than white women because of their appearance and curves. They are seen as sex objects and as affordable. For example, since white women are on a higher rank then black women, they are untouchable or unreachable as compared to a black woman who is at a lower rank and is more likely to comply with demands for a means of societal approval. A white woman does not need approval of her beauty or rank because she is dominant race. Nash describes racialization when she states that “while white women are pictured as pillow-soft pussy willows, the stereotype of the Black ‘dominatrix’ portrays the Black woman as ugly, sadistic and animalistic, undeserving of human attention.” (54-55). She also states and explains that “black feminism has become steeped in an ‘epistemological respectability’, producing an intellectual formation that tends to avoid questions about black women’s sexual desires, black queer subjectivities, and the various forms of black women’s pleasures” (53). This can be seen in the way pornography oppresses women and subordinates them on a different spectrum based on their racial rank. The fact that they are Black women it makes them more suitable for the sexual position or pornographic position in which they are exploited in because they are not white, and for both races, this is the norm of society.

Based on Nash’s depiction, feminism has filtered some components from Black women. Their sexual desires and preferences have been controlled by images that have been labeled by society and not black women themselves. However, not many know that sexual desire and pleasure is an important aspect of feminism and dominance. Many link pleasure and liberation but where is the pleasure in being controlled by images of society? Nash describes the ways in which pleasure is depicted through ‘black female subjectivity’ and how sexual desire through the porn industry is not always beneficial for the black woman who is being exploited. Will there be a time where sexuality portrayed by black women will be seen as something more than the dominant cycle? What would be seen as challenging their sexual integrity? As we consider the answer to these questions we are left wondering whether controlled images have evolved elapsed or have they taken shapes in new forms.

 

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

Tags: Group Two · Jennifer R

Feminism – From the perspectives of Collins and Nash

September 16th, 2011 · 4 Comments

When it comes to Feminism, there is no specific definition. There are only theories as to what Feminism is. In her book, Black Feminism Thought, Patricia Hill Collins, discusses Black Feminism and the oppressions that many Black women struggled through. One way she describes Black feminism is “as being a racial, class, gender, and sexual constitute mutually constructing systems of oppression” (Collins. 2008. Pg. 246). During the 1900s, many Black women were seen as slaves and domestic servants. They were seen as the “Aunt Jemima’s” or “mammy’s” because they stayed within a particular work field…which was domesticity and tending to others. Today some would say that many Black women have strayed away from domestic duties or any particular job description that tends to exploit them. However, some theorists like, Omolade point out that Black women have not in deed strayed away from domestic duties that isolated them within the home because of the fact they have taken new forms, such as working in nursing homes, day care centers, dry cleaners and etc (Collins. 2008. Pg.44). Collins discusses the history of the 19th century conception, the white imagery of female black body and its sexuality. She goes onto distinguish the ways Black women have been portrayed throughout history and the social enslavement they have endured due to the dominant race.
Collins states that “U.S. Black feminist thought contains considerable work that assesses how U.S. educational, employment, taxation, and social welfare policies affect African-American women’s lives” (Collins. 2008. Pg.249) and this can be visualized through different concepts within Jennifer Nash’s article entitled “Strange Bedfellows: Black Feminism and Antipornography Feminism”. Nash critiques Patricia Collins in various ways because of the non-agreements and the different views they hold. Nash states that one cannot presume a particular view in race because of the systems that have oppressed certain women due to race, class, poverty and inequality. Within her article, Nash declares that she has a problem in which anti-pornography displays and exploits race. She holds on to the idea that there should be choice. She argues for self representation and the drift away from controlling images that place labels on women. Nash focuses more on the Anti-pornographic view while Collins goes against the exploitation or objectification of women within the stages of oppression on a historical stance. Nash’s concept of sexual exploitation through pornography shows how black women’s bodies and black women, especially those with big butts, are perceived. Black women tend to be racialized more than white women and they also become more sexualized. She describes racialization when she states that “while white women are pictured as pillow-soft pussy willows, the stereotype of the Black ‘dominatrix’ portrays the Black woman as ugly, sadistic and animalistic, undeserving of human attention.” (Nash. 2008. Pg. 54-55). Nash also states and explains that “black feminism has become steeped in an ‘epistemological respectability’, producing an intellectual formation that tends to avoid questions about black women’s sexual desires, black queer subjectivities, and the various forms of black women’s pleasures” (Nash. 2008. Pg. 53). This can be seen in the way pornography oppresses women and subordinates them on a different spectrum based on their racial rank. The fact that they are Black women, it makes them more suitable for the sexual position or pornographic position in which they are exploited in because they are not were white, and this is the norm of society. Based on societies norms, White women are meant to be on a higher spectrum then Black women and Collins goes on to explain this concept by illustrating the role of Black women through historical and present data.

Tags: Group Two · Jennifer R

Feminism

September 7th, 2011 · No Comments

Tags: Group Two · Jennifer R