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Welcome to Gender and Society. Introduction to the Module Introductions Why gender? Why feminism? Early feminists What next?

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Presentation on theme: "Welcome to Gender and Society. Introduction to the Module Introductions Why gender? Why feminism? Early feminists What next?"— Presentation transcript:

1 Welcome to Gender and Society

2 Introduction to the Module Introductions Why gender? Why feminism? Early feminists What next?

3 Who are we? Pam Lowe –Lectures Anna Gruszczynska –Tutorials

4 Why is gender important? Talk to the person sitting next to you about what gender means to you?

5 First words ‘Sugar and Spice and all things nice That’s what little girls are made of Slugs and snails and puppy dogs tails That’s what little boys are made of’ Traditional UK nursery rhyme

6 Girl or Boy On birth, babies are divided. –Blankets, hospital wristband, baby books, cards etc They are assigned a sex and with this goes normative ideas of appropriate behaviour This effects their entire lives

7 The big picture There is no country in the world where women earn as much as men. On average women earn from 50% to 80 % of men’s wages 2/3 of the world’s illiterates are women 3/5 of the 115 million children out of school are girls; Just 15.6% of members elected to parliaments (both houses combined) in the world are women; Only 2 of the United Nations General Assembly presidents have been women Source Accessed 29/09/08http://portal.unesco.org/shs/en/ev.php-URL_ID=8277&URL_DO=DO_TOPIC&URL_SECTION=201.html

8 The UK Girls now do better than boys in gaining GCSEs and A levels Women in full-time work get paid on average 17% less than men Women in part-time work get paid on average 40% less than men. Only 19% of MPs are women. Only 25% of UK MEPs are women Source:

9 What do you think? Were you surprised about this picture of inequality?

10 What is femimism? No one sort of feminism Lots of different positions within the UK and across the world All have one thing in common They believe that as a group women are disadvantaged in relation to men, and wish to expose/challenge/overcome this disadvantage

11 When did feminism start? The widespread adoption of the term from the 1960s But feminist thinking as a much longer history

12 Mary Wollstonecraft ( ) A Vindication of the Rights of Women (1792) Castigated as a ‘hyena in petticoats’ Ideas still relevant today

13 Mary’s central argument ‘Women are told from their infancy, and taught by the example of their mothers, that a little knowledge of human weakness, justly termed cunning, softness of temper, outward obedience, and a scrupulous attention to a puerile kind of propriety, will obtain for them the protection of man; and they should be beautiful, everything else is needless, for at least twenty years of their lives’ Wollstonecraft, M (1992) A Vindication of the Rights of WomenLondon penguin p100

14 Mary’s central argument Girls are trained to be feminine They are not encouraged to the same sort of ambitions as boys Women could be as clever as men if they were given the same access to education

15 Sojourner Truth Famous speech ‘Ain’t I a woman’ 1851 Born in slavery approx 1797 After New York slaves were freed worked with the abolitionist movement and advocated women’s rights

16 Ain’t I a Woman "Dat man ober dar say dat womin needs to be helped into carriages, and lifted ober ditches, and to hab de best place everywhar. Nobody eber helps me into carriages, or ober mud-puddles, or gibs me any best place!" And raising herself to her full height, and her voice to a pitch like rolling thunders, she asked "And a'n't I a woman?” “Look at me! Look at me! Look at my arm! I have ploughed, and planted, and gathered into barns, and no man could head me! And a'n't I a woman? I could work as much and eat as much as a man—when I could get it—and bear de lash a well! And a'n't I a woman? I have borne thirteen chilern, and seen 'em mos' all sold off to slavery, and when I cried out with my mother's grief, none but Jesus heard me! And a'n't I a woman?” Source accessed 20/09/05http://womenshistory.about.com/library/etext/bl_sojourner_truth_woman.htm

17 Sojourner’s central message Women are seen as weaker and less capable of physical activities than men But this idea about ‘women’, does not refer to all women This norm is based on an image of a middle-class white woman Many women work as hard (or harder) than men.

18 Sojourner’s central message Different expectations of womanhood

19 I’m not a feminist but…? Feminists have often been portrayed as anti-men? There were/are a few separatists, but most feminists DO NOT believe that men are the enemy!!! Men can, and do, identify themselves as feminists Ideas about masculinity, can be just damaging

20 Are you a feminist? What does the name feminist mean to you? Would you call yourself a feminist?

21 The rest of the module Week 1Introduction to the Module Week 2The Social Construction of Gender Week 3Gendered Education Week 4Gender in the workplace Week 5Gender and Sexualities Week 6Liberal feminisms and the equality and difference debate Week 7Independent Study Week 8Socialist Feminisms and the theories of reproduction Week 9Radical Feminism and the continuum of violence Week 10Theories of masculinities Week 11Completion and Submission of Learning Diary

22 Learning diary Important to record as you go through the module Important to reflect on your learning Different ways you can do this –Standard form –Written/typed comments –Annotated photocopies.

23 Deadlines Week 3 Reflective writing (500 words) Submitted in the lecture in week 3. Week 7Critical analysis (700 words) Submitted to reception Friday week 7 Week 11 Completed Learning Diary Submitted to reception Friday week 11

24 Summary Gender is an important division in society There are different versions of feminism Introduced Mary Wollstonecraft and Sojourner Truth Understood the learning diary.

25 Next week: The Social Construction of Gender History of Feminism up to the Second-wave Sex and gender theories Relationship between feminism and sociology


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