Presentation on theme: "Gender, Sexuality and Feminism"— Presentation transcript:
1 Gender, Sexuality and Feminism Tyrone Connell and Mikaela Brusasco
2 Gender in debating What is gender? Is gender a good or a bad thing? Is it opted into by individuals or imposed by society?Should society attempt to regulate expressions of gender?Banning things (e.g. sexist films)Regulating things (e.g. equal gender ratio of tv content)How effective is society at doing this?E.g. TWS ban all advertising of products on the basis of gender, except where there is a specific and proven need to do so
3 Sexuality in debatingIs sexuality individually or socially constructed?Should society regulate people’s sexuality?Banning and regulatingSubsidising things (e.g. paying for prostitution services for the severely handicapped)How effective is society at doing this?E.g. TWS ban all pornographySince sexuality is an important domain for the expression of gender, debates about sexuality often engage questions of gender
4 Feminism(s?) There is debate about what constitutes feminism: Radical feminismLiberal feminismLibertarian feminismWomen of Colour feminism/womanismMarxist feminismSome argue that each of these is a valid expression of feminism of equal value. Others disagree.Can a social movement function with disparate/conflicting elements?E.g. That feminists should reject SlutwalkAppropriation/parody or conformity?
5 Where did feminism come from? Western feminism:1st wave (turn of the 20th century) – women’s civil and political rights; the suffragette movement2nd wave (1960s-1980s) – social and sexual inequalities; reproductive rights; workplace rightsDivisions: the ‘Sex Wars’3rd wave (1990s-present) – reclamation, individualism, WoC, corporate board representation, legal inequalities, intersectionalityMany liberal feminists have rejected elements of the 2nd wave which opposed liberal sexual expressionFeminism in non-western countries, womanism, minority feminismE.g. Aboriginal feminism in Australia
6 Has feminism succeeded? 1) Feminism is largely failingRadical feminists: since the Second Wave, liberal feminism has seen the reemergence of some harmful gendered practicesPay parity has hardly shifted in recent decades, lack of corporate board representation‘on the wrong track’2) Feminism is on a positive trajectoryWhile there is still much to do, there are many marks of progress:Paid parental leave schemes, ERA in the US, increasing representation in the workplace/politics3) Feminism is over/complete (‘post-feminism’)Quite difficult to argue in debating/objectively wrong
7 Movements based around sexuality/gender diversity LGBTIQ…Lesbian rights – dealing with erasure of lesbian experiences from the social discourse, within the ‘gay’ discourseGay rights – ‘marriage equality’, historical repeal of sodomy laws, political representation, reform of religious doctrineBisexual rights – again, issues of erasure; conflation with stages of homosexuality, etc.Transgender – access to state-funded surgery/debates within transsexual community about the gender binary, recognition of ‘third gender’ or ‘non-gender conforming’ identitiesDo these groups all belong in the same movement?What are their similarities?What are their differences?
8 Debates about sexuality E.g. That we should criminalise the demand but not the supply of prostitutionE.g. That the BDSM movement is bad for feminismWhat’s good about the BDSM movement?What’s bad about the BDSM movement?How do these things relate to feminism?
9 ConsentA common justification for gender/sexuality practices that might (because of social norms, for example) seem harmfulConsent theory generally requires the proof of:1) access to information2) rationalityE.g. That we should regret the rise of the ‘hook up’ cultureWho’s consenting?Questions of intersectional disadvantagePower imbalancesIntersects feminist debate – libertarian vs. radical feminism
10 Gender in ‘non-gender’ debates TWS regret the federal government’s intervention in the Northern TerritoryTWS not give development aid to countries without population control