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Gender and Politics lecture 5. are there gendered interests that require political representation? explore two main strands: - whether certain identities.

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Presentation on theme: "Gender and Politics lecture 5. are there gendered interests that require political representation? explore two main strands: - whether certain identities."— Presentation transcript:

1 Gender and Politics lecture 5

2 are there gendered interests that require political representation? explore two main strands: - whether certain identities (especially gender identities) produce certain politics - what the personal is political might mean

3 key questions to consider what is political? are all women feminists? can men become feminists? is politics based on identities possible or desirable?

4 lecture outline traditional Western politics and gender redefinition of the political? identity politics in feminism problems with identity politics?

5 lecture outline … politics of masculinities when is the personal political? e.g. Clinton and Paula Jones summary

6 traditional politics and gender Young in Kemp & Squires 1997; Holmes 2000 focus on individuals relationship with state separation of public and private spheres: - politics relates to matters of public interest - in transition to modernity family relationships, friendships, love and sex became considered areas of personal decision-making and women not citizens

7 traditional politics and gender mind overt matter – rational dualistic thought – masculine? critique – ideal of impartiality – view from nowhere?

8 traditional politics and gender liberal feminists sought reform within traditional political system marxist/socialist and radical feminists challenged traditional political system

9 redefinition of the political (1) Seideman 1994; Della & Diani 1999; Holmes 2000 New Social Movements (NSM) - encouraged attention to the personal - challenged dominant political systems second wave feminism - the personal is political e.g. consciousness raising groups - interpretations varied

10 redefinition of the political (2) womens everyday experiences appropriate subject matter for politics to change yourself was a political act the personal put on political agenda e.g. sexuality, sexual harassment, abortion...

11 identity politics in feminism Harstock in Kemp and Squires 1997; Cranny-Francis et al 2003 feminist standpoint women share a worldview because of their common material social position (extension of Marx) their (reproductive) activity produces critique of patriarchy as partial, overly abstract and relations as lacking connection effort to recognise difference but retain identity basis of politics – e.g. speaking as a … black working class woman …

12 problems with identity politics? Butler in Butler & Scott 1992; Whelehan 1995; Adams 1989; Yuval- Davis 1997; Pilcher & Whelehan 2004 identity categories (e.g. woman) exclude? based on notions of authenticity? what about complexity and who measures up? (see next slide!) lead to hierarchies of oppression – who is most oppressed? can stifle debate and prevent coalitions? tends to see some women as victims

13 politics of masculinities (1) Messner 1997; Connell 1995 what does it mean to be masculine? therapeutic approach a reaction to feminist criticisms of masculinity – individual solutions often conservative the defence of hegemonic masculinity is political

14 masculinity politics (2) Connell 1995; see also Messner 1997; Seidler 1991; Whelehan 1995; Segal 1990 gay community not a homogenous source of radical gender politics exit politics - resisting hegemonic masculinity address inequalities - refusing to be a man – e.g. drag, transsexualism

15 when is the personal political? e.g. Holmes 2000 what new areas did second wave feminists see as political? the personal was socially/politically constructed sexuality and relationships bodies and lifestyles has this influenced current ideas about the line between personal and political?

16 Clinton and Paula Jones (1) see e.g. Holmes, M (2000) When is the personal political? The Presidents penis and other stories, Sociology, 34(2): 305-321 – available online feminist challenge? challenging disembodied politics e.g. what president did with his penis politically relevant?

17 Clinton and Paula Jones (2) Holmes 2000; Melucci 1989 political cultures still masculine male sexual prowess enhances power? Clintons poll ratings not affected by sex scandals this may interfere with effective representation of womens interests – policy most important?

18 Clinton and Paula Jones (3) sexuality and embodiment read in gendered ways sexually problematic for women in power Jones discredited as trailer park trash personal appearance is political – problematic for marginalised groups to perform as creditable?

19 summary what is considered political changes definitions usually favour dominant groups - e.g. defining women as irrational excluded them from important decision making

20 summary … is politics still organised around social identities based on common experiences? do the experiences defined as common unify or exclude? attention to personal politically important but does individual change challenge or reinforce gender order?

21 next week … what are the relationships between gender and other inequalities? e.g. class, ethnicity, age, ability and sexual orientation cut across gender consider differences between and amongst women and men

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