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Power of Naming Feminist Perspectives on Women and Computers WS 445/545 – Spring 2005 Pat Samuel.

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Presentation on theme: "Power of Naming Feminist Perspectives on Women and Computers WS 445/545 – Spring 2005 Pat Samuel."— Presentation transcript:

1 Power of Naming Feminist Perspectives on Women and Computers WS 445/545 – Spring 2005 Pat Samuel

2 Power of Naming WHO has the power to name? Importance of Naming Husband’s Right to Chastise Dysfunctional Families Domestic Violence Wife Beating Sexual Harassment – No name until 1970s

3 Power of Naming Applied to Women and Computers Women’s Movement vs Feminist Movement or Women’s Liberation Movement Androcentric Norms Institutional Sexism Sex Role Socialization The Personal is Political Consciousness Raising / Interpretive Communities

4 Women’s Movement vs Women’s Liberation Movement Relates to meaning of feminism Equal Rights – treat men & women same VS Liberation of All women from All forms of oppression

5 Feminism – Alternative Definitions Eliminates Sex Discrimination Must address ALL problems facing women, including racism, classism, etc. as well as sexism

6 Feminism – Alternative Definitions Is FEMINISM a movement to support women who suffer from injustice? No, says Janet Radcliffe Richards in her book The Skeptical Feminist. "Feminism is NOT concerned with a group of people it wants to benefit. Feminism is concerned with eliminating a specific type of injustice,” the injustice of discrimination based on sex. (Illustrates Sexism Only )

7 Feminism – Alternative Definitions FEMINISM "May be defined as a movement seeking the reorganization of the world upon a basis of sex-equality in all human relations; a movement which would reject every differentiation between individuals upon the ground of sex, would abolish all sex privileges and sex burdens, and would strive to set up the recognition of the common humanity of woman and man as the foundation of law and custom.” From a Suffragette

8 Feminism for WS 445 “We must create a feminist movement which struggles against those things which can clearly be shown to oppress women, whether based on race, sex or class, or resulting from imperialism..... If the feminist movement does not address itself also to issues of race, class, and imperialism, it cannot be relevant to alleviating the oppression of most of the women of the world." Cheryl Odin-Johnson

9 Feminism - Against Oppression FEMINISM Is a commitment to eradicating the ideology of domination that permeates Western culture on various levels ‑‑ sex, race, and class, to name a few ‑‑ and a commitment to reorganizing U.S. society, so that the self ‑ development of people can take precedence over imperialism, economic expansion, and material desires. bell hooks, Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center

10 Feminism - Against Oppression FEMINISM is the political theory and practice to free all women: women of color, working- class women, poor women, physically challenged women, lesbians, old women, as well as white economically privileged hetersexual women. Anything less than this is not feminism, but merely female self- aggrandizement. ?Barbara Smith? Check source

11 Androcentric Norms Definition: Preferred behaviors or institutional practices based on traditional male sex roles.

12 Androcentric Norms - Examples Software to teach arithmetic based on shoot-em-up games. Linear method of programming (not holistic method) predominates in computer science courses. Men who stay up all night to complete Web design are better workers than women who go home at 6pm.

13 Androcentric Norms A name or concept that identifies a pattern, gives us language to talk about major problem. What other policies, criteria for promotion, etc. are based on assumption that behavior characteristic of traditional male sex role is best?

14 The Wage Gap On average, women who are employed full-time earn 70% as much as their male counterparts. Why? No discrimination. Wage gap result of women’s choice. Women choose low paying childcare instead of high paying carpenter.

15 Non Discrimination Claim Hard to Refute w/o alternative Name/Concept Dominant ideology (mainstream society) tends to name or equate sexism with discriminatory laws or discriminatory actions taken by an individual. Need name – Institutional Sexism – for alternative way of viewing; for help in understanding why no level playing field.

16 Institutional Sexism When one sex, intentionally or unintentionally, Refuses to share power and resources equitably, Maintains institutions unresponsive to the needs of the other sex, Imposes its own (androcentric) culture, and Justifies the resulting inequalities by blaming the victim.

17 Sex Role Socialization What message do iVillage and send about the characteristics of “real women” ?

18 The Personal Is Political

19 Consciousness Raising & Interpretive Communities

20 Co-optation

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