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Overview Radical Feminist Theories Catharine MacKinnon Andrea Dworkin.

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Presentation on theme: "Overview Radical Feminist Theories Catharine MacKinnon Andrea Dworkin."— Presentation transcript:

1 Overview Radical Feminist Theories Catharine MacKinnon Andrea Dworkin

2 Radical Feminist Theories Thinkers: Sara Ruddick, Mary Daly, Adrienne Rich, Andrea Dworkin, Catharine MacKinnon, Vandana Shiva Description of Problem: –System of men’s oppression of women that goes beyond just discrimination (patriarchy) –Men’s violence and control of women through rape, battering, and murder –Legitimation of women’s oppression in law, medicine, religion, and other institutions –Objectificatiom/exploitation of women’s bodies (prostitution, media, porn)

3 Radical Feminist Theories Analysis: Misogyny –Western society’s encouragement of aggression in men –Most men capable of violence, most women are potential victims –Heterosexual relationships are inherently unequal –Male values- objectivity, distance, competitiveness, control, aggression are to blame for war, poverty, rape, environmental destruction, etc.

4 Radical Feminist Theories Remedies: Praises women’s values (nurturing, cooperation, reciprocation, caring) –Argues that women’s values can alter behavior –Provide a different culture Contributions: –Theory of patriarchy –Recognition of violence against women as control –Established rape crisis centers and battered women’s shelters –Beyond “add women and stir” –Women’s studies

5 Radical Feminist Theories Shortcomings: –Largely ignored differences among women based on race/ethnicity, class, etc. –Heterosexual women? –Views on sexuality and pornography are problematic “Women are not as good as men, they are better”

6 Catharine MacKinnon Women’s oppression is linked to sexual relationships with men Sexuality is shaped by inequality and cannot be understood outside of this Gender and sexuality shaped by male domination Sexuality is not a neutral domain of pleasure – “sexual politics” –Filled with power struggle, force including things like withholding benefits, presents –Objectification of women –Sexual politics determines who we desire, who has sexual agency

7 Catharine MacKinnon Hegemony of desire –Male needs construct what sexuality means –“woman” is defined by male desire –Masculinity- dominance eroticized –Femininity- submission eroticized Arguing against Freud, Kinsey, and “sexual liberation” without challenging patriarchy –“the more sex the better”- and ignoring rape, abuse, humiliation

8 Catharine MacKinnon 1981- Barnard Conference (started “the sex wars”) –Sexuality = pleasure and how to get it –Sexuality = dominance, how to get rid of it Her work focuses on: –Rape, battery, sexual harassment, child abuse, pornography –Pornography is an example of male dominance (degrading, humiliating, made for men) –But where is sexual agency for women?

9 Andrea Dworkin In societies where men oppress women, sex is used for that purpose sexual intercourse creates problems for women's self-esteem as women's boundaries are breached –Men is “over her and inside her” –“getting fucked and being owned are inseparable”

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