Rubin How does Rubin use and critique Marx (pp. 536, 538), Levi Strauss (pp. 544 -; 549 ) and Freud (548; 550-51)? (See also p. 551 for a general critique.) How does Rubin define sex/gender system (538)? What are the major operation principles of this system in patriarchal society? How do they function and who are at the receiving end of all these social mechanisms? What are the contemporary examples of ‘the Traffic in Women’ when bridewealth, dowry and arranged marriage may not be no longer used?
Gilbert and Gubar What is the ‘anxiety of authority’ which G & G sees in female writers (2028)? In all the female writers or just 19 th century female writers? How is femininity defined in 19 th century Victorian society? How is it related to contemporary female diseases? And today? Give concrete examples of specific cultural fields. What does Dickinson means by ‘infection in the sentence”? How about G & G(2028-29)? What are the tropes used to describe female creativity and femininity?
General Questions How are the two articles related to each other? Rubin criticizes psychoanalysts’ definition of femininity as passivity, while G&G sees this as women’s conditions in the 19 th century. Are they contradictory to each other? Are both of them American radical feminists?
Gayle Rubin “The Traffic in Women: Notes on the Political Economy of Sex” Evelyn Sung 2003/10/21
Outline Introduction Marx Englel Levi-Strauss ExtensionExtension of Levi-Strauss’ theory of kinship to sex/gender system Psychoanalysis and Its Discontent Conclusion
Introduction Purpose: by analysis of the causes of women’s oppression and see what can be changed in order to achieve a society without gender hierarchy Marx; Levi-Strauss; Freud: fail to notice women as raw materials and domestic tools in a systematic social apparatus but provide conceptual tools for the locus of women’s oppression in “sex/gender system” the need for sex/gender system; define sex/gender system
Marx Class oppression; women are a reserve labor force for capitalism Housework v.s. reproduction of labor food, clothing, housing…etc needs additional labor to be turned into people. no wage paid for housework; labor of women is added to the surplus value. Total value 賣筆的錢 Wage for labor Capital 製筆原料 的錢 Surplus value Housework is unpaid Labor of women (housework) is added into surplus value
Engel :economy v.s. sexuality (the production of means of existence) human must do more than apply its activity to reshaping the natural world in order to clothe, feed, and warm itself economy (the production of human themselves) human must also reproduce itself from generation to generation the needs of sexuality and procreation food and sex is culturally determined and obtained Sex/gender system : (Mode of reproduction) (patriarchy)
Kinship: socially organized sexuality(1) Socially defined statuses take precedence over biology Gift exchange as essence in the primitive societies for establishing a social link Marriage as the most basic form of gift exchange; women are the most precious of gifts. Incest taboo as a mechanism to insure that such exchanges take place between families and between groups Organized; gift/ organizer; giver
Kinship: socially organized sexuality (2) Incest taboo constitutes the origin of culture No exchange of women, no culture? “exchange of women” as part of social relationships of kinship system, specify that men have right in women, but women don’t have the same right in men Subordination of women as a product of sex/gender system
Kinship: sexual division of labor All manifest forms of sex and gender are seen as being constituted by the imperatives of social systems Gender: women, men, as two exclusive categories, repress their personalities Obligatory heterosexaul: Institutionalized homosexuality, bridewealth-oriented, transvesticism Constraint of female sexuality: preferred female sexuality, respond to desire, not actively desired
Psychoanalysis and Its Discontent Contradiction in Levi-Strauss and Freud’s concepts Levi-Strauss: women as sign / value Freud: challenge conventional morality /double standard Problems when assimilate into feminist theory sexism isolate sex and gender from “mode of production” Analogous to working-class movement; androgynous and genderless society
Conclusion Economics and politics obscure the concept of “exchange of women” no equivalent: e.g. Kuma debts with equivalent: e.g. bridewealth Sexual system cannot be understood in complete isolation e.g. marriage in Trobriands form the basis of chiefly power mutual interdependence of sexuality, economics and politics.