The idea of ” doing gender” is interesting. It is true that today, if a man is seen taking care of a year old child, people will notice because the mother is usually the one taking care of the child. Also the assumption that the baby was a boy because of the cap would be the first thought that would come to most people’s mind.
Growing up, one is almost always (even in subtle ways) how a ‘gender’ is supposed to behave; females are to be proper and wear skirts, and males are never to cry and are supposed to be more rough.) Because we have been told this for so long, it almost seems weird to question it (although now gender roles are definitely something to question.) Just like our life choices, we forget that we actually do have control over ‘gender’ despite others telling us otherwise.
Some people would feel socially dislocated if they cannot place another person in a gender status. Also it is true that clothes are used in order to show a persons gender as well as other characteristics to make it known how the individual wants to be called.
Much like the idea of religion (in the sense that do you believe in something because you grew up with it or because you actually believe in it), one can start questioning their own ‘gender’ once past all the “normality” they have experienced since birth. Without question, children are subtly being told they can only be the gender assigned at birth, and any deviation is wrong. No matter what that person may feel, society will refer to them as what their birth gender says there are, even if they’re questioning.
Interestingly enough the whole earrings matter is not necessarily all feminine because boys are getting their ears pierced as well. To mark a child as a girl or boy from a very young age is instinctively never going to change. An example in which parents could stay gender neutral would probably to paint the child’s room a neutral color as opposed to pink or blue.
I actually love this quote because it is absolutely true. A girl comes into her own, or herself once she has been through the trials and tribulations which allow her to do so. Nobody knows what it is like to be a woman like a woman does. Hence, ‘trannies’ are at times looked down upon because it is not considered natural.
Ironically enough big feet on women are unattractive but small feet on men is unattractive as well. These stigmas that are created by people only stick around so long as others use them.
It is interesting that even in societies with more than two genders, the position of women is still subordinate. Although it is noted that some women in African or Native American societies may choose to live as men, they are granted this ability through “buying” a wife.
Although the text defines ‘transsexual’ as ‘biological males and females who have sex-change operations to alter their genitalia,” this definition is a bit outdated. Since 1994, when this piece was originally published, it is now more accurately stated that transsexual or transgender individuals are people who identify as a gender other than what they were assigned at birth, regardless of whether or not they choose to physically transition.
This is evident in the workplace. As Lorber mentioned, women are often given different job titles than men even if their positions are the same, and they often face income inequality. However, even similar behavior is often perceived differently because of gender. For example, a demanding male boss may be recognized as “hardworking” or “dedicated” whereas a female in the same position can be regarded as “bossy” or “bitchy.”
First of all, applause to the father. Not only for taking care of the child, but not seeing the need to over gender their child. Society is much more fluid with gender expression and passing that on to the next generation, especially at a young age, is the first step to creating a world less focused on this man made creation of “gender”.
This whole paragraph is pretty biased… If a person chooses to get sexual reassignment surgery and/or dress a specific way, it isn’t always because they want to “be a boy” or “be a girl”. Clothes are clothes, they don’t identify a person. Only a person can identify them self. Transgender people don’t dress any certain way because its “prescribed” for their gender, its about what clothes you feel comfortable in and like to wear.
Already did the required two comments but this paragraph has me FLAMING. This definition of transvestite is complete bogus. Many people identify and transgender (not as transvestites) and feel no obligation to get surgery. For one, it’s CRAZY expensive, and 2, especially in female to male surgery, the outcome isn’t as good as you would want for a 100,000 dollar operation.. and that’s if it even succeeds. Whether a person has surgey or not doesn’t make them any more or less in the community and doesn’t put an automatic label on that person. And while I’m on my rant, let me just say, when people go through reassignment surgery, they are changing their gender. They are modifying their body to represent the gender in which that already are. Okay… Rant over. My appologies.
The phrase “doing gender,” is a really interesting thought on human behavior. It really makes the idea of masculine and feminine behavior seem nonsensical as if we are all acting roles society determines for us arbitrarily.
I feel as if when we’re a baby, society doesn’t push gender norms onto us. It doesn’t matter if a baby girl is wearing boy clothing, or if we can’t tell the gender of a baby. However, as we grow up and if we don’t act like our gender then many people will find us odd or categorize us into stereotypes. Everything changes as we grow up and society starts to judge us more strictly based on appearances.
Unfortunately gender plays a huge role in the development of young children. Even some toys which are gender specific tell a huge story on societies view point. For example, legos which are supposedly gender neutral have been made gender specific. Often, legos marketed towards females are pre-assembled as opposed to those marketed to males which are not.
How do people resist and rebel? How does society stop the rebellions? Does society quell the rebellions because majority are in favor of gender inequality/separation?
It’s very true that gender construction starts at birth. For example, colors play a role with gendering since baby boys are usually in blue while the girls in pink. I agree with the last sentence in this paragraph because usually, boys are expected to ask girls out because that is how it’s portrayed in the media, especially in marriage. The way that society works is indeed “elaborately scripted.”
I like that Lobber stated “if gender differences were genetic, … gender ambiguity would occur only in hermaphrodites.” Lobber’s statement further supports that gender is a social construction. People are not born with a set of assigned behaviors assigned to their “gender.”
I have always found it odd that many parents get a baby girl’s ears pierced. It seems to be (for most at least) a cosmetic choice. Why does a baby need pierced ears? Maybe it’s that some do not wish for their baby girl to be mistaken for a baby boy. I think Lorber might be saying that even though there was some confusion as to the gender of the child, it was still clearly determined by seeing pierced ears and laced socks. So the parents still took deliberate measures to properly mark the gender of their child.
This passage very much reminds of Middlesex a book be Jeffry Eugenides. The protagonist of the book is born with ambiguous genitalia that more or less appears to be female. So the parents decide to raise him as a girl. However through the course of the novel he discovers he identifies more as a man. The whole book really evaluates these arguments that Lorber is making. Namely the power of nurture versus nature (the gender a child is raised as opposed to the gender they choose to identify as).
Even as infants different genders are also raised differently. When a girl baby cries parents fuss and obsess over her until she stops crying while when a boy baby cries the parents are less likely to be as exaggerated. This goes to train the boys into thinking they shouldn’t cry/ don’t show emotion and girls to thinking crying will get them attention and it is okay for them to express their feelings.
I found it really interesting that women of color in the working “outstrip the men in education and occupational status.” As I was thinking about it I think it might be because men regardless of gender want to be the dominant gender, thus, working class jobs (especially the service, hospitality, and domestic industries) are too “feminine” for them.
This experiment sounds like an interesting idea. However, with the way our current society puts great pressure on individuals to conform and relate, I feel a child raised like this would have trouble adapting and may even be excluded by others. I don’t think we are ready for an experiment like this, since we do have to follow certain rules.
It’s also pretty complicated to ask what is the best way to raise your kid. Which stereotypes to avoid, which attitudes to avoid, which rules to break and which ones to follow. Humans are extremely social creatures so we do depend to a varying extent on the acceptance of others.
We tend to associate certain characteristics with femininity or masculinity and then ¨rank¨ them.
A woman that behaves in a delicate and careful manner is generally well thought of while the same traits on a man could bee seen as effeminate, and by extension, weak and wrong.
Some, like a man taking care of a child, can break the mold and paint the man´s ¨feminine¨ act of taking care of someone in a positive light. Most of the time, however, feminine qualities are looked down on men, while masculine traits are scorned at in women. In both cases, we tend to value masculine traits while degrading feminine ones.
Women might outstrip men in occupational status within “working class” African American communities for example in regards to education and occupational status, however, these seem to be locations where women are at the biggest disadvantage socially. Impoverished communities in particular. There is a significant but complex machismo culture in these communities. Women are respected as the head of the household considering so many single parent situations, but are also considered subordinate to males. I wouldn’t call the situation in the ghetto, equal. Perhaps to outsiders, but among the social circles that reside within.
I wonder what effect continued globalization will have on these communities? The western ideal of a two gender society is influential in so many forms of culture; from media to the production of goods.
I definitely feel this is true since, for example the idea that a female needs to do most of the cleaning in a home, something that is essential to learn for so many women, yet its never something that people actually question as to why?
As an infant, one could say that you are gender neutral. The way our society feels comfortable is by assigning a gender. Names and colors play a huge role in categorizing one into a male or female.
Each culture single-handedly decides how to separate each gender. They go through practices that support their beliefs on how gender should be interpreted. Women often fall on the short handed sided of this regimen in order to be the ‘idea female’.
I definitely understand the idea of “doing gender”. It’s great that the father was taking on this role that is usually reserved for women however, the author was making the point that just because of one role being reversed doesn’t mean the idea of “doing gender” is not over, there is still a lot we don’t notice in tiny details that actually make a huge difference.
I disagree with Cody in the sense that “clothes are clothes” the reason a transgender person wears a dress or makeup is because they want to be identified by the community as a female instead of a male. You can wear really comfortable jeans that are still identified for females which goes with the idea of “doing gender”
I have heard of this practice of removing the clitoris and it is a true definition of being submissive and restricted. When you remove a body part so intimate that actually provides pleasure during sex or masturbation, you remove the right of a human to experience their own body, you restrict to only men being able to experience that body, which is completely inhumane.
Learning how to be a female or male is part of a persons everyday life. People must conform to certain gender norms in order to participate in human and social interaction.
Because mothers bare a child they are always expected to have a strong maternal instinct. As said in one of the previous paragraphs when a man portrays maternal instincts he is applauded and greatly noticed. With parenting you then have the mother who does the domestic work rather than the man. This also has to do with the fact that the mother gets maternal leave as opposed to the father.
Its intense to see how sex categorization is kind of forced on us at birth. Everything seems “scripted” by society and that leads for them to be identified as one gender even if they identify themselves as another. It makes me feel like were sort of taking advantage of the impressionability of children in order to please ourselves and those around us but this sucks because weve grown accustomed to it.
I cant help but notice that the women get these body changes in order to please men in their cultures. The traditions imposed by the Chinese and African traditions are to enhance desire and the western to enhance beauty whereas the Jewish tradition is for religious reasons.
This paragraph coincides with Seidman’s description of the nuances and gender and sex where the dichotomy is established due environmental and personal decision. Individuals are constrained to be affiliated with being male and female that before we are even born we can conduct our free will. It’s ironic almost hypocritical where we live in a society where we are taught to think big and achieve anything we want unless it has to do with our sex; in that case you only have two options.
The discussion of the distinction between women and men’s work brings up an interesting question of a potential resolution. We see how gender discrimination is not merely a domestic issue it is rather a global issue that has persisted for as long as we can tell. Overcoming this millennial problem would require not simply a historic revolution, but rather a anthropological revolution where an existential moment would foment of men and women and other sex’s pondering their role in society.
Gender is in fact created from birth. It starts with the dress codes and expectations of certain behaviors from babies. Of course these expectations and dress codes are in turn organized based on previously conceived gender expectations. We designate special toys and books based on our expectations of gender and assign different type of prestige to jobs and carries based on gender as well. Personality traits are gendered as well as talents. In most of this cases, its done to devalue traits associated with female gender and uphold traits that are associated with male gender. That does not mean that men are always winner in the equation. A man that values and expressed feminine traits may receive a harsh punishment from society in most cases more that the woman identifying with male traits as once again feminine traits are devalued.
It is important to note the difference between gender and sex. Sex is something physiological and biological, something we have since birth. Gender is entirely sociological construct that is perpetrated by our upbringing.
I really love this opening paragraph. Up until a couple years ago I never thought to question gender or the social/physical requirements that are placed on it. Although someone might be born having the genetic make-up of a “male” or “female,” your gender does not determine your innate identity. Children are taught how to act and represent their “gender” since the day that they’re born.
How can we change this? Although many, like myself, disagree with gender roles, it seems like this is an ideology embedded into our culture and many cultures throughout the world.
This is so true. People are molded by the norms around them and it makes people fit into the predetermined categories and mindsets. And this crosses over into the workplace; if we truly lived in a merit based society the workplace may be far more equal for women.
This paragraph has me wondering about the time when I will become a parent. What should I do? Should I stay neutral and dress my kid in unisex clothes and wait till they get old enough to choose what gender they want to be identified as or should I go with the traditional norm and surround my kid with things, clothes that directly correspond to the gender that he/she is born with?
Though this father adorning his child with clothes that some might deem unfit for the child’s gender, was a great example of progress made, I do believe that this was only okay because it was a baby. As the child gets older, they might get some backlash for dressing this way, maybe not in NYC, but definitely in other states in our nation.
One is not born a gender, one is taught how to be a gender. An individual is born and identified with either being a male or a female, going about their life identifying as that gender. Based on this, the way they behave, dress, and talk is different.
Its interesting how a few years ago, a person can only be identified as male or female. Now one can be identified in many different ways, but the act of still needing to be identified is there. One must still behave, dress and talk like their identified gender.
It is so true that people happen to want to figure another gender to feel “comfortable.” I think that’s because we don’t want to say something offensive or insulting like “Hey, what’s up man?” and then end up speaking to a woman who dresses and speaks like a man. Although she might be okay with that, the point is someone does not want to “get it wrong” and also wants to make others feel completely comfortable.
The first thing popped up into my mind after reading this short paragraph was the very famous line that you will hear in every single superhero movie: WITH GREAT POWER COMES GREAT RESPONSIBILITY. I thought of that after reading this because it says how gender is associated with the process which assigns different responsibilities for the two genders. But unlike the superheroes, no matter if they are man or woman, they still have the same responsibilities as one another. So that has me thinking, why does gender have to decide what responsibilities you get? Superman and Wonder Woman don’t have different responsibilities when it comes to using their powers for good so what does gender get to decide what you can do and what you can’t?
In other words, the “gendering” and thus devaluation of women is not naturally born, it was created on purpose to give men more power and to make women seem more subordinate and lesser and thus making them act accordingly.
Parenting is certainly organized by gender. I feel like because woman are eligible for maternity leave, they are somewhat stuck with the role of a “stay out home wife/mother.” It makes babies more attached to their mothers and mothers more attached to their babies. In addition, fathers become accustom to being the bread maker, even if it is only for a couple of months. I am not saying women should not have maternity leaves, but it is the foundation of that way of thinking.
If gender construction starts at birth then why do some people feel like they have been raised as the incorrect gender? Since this article argues that gender is an entirely a”human production” then shouldn’t we all be happy with the gender used to raise us?
I think the attributes assigned to certain genders by society are the basis for the control of one gender by the another. At its most basic we value male traits in powerful jobs and female traits in caring jobs. Attributes desired and accepted in men are not those that are desired or accepted in women. If we tie gender to the previous weeks discussions on sex & Power we can see that men are accepted as the sexually domininant gender. Still in our society I think it is barely acceptable for a woman to be outspoken about her sexual desires.
I love how parents in this modern day and age are more open to letting their child choose their own gender path in life. Certain parents nowadays try not to force their children to wear certain color clothing and play with certain toys.
Not only are certain parents accepting of their children pursuing a different gender path, but they are changing their own gendered roles. Some women are starting to work more often in the work place while some men are staying at home and taking care of the kids.
It would be nice to propose an idea as to how we can can equalize our world experiences but i am at a loss as to what to suggest. Is it human nature not to give up a position of power or is that notion in fact only constructed from the “human production” of gender?
It’s so true that we live off of so many structured systems and classification of race and gender fall true in part of making up said system. There’s so many minor things that are then looked at together and made to seem important. People are classified more on these races and ethnicities than personality and skill factors.
I found gender and sex to be the same for so long not seeing the difference. Now understanding besides LGBTQI that simply male and female sex can take on opposing genders depending the social or individual constructs.
I find this to be a very interesting statement but i’m not entirely sure how to respond. I do agree that as we grow up, “gender” is something we come to learn about and we apply it to our daily lives and in others lives in our own ways. assuming its bred into our genes is a fairly silly concept. at no point has it ever existed in our genes the way this is being referred to. we as a culture applied the concept of “gender” upon ourselves, and this started long ago when that one group of people decided that we should start differentiating ourselves by dressing differently, having different hairstyles, body paints, and walking/speaking a particular way. I feel this is when gender really started to apply, creating the foundation for the current system for today, some of which really isn’t a big deal, like how we dress, because were finally getting away from that, even though the media says otherwise(don’t listen to the three monkeys they are!) but things like unfair wage and gender equality in regards to opportunities and whatnot are persisting, and those concepts that started from long ago need to fade away.
this statement is very confusing for me because even if I cannot figure out their gender based on appearance or the way they speak/carry themselves, I just treat them the way I would like to be treated. i’m not saying treat them like a guy or girl, but treat them as a normal person without applying gender identity. if your in a group with them(lets say camping for some strange reason) regardless of gender, the things you’ll do will be exactly the same, even without the gender stamp so why should you feel socially dislocated over it? as for transexuals and transgenders, again I feel that applying a gender stamp isn’t necessary, but if those individuals want to identify with a particular gender then there’s no real issue is there? if that woman wants to be a guy and that guy wants to be a woman then all’s good. happy should be happy, regardless of who you are and how you identify yourself or how you look.
In this block the writer uses the example of an earring which are these days adorned by both genders. However, if the writer mentioned the type, pattern and color of the earring, it would have been better.
I’ve read an article “learning to be gendered”, where the writer mentions that people were more likely to respond to a girl when she even babbled while the boys received attention only when they screamt or demanded attention. Which is a role played by “others” regarding the gender of child they deal with.
“Applause for that father.” Yes, he’s doing a good job, but applause is a bit much. Moms do this all the time and it’s just seen as normal. He’s literally just doing what a father should do for his child. My dad took me out to ball games as a baby, as do many other dads regardless of their kids’ gender. This should be viewed as just normal, good parent activity, not cause for applause.
It’s not only with babies that we do gendering. It’s not uncommon for people to find out the gender of EVERYONE on the train. If the gender of a specific person is not obvious, more frequent long glances will be given. “Flat chested? But their voice is so feminine. But PANTS. T-SHIRT. SHORT HAIR!” I feel guilty doing so too and thinking similar things while doing so.
Even when transsexuals try their hardest to be their new gender, society will give still give them shit about it. There are transsexual YouTubers who share the hate they have received, and it really is depressing. Sometimes not even their family members can be accepting. Society tells us that the gender we were given is the correct one but… it’s obviously not true.
Although parenting is gendered, I was mostly taken care of by my grandfather and my father when I was younger. My mom was the one working long hours. My parents didn’t care about gender because they weren’t exposed to such sexism. They were raised to do hard manual labor, so sexism wasn’t as prominent. I feel like Americans emphasize sexism a lot more than most countries do.
Defiantly agree with the introductory paragraph and some of the comments my classmates have posted, i do believe that we are born with different physical traits but that doesn’t define who we really are, society just tends to shape us based on the characteristics we are born for example male with a penis and a women with a vagina. At the end of the day it just depends on how that individual feels.
This type of pre-pre-judment has happen to everyone, but it goes back to show how society has shaped us, how we tend to see certain things as masculine and feminine, just because the father put a Yankee baseball cap we can’t assume it was a boy, the style of dressing is turning more unisex along with certain people being more open minded about a lot of things so we can’t based that type of opinion because it might offend certain people.
[…] “Night to His Day”: The Social Construction of Gender — Judith Lorber (Note the comments left by other students) […]
I’m just using this article for a school essay.
yeaaa men suck hahaha
Yeaaa use that power to fight men because they suck hahaha
Yea what the heck mann why do women get so much problems up they coochie we just want to have funn.
Nut on my face!
I’m just using this article to nut on.
Haha why do people name they kid Judith it just sounds like Judas with a lisp.
Yea I agree that men suck too haha nut on they faces
My parents left me when I was little in a forest so I had to eat two and cook these two bears all by myself it was wild
Man I gotta say this sure is a good meme sure knocks me out cold
I’m gonna smack this bitch like Rihanna
Lol this article is a joke I almost pissed myself
Why the fuc you guys so bothered by this shit just ask the father if the kid is a boy or a girl rather than staring from afar like a pedophile lmao
There seems to be an overgeneralization of the idea that “all men” utilize women as a tool for humiliation and domination. Though not directly stated, I feel this implication from the 3-4 of rereading. Besides the egregious use of “illicit”, where it should be elicit, Mrs. Barber quotes Dworkin and Cole as seeming to have a consensus on the behalf of all women that this is the role and function women ought to play, which I feel is an unfair role for them to assume.
I mean I am pretty annoyed by the context of the concluding paragraphs because the author only refers to rape in times of war as a tactic for weakening the enemy and expanding the ethnicity or race of the said “raper”. This unquestionably reflects these such men as lewd criminals, which I am not arguing against. But it seems to ignore the irony that permeates in our society where women utilize sexual assault as a expedient to deliberately hurt and ruin many males lives. If people would like to read more about my past statement read about the Columbia rape accusations.
Thus the author shouldn’t describe rape as a method of attaining power only from the female prospective, but rather explore it form both angles.
I feel like where Dworkin touches on that fact that women are expected to comply and please the man comes from back when that was the norm and your role as a housewife. The evolution from then, where women where allowed to work and get out the home more, should have made the expectations change as well but they didn’t go and change with that evolve mentioned. Why have the stigmas remained while the actions have changed?
I agree with Califia. It’s not that a woman being dominated consensually is her being demeaned or wrong in any way if that’s her pleasurable choice. Everyone is different. She’s not doing it because she’s forced to as the norm, it’s what she likes without social structure saying “this is right” because she could be the dominant. It’s chosen amomgst them.
I agree with Royalle’s ideology that women should be in control of their sexual fantasies; Some fantasies may not be like typical sexual relationships, where it’s just simple intercourse. Some women do learn about themselves, exploring their desires and arousal, by doing more erotic practices; just because it doesn’t live up to other women’s’ standards, it doesn’t mean it isn’t enjoyable. However, there’s a fine line between the idea of a fantasy concerning rape, because if their fantasy is of that, then isn’t it somewhat consensual? Either way, it is up to the woman herself to determine what satisfies them.
In the end, I believe, the act of rape completely does dehumanize and ruin the woman. Nagel points out that rape is ultimately to humiliate the male of the nation; Even when the horrendous action is being done on the woman, it is not her they only do harm they also intend to harm the men of the nation. In times of war, women suffer every way possible, even to the point of their physicality. The enemy male disgustingly prove their supposed dominance at the women’s expense
I feel that Dworkin and Mackinnon think this way due to the time in which they are writing about male dominance and female subordination. It must have felt at that time that sexual intercourse was viewed this way everywhere which may not be entirely true.
I dont agree with Dworkin and Mackinnon’s claim that woman are expected to say “yes.” These thoughts are most likely highly influenced by the way most men viewed sex at the time.
I respectfully disagree with R.W. Connell’s theory of what it is to be a ‘real’ man. It’s more of an excuse to justify unnecessary violence towards a partner. It is impossible to make such a general statement about men and it is demeaning to the men that do not show acts of domestic violence.
I agree with Pat Califia in retrospect to the power struggle within women’s sexuality. Men overwhelmingly try define what sexuality should mean to women, yet most forget a struggle assumes two sides are clashing. I think it was great that Califia mentioned how women are not completely powerless, which insinuates men are not completely in control.
I’m not to sure of what to think when it comes to censoring sexual material because both sides have valid arguments. However, what is deemed sexual and what is not can be subjective. For instance, Michelangelo’s David is a statue of a naked male body, yet is considered an artistic masterpiece by most.
This statement here is a very bold statement, but not entirely wrong. I do agree that some governments “breed” and train soldiers to be sexually violent and aggressive. “the widespread social belief that men are aggressive, especially sexually aggressive” definitely does not conceal or justify the fact of some governments promoting sexual violence, they havn’t concealed it in history and they still dont conceal it now, and it has never been justified, it just has been accepted in the past as a factor of war, whereas today(past 10 years) it has been brought to light on a fairly significant level and although the governments say they’re addressing it, its not something that can be easily addressed considering how long its been in our history. as horrible as it is to say, look how long it took for women to get suffrage… to reduce the rape culture of war would take a substantial amount of time as well because of all the factors that go into it (those who commit such atrocities out of sight and/or cover it up or blackmail the other). as for block 20, yes that is a disgusting way of treating women, but (this is gonna sound f***ed up) but aside from the rape culture of colonization that has existed in that passed and based on nature, when species want to multiply *(dolphins, gorillas etc.) they would rape their gender counterparts when they needed to reproduce. it doesn’t make it right, but it was hard coded into their DNA in order for them for survive. if its hard-coded in our DNA (i would like to believe it isn’t) then its something we haven’t evolved away from even though we don’t need it anymore(neanderthals and other paleolithic groups would do this ritualistically and as a form of reproducing within their own circles and in crossing circles, women of that time just accepted it because odds of survival were better with the raping men then by yourself, and if science and history wont say it, it should be obvious that those who did separate themselves…didn’t survive very long. of course that was then and this is now, hopefully we can move away from such terrible things.
While Ms.Cornell suggests that pornography can prompt women to create an image of unconstrained sexuality, men have never had the issue to create such an image of themselves even though “much pornography” “doesn’t” offer encouraging images for them to explore themselves. To create a healthy image, there should be equal images of sexually similar active men and women.
Pornography may teach women to be sexually open and active, but at the price of them acquiring notions of what role they should play or how they should behave, what is normal etc that are depicted in that industry, which is centrally targeted towards male audience. This would not be “liberation” as the woman would now be trapped in the ideas of what men want.
Although it may have been seen as normal at one point in time, the idea of men having complete control over sex is completely barbaric. If a woman was actually expected to say yes, consent would not even be necessary. Also, although women may enjoy fulfilling men’s wishes, sex as a whole does take two people and regardless of the amount of recognition it got, women still had sex drives and the urge to explore their own sexuality. This fact isn’t touched upon at all here.
This text is making my feminist little heart flame with rage! So a man can forcibly rape a woman, hurting her both mentally and physically, ONLY THE MEN ARE THE ONES WHO ARE HUMILIATED?! but…On another stand point, it makes sense if you think of the idea that they may have felt like they failed to protect their women, and that shows lack of power and dominance.
This very much reminds me of a play by David Ives — Venus in Fur. This play explores these issues of gender and power via sexual/erotic undertones. Most interesting is this concept of women (an men) “playing” roles. In the play there is a second play in which the characters acting out other roles. I bring this up because Califia asserts that these roles are “play”. While this is true, it is difficult to keep these roles in the bedroom. As Venus In Fur demonstrates, these “roles” no matter how negotiated or defined often bleed into real life and it can become hard to distinguish between sexual fantasy and real life.
The real problem I find (as far as pornography and sexual education is concerned) is not stated here. I think many young people often turn towards pornography in the absence of sexual education. I agree with Califia that prudishness can actually be dangerous. When parents and schools refuse to teach children about sex (an issue in many parts of the US), the internet and pornography (ironically easier to access than a reliable sex education) become the source for sexual knowledge. This is what turns pornography into a dangerous and damaging medium.
I disagree with some of the points made by Califia, mainly her belief that censorship of pornography will lead to censorship of discussion of sex completely. There is a definite discussion to be had about the problems of sex education in our school system and the problems it causes. But in no way should we use pornography to educate about sex. It is important to remember that first and foremost pornography is a work of fiction. More importantly it is a work of fiction created most often for the male consumer and in most cases works to reinforce the power through sex view of thinking with women often in the subordinate position. Pornography does not educate about birth control and safe sex nor does it discuss pregnancy. In fact most pornography works against safe sex by making dangerous sex practices seem more sensual and enjoyable. Censorship of some of dangerous practices of pornography is not the censorship of discussion of sex.
It should be noted that these views of masculinity and what it means to be a “real” man are upheld by norms and roles we assign as a society. We create the natural view of man’s aggressiveness being tied to his sexual drive that creates this tendency to see sex as a violent act.
I think that the time period may have been a factor, but this statement is still relevant today. Movies and popular mainstream media still seem to reinforce the idea of male dominance in sexual intercourse. Perfect example: 50 Shade os Gray.
This displays how severely women were objectified and treated as sexual objects. It’s as if the soldiers were being gifted objects based on their credentials. I wonder how old these women were and if young girls were involved.
This demonstrates how society and the government coerces us to act our gender and its role. These soldiers were taught to be sexually violent and aggressive, and probably taught that this was their role. We have to stop this and prevent men from thinking that they should be sexually aggressive and entitled to a woman and her body. This isn’t a way men should show their power! In order to stop abuse for women rather than victim shaming, we must educate men and teach them not to do these immoral acts. We have to work together to stop soldiers from raping women and being able to get away with these actions just because their honorary members of society.
I personally disagree with this because sex its an act of two and if one person is not giving their permission that’s where it should stop. Dworkin and Mackinnon ideas are way to old compare to the reality we live in today, this argument just makes it seem so stereotypical that women are to please man at all times treating them more like an object than a human being with rights.
Sex should always be between consenting partners. The idea that Connell pushes forward that Society “has a tendency to understand rape as a natural consequence of men’s uncontrollable sexual desires and natural tendency toward violence,” is a way to make excuses for men. There should not be any excuses for rape and the men committing these rapes. Even if a man has an inclination towards violence and sexual desires he should also be able to practice self-control especially when his actions would violate another person.
I think that what they are talking about in terms of men being dominant and women being submissive is true, even in todays society. What I mean is if a man wants to be submissive and wants a dominant woman it is seen as a fetish or as weird.
I believe that pornography is used for different purposes, the main one is a monetary revenue that the industry gains. I wouldn’t say that pornography is giving women a potential avenue to be more sexually open because most of the time they are looked as a sexual object also because at the end of the day the industry is looking to make money, they portrait man being more powerful and dominant along with the fact that it’s being targeted to the male audience which means they have to create those stereotypes to grab their attention.
It’s upsetting to me that soldiers are taught that sexual violence against an enemy women equates national loyalty. Governments are doing, not only soldiers but, their entire country a disservice by encouraging sexual violence. They are pushing forward the idea of gender roles, women being the inferior gender and using sexual violence as a means to attain a goal. The ideology of this tactic, although targeted towards the “enemy women,” remains in soldiers minds and will most likely affects his view on all women, enemy or not.
I believe that pornography is an industry that teaches females to dutiful towards men. This is because these films are constantly showing how men are the aggressors, however women are servants, trying to comply with man’s desires. Moreover, I very much agree with Dworkin’s point that males form their opinion of women and sexuality through pornography. This happens at a very young age, and it is not always through pornographic videos, but a simpler forms of lust like ‘Victoria’s Secret’ magazines that demonstrate to teenage males how women are “suppose to be.” Barber also made a very powerful point of how pornography may illustrate women smiling during rape – the perfect form of bashing women and their sexuality, while disciplining men to dominate.
OKaY, yeah that’s cool. As if it’s not enough to simply take away their ability to consent to sex, also take away their ability to decide to become a mother.
I agree with Califia’s view that participants of sadomasochistic sex does not necessarily mean they hate themselves and want to be abused because it can just be people’s preference to enhance their sexual experience. Califia mentioned a great point that an S/M person can do what “Vanilla people” do event though they have different needs in the bedroom. What someone does in the bedroom does not mean that is how they want to be treated outside the bedroom.
I think it’s a great point when Royalle mentioned that women can gain power through sex if they are in control of their fantasies because by being in control, they are answering to themselves. Also, she is right that good sex does not always mean vanilla sex because each woman is different from each other.
I agree with you that women do use rape as a “weapon” of some sorts to ruin the lives of innocent people; there was one incident of a woman who accused a classmate who was headed towards becoming a pro football player and ruined all his chances and had him in jail for several years. However, soldiers during wars do use rape as a way to humiliate and dehumanize the citizens of other countries. It really all does stem for the idea that taking over a women sexually is the “manly” thing to do. Not saying all men or everyone who wants to seem manly think like this though.
I agree with R.W. Connell when he suggests that western society encourages sexual violence. When a woman is raped for example, it is not unusual for the victim to receive blame for the act. Third parties will often acknowledge details such as attire and alcohol rather than the intent of the rapist.
Rape during warfare also stems from a general dehumanization process. Military personnel are trained in this way in order to avoid moral conflicts during battle. Considering the greater global patriarchal society, if male military personnel are considered expendable, imagine the attitude towards women.
I wholeheartedly agree with R. W. Connell’s assertion that Western society’s ideas of men and their uncontrollable sexual urges result in rape and violence towards women. Women are taught their whole life to fear men and take preemptive strikes against rape and attacks from men. They are taught to dress more modestly and to “act like a lady”. On the other hand, men are not taught NOT to rape. It is all apart of America’ rape culture. Clothes do not lead to rape, rapists.
When the soldiers do this they are not raping just for pleasuring themselves. They do it as an attack on the enemy. These men see women as possessions and in one soldier defiling another man’s possession, they are tainting the possession, lessening it’s worth, and thus personally insulting the enemy’s worth.
I would like to know when this was written because I feel like what Andrew Dworkin and Catherine MacKinnon had to say about women being expected to say “yes” to sex is not what most men and women think today. In 2015, women can say “no” to sex and both partners need to give consent before having sex. Of course there will be certain people today that still have that mindset where the woman needs to say “yes” to sex to please the man, but times have changed.
Dworkin raises the issue of consent here; however, this consent is colored by socialization in a male-dominated society. Therefore, a woman may only consent to the act of sex as it is shaped by and presented within sexist ideals and understandings.
I agree immensely on this topic as violent pornography has been a major topic for discussion among feminists. The pornography industry is extremely widespread with many of the viewers being young and impressionable. This can prove to be incredibly detrimental as when these young viewers watch a man hit a woman during sexual intercourse or engage in other violent attacks against that woman, it puts the idea in their mind that this is normal.
I agree with Califia that sadomasochism is about using power for pleasure. Just because certain people like the idea of playing a submissive role and having their partner play a dominant role, does not mean that they are self-haters who are helpless in their everyday lives. These men and women who play the submissive role during sex can still be strong self-loving individuals. They just feel more pleasure when playing the submissive role when having sex with their partner.
I agree immensely on this topic of discussion. Pornography is an extremely widespread industry with many of the viewers being young and impressionable teens, and pre-teens. These violent pornography videos can prove to be incredibly detrimental as it puts the idea into young viewers minds that it is normal to perform various acts of violence against a woman during sexual intercourse.
To everyone arguing Dworkin’s point that women are expected to say “yes” to sex–of course, consent is still an important issue. But Dworkin does not postulate that women are not allowed to say “no,” only that they are pressured not to.
Think of interactions at a bar or a club. How many ways can a woman reject sexual advances without actually using the word “no?” “I have a boyfriend,” “I have to get up early tomorrow,” “I’m too tired,”–all of these are ‘excuses,’ because women are expected to provide a reason why they will not have sex. Their own desires are considered irrelevant.
Sex can be either intimate or a “display of male social…dominance over women,” because not all relationships are the same. Also, not all men want to be the dominant one. Dkorkin and MacKinnon should not have made that assumption.
Yea, NO. Women should not be expected to say, “Yes” to sex all the time in a relationship. The opinion of women being submissive and obedient is archaic. Men should respect women’s desires and consent.
I agree wholeheartedly. I have read an article about an ex-porn star telling the public about what it was like for women in the pornography industry. Condoms were not allowed, hence pregnancy was not rare. The women in the industry would of course have to get an abortion, and abortions are not painless.
There are some people with absurd fetishes, so I am not surprised that there are pornographic videos of women being humiliated and hung.
I would argue that, although it’s true that pornography has the potential to encourage healthy sexuality among women, it does not fulfill that potential.
Although pornography as a concept is not harmful, the manner in which it exists today serves only to degrade and exploit women.
No. No. No. Men are not uncontrollably aggressive and sexual. Men should not be categorized under such terms. Rape should not see rape as a natural consequence of men’s uncontrollable sexual desires. If men are as strong as society depicts them to be, then they should have the willpower to suppress their sexual desires. Getting a girlfriend is always an option. Plus, it’s legal.
I agree with Alexis. I have read about men gang raping women of the lands they have conquered. Some of them are even killed after being raped… This only shows how demonic men can be, not dominant. DEMONIC.
And giving birth in the past was highly dangerous and there were women who did not have the health to undergo such risks. How dare those men force women to give birth?!
This is extremely ignorant yet sadly true. Rapists rape people. Although it is rare to hear a woman rape a man that also exists. However, that will never get as much news coverage or recognition as opposed to when a man commits the act. I agree we do live in a ‘rape culture’ society where the exploitation of women is gawked upon. From movies to pornography to music videos women of color and women who aren’t all deal with this issue. What the reading is making clear is that if you ever put a blind eye to the matter before you possibly couldn’t while reading this.
I did not like the implication made by Dworkin and MacKinnon that women are powerless victims in the act of hetero-sex. I do agree with Califa that it is more acceptable in our society for men to explore their sexual fantasies than it is for women. There still remains a double standard regarding the sexual practices of heterosexual men and women.
I would like to agree with Cornell but I think there is still a huge stigma attached to women watching pornography that is far greater than if a male states they watch it. So in order for pornography tobecome a tool for women to explore their desires we would first have to accept that woman have there own desires.
It seems like at that point, society has a very distinct view of how a woman should act. Their role is to please and to comply to their male partner. However, in this day and time, society’s views have changed. It is no longer a woman’s “obligation” to serve a man’s needs.
The power one feel’s when forcefully defiling a woman is great, but when attacking one’s enemy adds a tremendous amount of power to this. Not only is it horrific that these women are used as rewards, but based on their ethnicity and social standing, they are classified as inferior to one another.
The fact that this states that men are believed to be uncontrollably aggressive and sexual, without offering any kind of counterpoint or redemption for all the men who have the sense not to rape, is normalizing the idea that its just how men are. And that idea is becoming more and more normal to men and women and it is really belittling that not a single line in the 14-21 block section will even hint at the fact that ALL men are not like this.
Its agreeable that women are not completely powerless when it comes to heterosexual sex. I do believe that women are raised to be conservative when it comes to sex therefor we think its a private thing. A woman may not voice her opinion to her partner due to maybe feeling ashamed or embarrassed of her? But she (Califia) touches on this when she states that a woman should be open and fully embrace it with her partner. A lot of it can be open through communication with ones partner and doesn’t necessary mean that the woman has to be submissive.
This might be a bit far fetched.. i might have to disagree. Maybe being sexual can be considered as a trait western men have but the violence isnt. Society having these views shouldnt effect the actual meaning behind being a “real” man. Also the constant use of the word uncontrollable bothers me. It for sure is controllable.
It’s very ironic that the author states that women stand as a symbol of nationality (ex.Statue of Liberty) which is why they are raped in order to degrade the rest of the nation even though governments encourage soldiers to sexually violate women, this hurts them in the end because then they have a degraded view of women of their own nation which sybolizes their nationality.
Unfortunately, one could even argue that there is a third ¨category¨ for sex, in which a man is merely using a woman to satisfy his needs. While it could be the same thing as displaying the male´s dominance over women, it could also mean that the woman is completely removed from the equation. She is not a participant at all, merely a means to an end.
Hopefully these views have transformed and evolved since the 1980´s, but even now, women are horribly considered as a tool for sex.
I do agree with the fact that rape goes back to ethnicity. It’s not uncommon to hear in today’s news about a black or hispanic women being raped and not much being done about it. However, when a white women of higher class is raped it captures more attention which is completely unfair
I would argue that, as in most things, the purpose behind the action is what determines the result.
While it is easy to see how a S/M person would be viewed as self-depreciating, it is important to ask if said person is making the choice. There are a multitude of factors that determine the nature of a relationship, so while it is possible for a S/M interaction to be wrong, it is also possible to view it as an agreement between people and as an open sharing of trust.
In this case, the fact that mostly women are not seen as people that hold power in the enemy nation and in general is clearly portrayed. Women are just being used as a mean to hurt the men. Hurting the women itself it is not what ultimately matters but humilating the men is. The whole situation is infinitely horrible regardless of the perpetrator’s ultimate goal but women often times are only seen as a portion of men’s lives rather than their own whole.
I agree in a sense with Cornell that pornography may be able to provide women with the idea that it is okay to explore their sexuality. However, pornography is still very problematic in that some of the ideas about submission, power and rape it portrays are not always going to be viewed as merely sexual fantasies. Especially when in non-sexual circumstances these ideas of submission and power are often times present and implemented as well.
Why are there gay people girls have assholes too
Just as the overall development of a human’s personality is arbitrary, it’s true a human’s genes may also form independently from other traits. There are endless combinations of features (although some more prominent than others) that a human can physically posses; what makes them interconnected is either the stereotype or the environment in which they live in (most peoples in hot climates tend to be darker,for example.)
It is true that people are conditioned to view different races and compare their physical differences. It is interesting that most physical variation lies within so-called racial groups.
The idea of “race” has been used as a so called “natural justification” for heinous and colonial actions; I feel it’s nothing more than an excuse, as a person’s appearance does not elevate nor bring down a person’s moral, or status. In reality, I feel there is no (or shouldn’t be) any hierarchy, since in the end all “races” experience the same issues (the “Great Chain of Being” was just another excuse.)
It is true that the way people look physically has a lot to do with the geography of where they are from. The fact that the human species is affected by the geographic areas physically is why it is assumed where they may be from.
Interracial relationships are on the rise so I agree that there are greater variations within “racial” groups than between them. Back in the day there was so much backlash against people stepping outside of their race to date. Because interbreeding is so common now the ‘average’ child will look drastically different say, 20 years from now.
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, race is a category of humankind that shares certain distinctive physical traits. However, these mere physical differences are the very things that people who are not of color try so hard to emulate.
This article provides valuable insight into the factors that are responsible for the systems of inequality that exist in our school systems, law enforcement and criminal justice systems, media, etc., today. White privilege was born out of the much starker injustices of the 19th century, and it has consequences that still affect the everyday experiences of US citizens.
Consider the #blacklivesmatter movement–it is about more than just one moment of unsanctioned police violence, but rather the system of inequality that allowed that moment to happen, the reactions (or lack thereof) that followed in media and the criminal justice system, and the fact that ‘one moment’ like that happens more than every 28 hours in the US. All of this was allowed to play out because of the views that grew from justifications of racism in the 19th century, and America’s inability or unwillingness to address this issue.
When studying the ‘race concept’ in a bioanthropology course, it is also noticed that variation among races is purely phenotypical; that is, differences among races exist only on a superficial level. Although humans may express their genes through various skin colors, hair types/colors, nose shapes, eye colors, etc., there is no (veritable) scientifically observed evidence of differences among mental, emotional, or physical capabilities.
Humans have this strange love for being able to put people into categories based on their appearance, but in all seriousness, everyone is an individual and there appearance could be misleading, making you assume untrue things about them. For the most part, there isn’t really any direct connection between to different traits that a person may have.
European people actually saw African and Indian people as being less human. Keep in mind that in these times, there wasn’t exactly the type of stereotypes that there are today. It kind of makes you think that people are naturally wired to look down on people who are different in appearance, and that is then taught down to the new generations. Doesn’t seem like they took time to think of what really made the two groups different..
I feel like human greed plays a huge role in the formation of “race” ideology on human differences. Discriminating based off appearance must have been a way justify harsh colonization practices in Africa as well as minimizing the backlash of the exploitation of the African people and their resources by dehumanizing them.
Bill Nye phrases it most aptly as he compares the interaction between difference races as similar to dogs. There are no true purebred dogs and regardless of what two breeds interact the end result is always a dog and the same applies to humans. It doesn’t matter whether a black or white copulate the same result is a new born human, albeit with phenotypical differences, but that is just the result of genes mixing.
It’s ironic, almost paradoxical, how in the 21st century humans still demarcate based of phenotypical features. Some of the most brilliant mind have been black and white(Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Ben Carson, Albert Einstein among others) and we still attach a certain prejudice that they can’t do something based on their race.
The potential is there for all to achieve their goals, but the systemic depreciatory prejudices of individuals has dissuaded them from pursuing high goals and this has become a major disservice to society.
I love this. Human beings are not born with racial biases. Its also discerning how hindering these ideologies can be towards human progression.
I find it crazy how others will be willing to “kill” someone just based on a person’s race. This shows how people will do anything for power and to stay on top, they will also eliminate anyone who is slightly different than they are in order to maintain conformity.
I feel like the media also plays a huge part in creating racial stereotypes and helping to maintain racial myths. Even if these experiments are fake about human capabilities based on race, the media still uses it and puts it out there for the world to see.
This paragraph reminds me of when I first heard the word “race” in elementary school. I knew that each person is different from the next, and my first thought of the word is that it literally meant race, as in a running race. It makes sense that the scholars said “race” was a social mechanism invented because it is used to justify cruel behavior.
It is very true that the characteristics and behaviors of different peoples are “institutionalized and deeply embedded in American thought.” Especially in entertainment, stereotypes are prevalent in shows and movies which makes it hard for some people to view others without prejudice if it’s all they’ve been exposed to.
It is interesting to think that we are all just products of our respective environments. From those environments came people who look a certain way, and from that came others grouping those people and making generalizations.
The use of features as markers of undesirable traits is still really prevalent today. People often tell me i look way more “thug”when i get cornrows. The reason for this being that people in gangs often have this hairstyle, and it has become synonymous with thugs.
This section really drives home the fact that our conceptions of race are not more than constructions. While we vary as far as physical traits go, this variation is genetically minute (as stated earlier). We are all human. The concept of “race” is entirely invented by us, either out of ignorance or social control.
In a Biology class I learned that the scientific term for this was “eugenics”. Durning WWII scientists claimed that there was genetic proof that there were “inferior races”. There was actually a hub of eugenic scientists on Long Island (Cold Spring Harbor) who claimed to have found evidence of “inferior races” in order to limit immigration into the U.S (obviously this belief in no longer in practice in scientific communities).
The “Great Chain of Being” is just like the idea that it was a white man’s God given right to own slaves. Using a person’s physical traits to define their status in society is complete nonsense.
I found this really interesting because it is common to associated dark skin with fizzy hair and light skin with straight hair, however, I know people of darker skin with straight hair and people of lighter skin with frizzy hair. So to presume and come to the conclusion that certain traits are limited to certain races exclusively is completely wrong.
Institutional racism is so deeply imbedded within American culture that it is often difficult to identify. Existing social divisions create social problems which negatively affect the population as a whole. The unfortunate reality of such circumstance makes a fair conversation impossible, too many believe in the false biological idea of race. So many of our existing inequalities stem from the subordination of those considered non-white. To make changes, people must realize multi-generational, institutional factors which sustain disparity.
What’s worse is the fact that respected leaders, many of which considered academic, strongly supported the idea of biological race. These people have significant influence which shaped America’s perception.
Humans do tend to categorize most things and that applies to race and physical appearance. I also find it interesting how we vastly rely on our sense of sight, therefore we separate and categorize based almost solely on physical differences, the most obvious being skin color.
I never gave it much thought to how there are a lot more different traits but we prioritize the most obvious ones to separate us.
Whatever group of people is currently on power has always manipulated the ¨ideal¨ traits of how a person should look. From religion, to physical appearance, to language. If a country like Kenya, in Africa, had by chance been great conquerors, our modern standards of beauty would be completely different. It´s unbelievable that people would use something as non-important as physical appearance to create social ranks and classes. but even now we hold prejudices and stereotypes that are difficult to get rid of.
As an infant, you are pure, pure of ‘gender’ ‘race’ etc.. These are imprinted into humans by the community around them. It is hard to imagine a world without such things.
One tends to come up with conclusions about where others are from based on their physical aspects all the time. There are too many variations of different cultures mixed for one to be put in a single category.
I do agree with Nathalie Li about the idea of race being used to justify cruel behavior. Back when slavery still existed it was used to justify the cruel acts of slavery. It was used in order to justify this idea that a being white compared to all the other races makes one superior.
I see that today in modern America where a certain race is associated with something negative which we see today. For example when a white neighborhood has a family of a darker race move in, it immediately lowers the price of other homes in that area. I learned this through the history of suburbs.
This is something that is very true especially since you can relate that to the “differences ” between a male and female. A female is stereotyped as someone who is more gentle when in reality since birth parents choose to teach this to kids and become an example of it, children follow what their parents do.
Although it is common to associate dark skin with frizzy, kinky, curly hair, it does not mean that every dark skinned person has those physical traits. Maybe over time, there have been more interracial couples and families, so different physical traits have been coming up among the different races.
Race serves as the justifications of peoples behaviors. Americans used race to generalize and categorize people into various groups that portrayed the power they had over these people.
Its interesting to see how much we as humans like organizing ourselves into categories based on physical variations which can be altered by the simplest things. “Physical variations in the human species have no meaning …” is something I strongly agreed with. If used in the 18th century, why haven’t we broken out of it.
The generalization of race has made power struggles visible throughout the world. This has made it much easier for those in power to belittle those who hold this social, economic, and political power inequality even more.
Its kind of scary that the idea of race was used for creating social hierarchy and we still use it today especially when thinking about government forms and what not. It shows how even though this idea of racial hierarchy is being spoken about in past terms, its kinda still present when we use race.
It is interesting to me that the author of this statement relates creation of myths associated with race to Hitler when in fact the misconceptions of race and behavior were created at the very beginning.Race was created by Linnaeus with notions of behavior imbedded in them.These false notions were created with purpose.Behavioral differences in race were created to facilitate colonization of other countries and continents. Therefore racial stereotypes were imbedded in the very beginning.
It is important that the author notes of the creation of institutional racism in the United States is part of deliberate polices created to insure a hierarchy of human beings based on their race and ethnicity.The differences between “racial” groups thus are created by society and culture and the choices that our society affronts us based on our background.There had been many studies done on racial differences in the United States and most show that creation of this hierarchy creates specific disparities among the minorities and can in some cases influence our biology. In other words the systematic racism practiced in the US is very much capable of hurting the minorities on very fundamental level
It’s interesting that “most physical variation, about 94%, lies within so-called racial groups.” This really enforces the idea that prejudices stem from differences in physical appearance and occur in those who immediately dislike anything that is different than their norms.
I completely agree that we humans give the word “race” its meaning. Since race has no genetic basis it’s completely based upon peoples prejudices and need to separate themselves from someone who shares physical differences. There should only be one race and that is the human race.
Think of the atrocities that have been perpetrated by one groups of humans against another group because they were a different race. It actually makes me think that it ludicrous that race as a concept still exists in our society. The race category still appears on almost all official forms we are told that this is used to prevent discrimination but is it really an effective tool or does it continue to make us think of an individual in terms of their race. Its interesting to note on the census race category tool how often the name of a race is changed but changing a label to a different one is still labeling someone.
I can definitely relate to this part of the article. In Pakistan, where I grew up as a child I heard alot of my family members talking about that we should only breed/marry with our own kind (Pakistani-fair skinned). It is very interesting to note that the same people I will hear say these kind of things weren’t educated enough to know that the same race/genes they are trying to preserve, they are probably more different from each other than they are from others because after all, most of their descendants came from the neighboring country, India.
What is really unfortunate to see that even though we have come a long way from the colonial times, the idea of what a superior race is is still around. And what makes me wonder the most is how the “White” race has become the default in our society. Furthermore, the idea of linking superior traits to a specific trait isn’t only in Modern America but is also especially prominent in third world countries such as India and Pakistan. In both countries, as far as I have seen, you are only considered of a higher class/caste if you have fair skin. Anything darker than that is always shunned to the side as inferior.
“Physical variations in the human species have no meaning except the one that humans put on them.” This proves that we invented this idea of race and people of different “races” being different biologically and scientifically from one another. However, in truth this idea was simply a mechanism to differentiate populations in America during the 18th century; it was then turned into a system of degradation, mental re-configuring, and abuse.
It’s ironic how the racial groups we define ourselves as is not actually how we are persevered. The people we identify our race with, actually have more differences than similarities. It seems logical since interracial relationships are currently “politically correct”.
And yet, people are still treated as if though their skin color or socioeconomic background, or even culture, defines them as a living, breathing, feeling, person.
I don’t believe the United states is the only country where a ‘racial worldview was invented to assign some groups to perpetual low status”. It would be interesting to compare the USA’s racial labels to the caste system in India. Although the caste system has origins in the 13th century it was definitely refined and enforced during colonial rule. Another similarity between both nations is the birth of the civil rights movement in America during the 1950s and the inroads to equalize the system in India.
Race is defined as the grouping of people who share physical traits such as facial structure or skin color, however according to this article, it was used to define the different people in the 18th century. It may have been used to categorize those people then, but now it’s used to categorize people based on their physical features.
Genocide and slavery are extreme forms of belittling an entire race. People were trained not to talk back to others who are not of the same skin color or hair texture because it may lead to unthinkable consequences. Oppressed people were whipped, lynched, or shot on sight. Even during the “separate but equal” era, any crimes committed would immediately be assumed to a black man/woman’s fault (with no evidence). This was just because they were black! Although these drastic outcomes do not exist anymore, division of races is definitely among us. Humans tend to coincide with people who they feel can relate to them more. For instance, black person may not join a Dominican club.
The human mind is built to absorb every possible detail about life, people, and their surroundings. People can no longer believe someone’s personality has anything to do with genetics or physical features because cultural transmission is the way that every human develops the way they think, act etc. I would probably never understand European humor because I am American. They would probably think our jokes were corny too. However, if you bring a European person here at the age of 15+ they have the capacity to understand both form of humor because of cultural transmission.
The idea of justifying inequality based on race and status and mentioning that being a European attitude dates back. During the Victorian era a lot Europeans justified treatment of unwealthy lower class as being beneath them in the same way that’s done with race. It’s purely a social construct because like they mentioned there’s more variation within a race itself than there is between races geographically next to reach other.
I agree with this point that cultural behavior is learned and that infants are conditioned by parents and people around them. These infants are not born with thoughts of racism and whether they like a certain race or not. Their parents and the people around them condition them to think a certain way over time.
This is true that it’s led to a lot of errors in science because stereotyping and placing certain things upon a race and most common to particular races or highly unlikely to occur other races… these all impend the notion that it’s a humane thing not necessarily a certain type of people. Yes, culturally and geographically certain things are more probable but I’m sure any “race” once exposed for long period of time would have the same/similar results
this is pretty agreeable in regards to people being conditioned over time to view racial groups a particular way. It is also interesting that the majority of the variability of genetics in a singular racial group is greater then the population as a whole, but we could infer that as a population, we haven’t mixed as much as a singular racial group has, although I bet that it could reach an equilibrium in the future, although that may be VERY far from now, considering the population of the planet as a whole.
It makes perfect sense for human traits to be geographically oriented. I don’t know about you, but being the irish/italian white male that I am, if I were to live in a tropical region, I might burn to a crisp,where as ireland is fairly cold/overcast…always, and northern italy although not cold is comfortably temperate. having attributes that developed naturally according to region makes perfect sense for survival. trying to make a line to divide biological populations is silly, especially if its based on such traits.
While it is true that knowing the range of one trait does not predict the presence of others, it helps in understanding the probability of another traits presence. when a person has dark hair it is highly unlikely for the person to have for example, blue eyes as a result of geographical variation.
The categories of inferior races growing from the mistreatment of African Americans to extermination of gypsies and homosexuals proves that “race” was created to establish power and label the people that the superiors deemed lowly or hateful.
I honestly just don’t understand how so many people just went along with these racial categories and ranking. I understand that the people who were at the top wouldn’t really have any reason to fight against this because they were well off, and the people who were lowering didn’t have a say since they were “lower” humans. But today we have people of every gender and every race fighting for the rights of others when the rights they are fighting for don’t necessarily pertain to them.
Let us not forget that some of the interbreeding includes the raping of the women of the ethnicity that lost the battles. That is still weird because the blood of the losing ethnicity is still in the children, so I do not fully understand why the winning ethnicity would want those children.
I think it is important to mention how slavery existed before the 19th century. Egyptians used slaves to build pyramids. The Greece and Romans brought back conquered people as slaves. The idea of “race” has been around for a long long time.
Well, the scientists of the “growing fields of science” were basically all white, so of course they would dehumanize people of other race. Those scientists basically further intensified the racism that has been created by their ancestors. Also, they shouldn’t call themselves scientists if they’re gonna say that people of different races are of different species. I’m glad the definition of has species changed.
I agree with this article because we tend to label a person’s race based on looks or appearances, this paragraph just goes to show us the variation we have. & and trying to preserve the same “race” or genes can make us more different from one another.
It is true that we can relate physical characteristics with a certain region or culture, but now a days we have a lot of variations or mix cultures that it’s hard to “label” a person, it can just be use as a way to see where your roots came from.
This is a valid point that I agree upon wholeheartedly about the benefits of marriage with respect to economics benefits. When married a couple gains the opportunity to file a single return that not only expedites the tax process but combines the totals income of the two workers. This provides an opportunity to be placed in a lower tax bracket as well as open opportunities for new tax credits.
I don’t agree with this idea that IRS as it almost creates a situation where a couple may feel obligated to be married because of these nuptial benefits and the intent of the marriage may feel tarnished.
This comment was meant for Block 7 it was mistakenly attached to Block 2.
This is an interesting criticism as it applies to the unrealistic expectations of marriage. Because of social media and the perpetual connections that people established to stars we are subjugated to their ideal lifestyle that sometimes to give us meaning we emulate their styles in the quixotic hopes that we find similar satisfaction for ourselves. More importantly we hope to engender the same subjugation to friends/family that we were under while watching our favorite stars.
Because of society’s entrenched expectation of cultural habits we are almost coerced into these beliefs and that any idea or action against the norm might either seem heretical or even iconoclastic. It is unfortunate that we are forced into this game, but fortunately we are blessed with free will and choices.
To some extent,what this passage says is true, as married couple, (as one example) do get, in lack of better terms, “breaks” within society; Married couples often pay less taxes than single people. Another example, are enrolling a person’s child in school. Most schools have preference to married couples,rather than divorced, single, or even homosexual couples, because of either “image” or “economic stability.” Enforcing this restriction. This lay a foundation that married couples are the only acceptable couples.
Unfortunately, the idea of wedding has lost the idea of “love” when it comes to its representation. I believe it is true that weddings are more of a financial spectacle than a public declaration of love between two people, and it does this by reinforcing the heterosexuality; “as long as the wedding is a fairy-tale wedding with two straight people, it’s okay” (the opposite is true.) Love and commitment is what’s supposed to be the driving force, in all aspects, including the participants, and unfortunately it gets pushed to the side.
The concept of imaginary is interesting. The idea behind how an infant experiences the illusion of tranquility and fullness is interesting.
I feel that heteronormativity is somewhat true. There is this idea of it being normal to think of a heterosexual relation when dealing with weddings and gender.
It is true that young children are being socialized into a ‘proper’ way of doing things. Proper in that the majority opinion in some ways takes over. Adults, movies, books, etc… all play a big role in molding the minds of young children.
I feel like monotheistic religions such as Islam, Judaism, and Christianity play a huge role regarding institutionalized heterosexuality. Especially in the western world, Christianity is the foundation on which our laws are created so it only makes sense that these biases would be ingrained in our society.
Western societal norms revolving around marriage are just trivial things that are expected of us for no reason, there are numerous ways to express love besides a document and a rock. It is possible to share a life together with another human being and enjoy it, but societal pressures weigh far too heavy on such as decision.
This idea is absolute rubbish. There are many men and women who choose not to get married, whether it be that they have not found someone worthy or they just don’t see the significance of a sheet of paper binding two lives; and most people don’t see it as a problem. Just because someone doesn’t have a sheet of paper declaring they are married doesn’t make them any more straight or gay then the next person. As a matter of fact, some people who are married to the opposite sex can be and are gay. Again.. just a piece of paper.
This is a solid point. From a young age, the media sets a standard for us to reach when getting married, although it isn’t exactly necessary. There is an idea that weddings must be themed off of the individuality of another person rather than your own.
In the long term it seems profit comes before everything else. Multinational conglomerates like Mattel can seemingly culturally control one society and oppress another.
I think in addition to rewarding those who show a desire in the heterosexual life, those who do not, are punished. It is not simply those who are not interested in heterosexuality, but also those who somehow fail to live up to this ideal. In our culture, a lot of our self worth is measured by our ability to attract a husband or wife. When we do not, we think less of ourselves, and others are encouraged to “feel” bad for those in that situation. I think we are taught to want these things, and we are also taught to suffer if we fail in obtaining them.
In our culture especially there are products and television shows marketed to young girls and women at every age to normalize marriage. Getting married and being a bride becomes completely tied up in femininity and what it means to be a woman. When a woman doesn’t want to be a bride or get married, she can be seen as less feminine. Many people stand to make a lot of money off the practice of marriage. Marriage is sold as being desirable because it is a product which someone will make money off of. By shaming women into becoming brides (lest they fail to be women) an entire industry is fueled.
In the idea that one is not born a bride, it’s true that a lot of women feel discouraged, are seen to not be living life to their fullest potential, or are less of a woman if they’re not married or don’t want to be married. It also is judgmental of the woman’s age if she’s not married by a certain time that she’s a lost cause or weird in the least. Social constructs have made it that way when it’s an institution that just isn’t for everyone.
Is it to say that the social practices are what should not be assumed to be normal when thinking of relationships or that it’s the assumption that these practices are only “normal” when performed by heterosexual couples? As in what if we assumed the practices were done by homosexual couples does that make it abnormal?
Its sad that something that people seem to cling to so much has become a financial institution. The wedding people idealize is some thing not everyone can afford but most are assimilated into idealizing. In my eyes the idea is very romanticized and it does serve a capitalistic purpose like how it is described here. This may be because my parents were never religious or married so thats my own bias
It is interesting that the author talks about targeting of girls first in naturalization of wedding ritual through TV shows and toys. Somehow women in western society are taught to think of marriage first, although I do believe boys receive their share of social punishment to some degree if they do not state that they are interested in marriage. Girls however are targeted and taught from a very young age to romanticize weddings and marriage. I do believe though these practices are changing. It is important to note that marriage culture, much like many other societal rituals in the Western world is created by business practices. Like most business practices it uses advertisement in forms of imaginary heterosexual relationship and heteronormativity to help sell its products.
Another important note that the author makes is that in its business model, the wedding industry just as any other western based business, uses exploitative labor of women of color in other countries to help uphold the dangerous heterosexual norms and values in Western world in order to sell more of their product.
I feel that i have felt the influence heterosexuality in my own life. I feel that i am a male who has the ability to be in a long term committed relationship. Like for real dawg. But with all this talk about men not being ready for long entrenched relationships, i don’t feel i can ever be viewed,as a male, by women as someone who is not potentially like that. It kinda sucks that that is the stereotype of how a guy in a relationship is because for me and my friends its not like that on an individual basis.
I agree that heterosexual practice is a highly structured arrangement and I believe that advertisement of products, clothes and services play a big role in creating ideas amongst the people especially with the help of the technology that runs people’s daily lives.
I agree that it is difficult to live resisting membership on the heteronormative order. Further more, while debating with one self some have to also be in conflict with their family when having traditional parents.
Society does immensely push hetersexuality onto us such as telling us what to do and what the norm is for our gender. I feel as if society shuns people that don’t conform into hetersexuality. People that don’t want to date or get married with the opposite gender are seen as odd and unusual. Homosexuality, Pansexuality, and Asexuaity are also hidden from society and the media.
It’s interesting how women are taught that getting married would be the “happiest day of their lives,” while it isn’t said to men. This shows how women are told that marriage is the key to happiness and that they should depend on a man to make them happy. It’s also more socially acceptable if men plan to not get married or marry later in comparison to women.
I agree with this and i do believe that society has set certain things to be viewed as the “right thing to do”, putting pressure on certain individuals to do things that way and when those “rules” aren’t being follow, society looks at them in a judgmental way. pretty much it stops us from being who we really are and expressing our self because society and the media has portrait a “guide” for us to follow.
I completely agree with all the points made in this paragraph. In Western societies their are huge stigmas placed upon weddings, marriages and relationships. From an early age we are taught through social media, advertisements and even sometimes people in our families what it means to be in a “successful” marriage or relationship. We are taught that a relationship is between a man and a woman, that relationships should one day turn into marriages and that their are certain roles specific to the men and women in those marriages. We are taught that families must consist of partners having children and women are even looked down upon for not abiding by these standards.
Religion plays a role in cultural marriage expectations, I would have liked to see that idea explored more.
An old professor of mine once told us that marriage was just a market, that in medieval times the father of the bride would pay the husband a certain amount of money to marry her daughter, they were pretty much encouraging man and taking the option or freedom of women to get marry or not. which makes me agree with the fact that marriage is everything but natural, it’s more of a standard society has put in our culture and at the end of the day someone is making money out of selling the idea that is the “correct” thing to do.
I agree that institutionalized heterosexuality takes a toll on relationships. The marital status options ring true, for example a couple who are not married will legally have to say they are single when it is not true. Having to say they are single even though they are in a relationship will make them feel as though society does not view their relationship seriously.
This also relates to the discussion we had during the last class. Even in advertisements the institutionalized heterosexuality is not tranquil, safe, or equal. So why does our society still try to depict these unrealistic, unfair social roles?
I feel that the Barbie dolls for young girls greatly influences their idea of what “marriage” is. I admit that as a child, I never thought about married couples that aren’t man and woman and felt that anything outside of that is abnormal because those were only the image of marriage I had seen. However, now that I am older and learned about the different types of couples of there are, I am able to see how society is so centered around the man and woman which further ostracizes the LGBTQ community.
Every Disney movie you see is a dainty princess who needs saving by a handsome prince. Our society feeds off the innocence of young girls and programs them to think they need a husband to live. Also, so much emphasis is placed upon how lavish or glam the wedding is- only adding to the point that weddings are just another market.
I agree that marriage has been “naturalized” because people are taught to question why a 50-year-old man/woman is not married. Media and family culture has cultivated this ritual into somewhat of an obligation. There are even movies that a certain character is a protagonist when they have the wife, the car, the job and the kids. This reoccurring concept manipulates people into believing that these are morals every culture or society should contain. A religious example would be abstinence from sex until “holy matrimony.” Therefore, marriage isn’t only a societal theme but a form of control as well.
It’s tragic that we, as a society, allow these ills to prosper at the expense of our own. So many aspects of life put a preference of heterosexuality while disparaging alternatives.
I’ve heard some extreme statements in regards to heteronormalcy. For instance, I was once told that the authorization of homosexual marriage would invalidate all. Marriage is what you make of it, the only invalidation would be in your own mind. Why must we live up to these unnecessary constructions? Why get married? Do what you want (as long as it does not hurt another). The pressure is real though.
This essay title most likely comes from Simone de Beauvoir’s quote “One is not born a woman, one becomes one”. What she meant by this is the fact that we learn how to be gendered from an early age. Boys are taught to be masculine and girls are taught to be feminine. Boy babies and girl babies are even talked to differently (parents use diminutive with girls like “kitty” and doggy” while using harsher prohibitions with boys like “no!”).
On television when we see girl friends going out together and guy friends going out together, they’d almost never end up in the same place. Women typically end up shopping, doing karaoke, or doing yoga or something of that sort. Men are seen shooting paint guns, playing poker or racing. The women would never go paint-balling by themselves, and the men would never all decide to go to a yoga class or a spa together. These social rituals/norms are prime examples are institutionalized heterosexuality.
It’s worth noting that, although the heterosexual imaginary does play a role in these consequences (marital rape, domestic violence, etc.), they are more directly the result of the privileged position of men in society, as well as the objectification and forced subjugation of women.
In my understanding, heteronormativity goes beyond marital status identity to refer to the way that heterosexuality (in the context of sexual preference) is normalized. Similar to the way that many white people do not recognize ‘white’ as a racial identity, it is assumed that ‘straight’ is the default, and that other sexualities are somehow a deviation from a ‘norm.’
Celebrations such as anniversaries, showers, and Valentine’s Day have become synonymous with heterosexuality because the media does not show the homosexuality side of them. George Takei is not afraid to make a post about his anniversary with his husband. However, society is only beginning to slowly accept homosexuality, hence the media would not cover cute gay stories. It’s not rare to find cute heterosexual couple stories all over the internet. Once again, it’s just the media being biased against homosexuality.
Little girls have been brain washed to think that they are all princesses and will get grand weddings like the ones of Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty. Then they’re given dolls, particularly Barbie, that come with gorgeous wedding gowns. But being from an immigrant family, I know that it’s naive for me to dream of having crazy gowns for my wedding. However, that was also because I did not play with dolls when I was young. Many girls today are more privileged, hence more brain-washing.
I agree with Jasmine that the idea of wedding has lost the idea of “love” when it comes to its representation. I think the term “godzilla” is derived from this notion. That there is a crazy bride up until after the successful wedding afirms that weddings are now more a representation of production and power rather than a representation of love.
Whilst I resent the implication that every female marches mindlessly into marriage and find the notion that we have to be married outdated there are definitely advantages to being married. Nothing will be equal for everyone until the federal laws are changed that allow unmarried people the same rights as married couples. I also wonder since the law has now changed regarding who can get married if the idea of marriage as a heterosexual identify and membership is still relevant.
Girls are constantly told as children that someday they are going to get married and have beautiful wedding. It then becomes a fantasy for the girl of when this magical day will occur (bride wars can be used as an example). By the time a woman reaches 30 and she is yet to be married, that birthday usually becomes something she dreads. She did not meet societys and even her own expectations to find someone she loves and celebrate through capitalism. Instead the path of marriage becomes shorter after 30 and something that is more rushed into.
The media perpetuates the myth that is you are an unmarried female and of a certain age there is something wrong with you. I mean thank goodness Cameron Diaz finally got married!!! They also feed into the idea of the woman as the unknowing participant during divorce. How many years did it portray Jennifer Aniston as the hapless victim?
After reading this point, it made me start thinking about how we are not born with this idea that we need to get married and receive a beautiful diamond ring. When growing up, the people in our environment kind of “brainwash” us into thinking that this is the norm.
It was interesting to read the tax and healthcare benefits of getting married. In some other countries, you do not have to be legally married to someone else to get these benefits. My cousin in France did not want to get married, but decided she wanted to tie herself to her long-term boyfriend since they were living together by getting a PACS. They received the tax and healthcare benefits of getting married, but did not get legally married.
Although institutionalized heterosexuality, has a peaceful and safe image, it’s not always how it is. Even in marriage, there are countless problems that can occur with one’s spouse. It seems like one cannot escape the possibility of violence, even when exchanging vows.
Based on observing and growing up in our society, marriage is supposed to be a goal one must achieve in life. Children grow up dreaming about their wedding days: picking out the right dress, what season the wedding should happen in, where it should take place. It’s not an instinct one is born with, its learned.
Its so crazy how this can be taught at an impressionable age. The idea a “perfect” heterosexual marriage hides so much negative possibilities behind it. I remember growing up with one of the wedding Barbies and having a groom Ken playing out the perfect wedding. Sad to think behind closed doors Ken could have been abusing her or even the other way round.
Its agreeable that weddings and all its factors are taught and arranged. It does put a lot of pressure on individuals being that it seems to be a certain right of passage or social guide that has to be followed. But the funny thing is that it doesn’t have to be followed.
This is very true as one of the biggest dreams of a female since a young age is to have a big beautiful wedding with a gorgeous wedding ring. This then hurts us so much more because they don’t strive for a career or a meaningful relationship
I feel this is very true. It’s almost as if marriage symbolizes something that is necessary in life yet that only adds a huge amount of pressure on both men and women to date with that idea in minds. This I feel makes marriage something negative in a relationship.
The problem, I think, is what we attribute as positive and negative qualities for each gender. While a man is applauded to be strong and assertive, a woman would be called a bitch. It is thought normal behavior for a woman to express and communicate her feelings, but a man behaving this way would be looked down as weak or unstable.
The problem is how we associate certain adjectives with either female or male stereotypes. From there, it’s easy to see why men are accepted as a figure of power and women in a submissive role.
This is true with many advertising products. It’s very easy to look at what´s being sold and believe that is the ¨normal¨ thing we should strive for.
Products like dolls, underwear, make-up, etc. give us a false idea of what is normal. When ironically, it’s often enough to look at where and how these products are being made to realize the advertisement is a false reality.
This affects gender roles greatly, as well as big issues like body-image and self-esteem.
I believe that women being taught from a very young age to make marriage one of the most important aspects of their lives can act as a limiting factor, mainly because of the commonly expected devoted role of the wife. Women are likely to be told to weight factors such as family and marriage in their future career plans while men tend to have the freedom to do things without taking these into account.
I agree that heteronormativity is alienating and damaging for society. It is sad that we need a paper provided by the government to feel like our romantic relationships are valid.
Screw you heteros! Suck my toes!
Racism in America has made it increasingly difficult for women of color to make any progress, in any social spectrum. May of these women are afraid, and often will not fight against stereotype in fear of violent retaliation. This silence ultimately destroys black women’s psyche.
Black women have always been beaten down in every way because of racism and or sexism. Their struggles have always been brushed aside because they are not considered “humans” because of male white majority, beginning from the 19th century and beyond.
This relates to Robin Lakoff’s text, Women in Language. She writes of how women are limited linguistically, both covertly through sexist norms and structures within language, and overtly through silencing and dismissal. Although Lorde does not assert here explicitly that she is silenced by men, the interconnected systems of racism and homophobia are equally subjugating, and contribute to the oppression of women.
This brings to light the important issue of representation. Not only should Women of Color feel free and encouraged to create works which encapsulate their experience, but that work must be recognized and celebrated by those who do not share their experience.
The idea of speaking even at the risk of having it bruised has always been a very powerful tool in our nation, especially for black people trying to be heard. First person to come in mind here is MLK, who was killed in the process, but his words changed the world in ways that were only imaginable at the time. This also goes for Rosa Parks, and many other leaders throughout history.
This really packs a punch. The fact that we are all going to die eventually and nothing can stop it really makes you think about what you want to say and what you want to leave behind when you go, the time in not infinite. Silence will make you survive, but not live, so is it worth it? Your words could help another who is afraid to speak, and that could start a chain reaction, its just up to you to start it. It is the breaking of these silences that have put us past the demons of the past in this country and every person regardless of age, race, class, or sex, still have way too much to do for the future to just sit back and quiver in fear.
We have seen in our history the risk of speaking among a lot of culture but in this case black people trying to be heard and fighting for their rights. I’m the type of guy that thinks communication is key even when there’s a misunderstanding there’s always room to try and get your point across, but if you don’t speak up then you will never be acknowledge for good or bad.
The fear of speaking up for what you believe has been diminishing due to the retaliation that is expected specially from certain groups, if you’re a minority for example we have seen it through history with the KKK killing and burning the houses of black people when they would go to the voting booth that was a form of terror and telling them to stay quiet.
This paragraph shows how the time period and it’s influence causes the women to view silence. The mother who initially talks about transformation of silence into language and action chiefly associates it with fear and a dangerous act while her daughter speaks of it as an act of freedom and relief. One has to put them self and the way they feel ahead of the society’s views.
This paragraph shows of how often and normally women were constantly acting against their wishes to remain in silence that only the threat of their very existence falling apart could cause them to realize what they missed out on while remaining silent was of “most regret”.
I think that the regret of silence the author is talking about is much larger than just her own individual silence. It’s the silence from centuries of oppressed women who couldn’t say anything. In today’s society, with increased education and forms of media, women have a greater ability to speak what needs to be said than previously and by not taking full advantage of this the author feels regret.
I feel as though this section is an example of anti-racism racism. In trying to promote the individual experiences that WOC go through versus white women it places a divide between the two that hinders progress.
Lorde is not alone in her previous ideologies. So many people both male and female are afraid to speak up, figuring that they’ll find the words at a later time or that someone else will present the words for them. This paragraph highlights the power of the voice and the mind and how silencing yourself does a huge disservice. Lorde’s passion for using her voice and regret for not having done so in the past is felt so strongly in this paragraph.
Change definitely has to be made and women need to keep “breaking their silences” in order to become better thinkers, speakers and most of all better initiators of change. The only way to unite women of all different backgrounds and experiences is by breaking the silence. By doing so we are enabling ourselves to learn about women experiences that our different from ours and we can use the differences to strengthen our platforms. This is also touched upon in Lorde’s “The Transformation of Silence into Language and Action.”
It just gets to a point where you must ask yourself: what am i really doing this for? To sit back, not be heard and allow yourself to sulk in your own oppression goes against the movement which black women have been advocating for
As a Black Lesbian women it is very important to speak up about any unjust situations. By remaining silent no one could truly know the struggle at hand.
The seven principles of Kwanzaa encourage one to be themselves. Unity, Self-determination, Collective work and responsibility, Cooperative economics, Purpose, Creativity and faith are essential in finding oneself.
Lorde makes a very powerful point on how silence is different when chosen opposed to when inflected. Her ability to turn fear into strength into words is really inspiring. She feels regret in holding her words for so long. Makes me really appreciate all the different outlets we have today to get our words across.
Fear seems to be such a dominant thing. Its sad to see how easily it is inflicted and can affect us from being our whole selves. The ability to actually speak seems so liberating to the author.
The fear of speaking up has been a problem time and time again but it is also an understandable fear in my opinion. Speaking up against the people in power led to deaths for many, and as normal humans, we fear death and pain. In a classroom setting, we students are scared of speaking up because teachers control our grades. Coming from a high school where grades was the top priority for many students, I didn’t want to offend any teachers for that reason. Teachers are the ones in power.
It is important to speak about things that are important to oneself. I think that over time, some people from difference races stopped speaking up because they were scared about what could happen to them, while others decided to speak their minds and make a change.
Many people from different genders are afraid to speak up because of what may happen to them if they do. Even for certain minor things, they still do not speak up and either just keep putting it off or they just wait until someone else speaks up. When you are near death, you regret all the things you have not said and not done.
Communication and learning from each other’s experiences are definitely ways to empower women around the globe. Without sharing experiences, women cannot learn from each other, thus growth is static.
Many times Ive heard we live in a cancerous society today. Her personal reflections on those that encourage her and gave her strength to fight for her life and identity reflect the steps on healing our society. All races regardless of age or gender in unity is the only possible way to heal society just as it sustained her through cancer.
Lorde supports her argument well by raising questions of how people have been teaching Shakespeare and Plato but they claim that cannot teach from a Black woman’s perspective. I think one of the most important themes in this passage is empathy. By trying to understand each woman’s story, it can only bring women closer together.
Language both hinders and allows for truths to be told and written. It is important to dissect the language we speak as well as the truths we derive from it. Most importantly embodying these truths or values surpasses all because our language is limited ans some things just need to be seen or experienced in order to be truly understood.
I think this is a powerful statement. If you choose to stay silent for fear of your life. you will still suffer and death is inevitable anyway. She suggests that to speak up and fight for what your believe in is worth dying for. Its a brave observation.
I was deeply moved by this article and the perspective of someone who feared they had nothing left to loose. I think we all live in fear in some parts of our lives. Fear that in an effort to understand we may offend. Fear that if we acknowledge the injustice we will have to do something about it. Fear of the light that may be shone on our own lives if we to closely examine it. Fear of doing the wrong thing when trying to do the right thing.
i really like the point the author makes right off the bat by showing the gravity that is speaking, making thoughts to be known aloud, through use of talking about a traumatizing personal experience that if anyone in that situation was told something similar, you would feel very closed-in. in any movement of any kind, one of the greatest feats in any of them is to speak up, and evidence shows itself that throughout history, those who speak, achieve.
a very strong point made here, and very well said in my opinion. silence will never protect you, will never bridge those connections between people, and can never fix nor heal…ever. to speak up is to reach out, grasping at anything and anyone who is willing to help and feels the same way, and eventually, someone will always reach back.
[…] to doing something about it. And remember the words of writer, feminist, and civil rights activist Audre Lorde: “Your silences will not protect […]
[…] “I have come to believe over and over again that what is most important to me must be spoken, made verbal and shared, even at the risk of having it bruised or misunderstood.” (Audre Lorde; Lorde, The Transformation Of Silence Into Language And Action) […]
I agree! you are the face of some of us’s fear. The transformation of silence into language and action is something that we are struggling to do because of our fear and society awareness. But we are being the slave of of a crime that we have not committed.
[…] forget our emotional bruising. I am reminded of this every time I teach Audre Lorde’s “The Transformation of Silence into Language and Action.” I was reminded of this recently based on a particular student response I received on […]
[…] who may be struggling with finding their voice, a little gem I came across was Audre Lorde’s The Transformation of Silence into Language and Action, where she discussed the importance of overcoming your fear of speaking up for yourself and why […]
[…] Audre’s words for the better half of my life, it would be fucking hypocritical for me to stay silent on the issues with the Blogsquad™. I cannot go on in this field forging alliances and […]
[…] Tongues as a whole is concerned primarily with breaking silence, having learned well from Audre Lorde’s dictum that one’s silence will not protect them, the aural register will only be briefly touched upon […]
The essence of any state based on economic oppression is the mirage of pragmatism and tautology. The wealth of that country is based whatever works to oppress others, including the silence of others is built into that silence.
I went with my father when the doctor gave him told him that his tumor was malign and had about 3 months to live. I felt as if the diagnosed was directed to me. I could not speak, cry or even think. The worse day of my life. We do not prepare to die or accept that others near to us will die.
I think sometimes silence is better than speaking out without knowledge of the consequences. One has to know in order to make a good decision.
[…] Sister Outsider is a collection of her essays on many different subjects. My favorite essay, The Transformation Of Silence Into Language and Action, explores how speaking up and using our voice is dangerous but […]
[…] things first, Bravo!!! “The Transformation of Silence into Language and Action” is by far the most important piece of work that I have read to date. Audre was able to make me […]
[…] because they are threatened with domestic abuse and violence. Fear holds them back. In the words of Audre Lorde, we must recognise that ‘where the words of women are crying to be heard, we must each of us […]
At some point or another, everyone dies, regardless of how we lived. May as well speak up.
Lorde has made some clever writer’s choices here, capitalizing Black and lowering america.
Just a little interesting to use “her” since traditionally “him” is used. Lorde does the same thing by using the word “sister” below instead of “brother.”
simile, I wonder why she chose “bottles”
What a beautiful word, elucidate! <3
There is so much packed in here, I don’t know where to start. One thing I notice is Jungian psychology. Knowing thyself is something Jung stresses. Confronting your shadow and your persona and your animus and anima; one must do this in order that fate doesn’t control one’s life. When Lorde says, “I am the face of one of your fears. … [b]ecause I am … doing my work … come to ask you, are you doing yours?” it’s as if she is invoking Jung’s concept of the shadow, of the anima, and of the animus (warrior) and challenging us to challenge our persona, in order that we may be more true to ourselves.
Even if she were not talking about race, gender, sexual orientation, or other concepts which she held dear, this is great insight on how to be psychologically healthy.
[…] they are threatened with domestic abuse and violence. Fear holds them back. In the words of Audre Lorde, we must recognise that ‘where the words of women are crying to be heard, we must each of us […]
Black women ARE inherently valuable. In today’s society it is so refreshing to see such an increase in women empowerment, especially black empowerment. By installing values and morals into the youth they will rise up believing in the self and that starts in the home. To have dignity and confidence in a world where you’re so harshly judged is of great importance.
Black women have actively resisted and the text mentions how there may be some well known activists but there are also many those who are unknown. Also, that black feminism is the outgrowth of countless generations of struggles and hardship is a very strong point.
The second wave of feminism included other groups of women. It is interesting that the black women in New York felt it was necessary to form a separate group.
When it comes to issues such as race,class, and above all, sexism, aesthetic has always been a contributing factor to missing the overall point. Many opponents of the black liberation movements zero in on factors which they believe will hinder its progress; these movements are about equality, and this tactic strips away the justice it tries to build.
The “system” has always made it difficult for those oppressed to remove themselves from their oppression. Whether the obstacle be underlying racism, blatant racism, monetary struggle, or class status, obstacles will always be placed by the dominating force. The majority will always complain how the poor should just “work,” but always fail to see that it’s never that simple. The privileged cannot see past their privilege.
This demonstrates once again how gender is a social construct, rather than biology. Our society is the one that defines how each gender should act, rather than the biological parts we are composed of. Society also assigns us based on our gender and race, whether we are able to oppress others.
These are really strong words that gives an accurate description on how Black women are oppressed through several different systems. They unfortunately aren’t privileged in any certain way, which means that they have to fight harder than any other group for liberation. Hence, since they are the only group that understands all the forms of oppression, they may be the key to stopping all the different forms of oppression inflicted on people.
I think educating others about Black feminism and the oppression faced by them will help raise awareness and advocate for their liberation. Black feminists should also educate and inform different groups of people, not aimed at a specific race or gender.
I strongly agree with the statement “as we grow older we became aware of the the threat of physical and sexual abuse by men” due to gender conditioning. Starting at adolescence, girls are treated differently from boys, such as gentle treatment which does not teach much self defense. Growing up “ladylike” makes women more vulnerable to abuse because “ladylike” means to be submissive.
I think it’s important to note that Black women’s struggle is here referred to as “life-and-death,” similar to the way in which Frederick Douglass asserted that the Black vote was a much more dire struggle than woman’s suffrage. This Collective, much like the Black women’s clubs of the 19th century, states clearly the extra burden of intersectionality that women of color face.
I think that it’s great the author mentions writing as a way of organizing the cause of Black feminism because writing seems like a subtle approach and sometimes subtle approaches can draw in more supporters. It’s nice that the group began as an emotional support group because that creates a special and stable foundation since they are linked in similar struggles.
This is, in my opinion, one of the most important aspects of intersectionality. To understand that racism and sexism (and classism, ableism, etc.) are not experienced simultaneously but separately, and are in fact interrelated and often influenced by one another, is to understand the unique oppressions faced by individuals who are classified into multiple minority groups.
Similar to the ideas of Bernice Johnson Reagon, it seems that the Black women in New York felt the need of separatism. Like she mentions, the organization offered a safe place for women that felt threatened by the outside world particularly since New York is a place inhabited by a majority of non black feminist at that time.
I agree with Jessica in that this is one of the most important aspects of intersectionality. It applies to any race, any gender, sexual orientation, class etc. differently and to be able to create equality, we must understand all the complex differences.
I agree that Black women have faced significantly horrific forms of oppression, however, their sole freedom would not “necessitate the destruction of all the systems of oppression.” I don’t see how a free Black woman helps an oppressed Asian woman, Latin American women, or any other minority group of women. It’s not fair to group all oppressed ethnicities into “one” group, but only speak of a Black woman’s oppression and freedom.
I really like the connection of the systems of racial and sexist oppression directly to the benefit of that oppression to our current economic system. There is idea of liberation that looks at one of the main reason for institution of oppression and its continued influence on society today.
I agree that a revolution towards liberation must involve racism and sexism issues together as they are both equivalent to each other. A person who is not sensitive towards the issue of sexism might also be the same towards racism as these are both ideas of rank systems in determining the superiority and inferiority amongst the populations.
The previous paragraph talks about the creation of identity in Black women through these systems of oppression. The creation of certain solidarity within the group and I believe this showcases that. The creation of solidarity between Black men and women. This is one of the reasons feminist movement in 1800 would have been more successful if they did not extradite Black women from their dialogue.
I would like to say that not only black women/girls were treated differently from black women.boys, but also Asian girls are treated differently from Asian boys as well. There is this constant idea that girls should stay in the house and be well behaved. Perhaps, Asian women would have taken part in feminist movements as well if they had been in America earlier and were given the opportunity to learn English.
Davis notes the racism present in past feminist/abolition movements, but that was due to large membership of white women, who clearly have not suffered as much as black women have. I praise the black feminists for believing that they struggle together with their black brothers instead of separating their struggles and movements. In my opinion, the reason the white feminist movements weren’t as successful as they could be was because of their racism towards the black movements.
Even though Black feminists were able to understand that they were struggling with their black brothers, Black men felt the opposite. Black men did not want their Black sisters to be fighting for certain rights just like how white men looked down on white women fighting for theirs. Sexism once again finds its role in hindering movements.
Black men believed that an equality can not be happened in different gender. So Black women had to stand against the sexual oppression from their same race. Black women and men were allies each other in racism but men did not consider as an ally with women in sexism.
Secluding yourself from outside harms doesn’t seem like a practical manner of achieving success. In life there will always be harm and injustice and simply isolating yourself from what life is like into your artificial one does not allow for you to understand the different pressures that exists. Granted black women experienced the struggle and injustice. Reason argues that women should depart from separatism and move into coalition politics to immerse themselves in other issues relating to their own.
There has been multiple arguments made that during and post WWII that black women were given higher economic status. I am curious to know what percentage of black women were given this heightened status as well as how much did their new pay of labor change from the old, because during this time black women initiated their fight for equal work and equal pay, emphasizing men who work in the same fields that black women did for higher pay.
The idea that nobody cared about them but themselves stands out because it can be pretty well proven. For example, when women’s suffrage was the main goal, black women were practically invisible and unwelcome. Being and ally for yourself makes it known to the public that you aren’t leaving and you can’t change, which is what it seems like this group is all about.
Oh sexism, we meet again. Black men not wanting to stand as an ally to their black sister is just crazy. This makes it even harder for these women because even their own race is against them. This just goes to show that even though black men were not at the top of the world like white men were, they still saw themselves as being superior to these black women.
I agree with this even though i believe that Afro-American women’s as well as minorities are still fighting for liberation in a society ruled by white male, that bias still hasn’t disappear and has an impact in our modern society. I should say the improvement has been great but there’s still space for a lot more.
Through-out time we have seen black women work together, trying to stand out for them self because no one else would stand up for them because they were pretty much at the bottom of the pyramid. They fought against that and it takes a lot of courage to do so and we still see them fighting for a higher place or better treatment in society.
Like previously stated, the only consistent advocate for the black woman’s rights has been the black woman. During women’s abolitionists efforts the white woman only looked out for herself leading the need for black women to create and manage their own clubs to push for their suffrage, as well. This has been a common thread through out history.
Black women’s struggle being one of “life-and-death” can easily be related to Frederick Douglass’ assertion that the difference between the white women’s need for suffrage, and the black people, is that black people had to fight for their lives. They weren’t seen as human making their lives up for the taking/abusing. White women didn’t have that same degree of oppression.
It is interesting to read that although there were other groups in New York at this time, Black feminists still felt the need to form their own group. They might have been stronger if they joined forces with other groups, but at the same time, it seems like it would be safer for them to create their own group because there were more non-black feminists in New York.
The main reason why black feminists were under-included in the First Wave of Feminism is because of intersectionality. They had to fight for and defend both their race and gender rights simultaneously in order to validate either point. White women didn’t have that experience so they couldn’t relate, nor did they want to.
I feel like gender conditioning still occurs today among the different races. Girls are raised to believe that they need to be quiet and behave “lady-like” from a very young age. It is only really socially acceptable for young boys to behave loud and roudy. Some young parents today try to raise their children without gender conditioning. They let their children decide how they want to behave, how they want to dress, and what toys they want to play with. Of course they discipline their children, but they let them have a certain amount of freedom to figure out who they want to be.
I feel as though this resistance to black female feminism and power from black men is partially due to the hyper masculinity that has been forced as a part of their image and ideas of themselves, since slavery.
I strongly agree that our economic system only promotes increased disparities. Capitalism, based on a system of “have/owners/exploiters” and “have not’s/workers/exploited,” encourages a power struggle which inevitably led to divisions such as racism, sexism, and classism.
Cultures are resistant to change. This change is all the more difficult when you are dominated in multiple dimensions. To convince the oppressed to stand for change is a great challenge.
Beliefs such as these were very common during the 1970’s. The constant idea that males are superior to women made it hard for them to succeed economically.
Black Feminism is included in the Black Liberation Movement. The constant struggle for equality within the entire Black community could possibly be a result of a lack of support of one another.
This revelation is irritating to hear, especially in the case of black males attacking fellow black women in terms of attractiveness based off intellect. This is foolishness of epic proportions. How can a group with such strong solidarity in much harsher times forget where there ancestors came from?
I agree that Lesbian separatism is not a viable political strategy as it isolates to many groups. Although men were essentially isolating women from the democratic and civil liberties for years, it does not help the women’s rights cause.Unfortunately changing the social perception of women in the eyes of men seemed to be the only option.
I don’t think Black women necessarily wanted to form their own group. They do mention that they aren’t the only ones struggling with the “outside reactionary forces”. I believe they think it was necessary due to their history with the American political system. They might have been stronger if jointed with other organizations but then their specific grievances wouldn’t have been as paid attention to which is something they already have struggled with for so long.
This is where rape as a weapon has a strong influence on the Black feminist movement. Its easy to say that this is all relevant today and to women of other races, because it is, but due to the movements mentioned in the previous paragraph, we have to keep in mind that the U.S. was in a state of transition which resulted in violent outbreaks. During said violent outbreaks, sexual oppression was definitely emphasized on.
Its interesting to see a power struggle still present between Black males and females even after the suffrage enfranchisement struggles. I really like how the Black feminists are providing examples on how they would benefit the American political system while actively trying to change it.
Its incredible to see how Black women are oppressed and seen as intellectually inadequate or invaluable but have the capability to collectively organize such groups and carry out their movement in such a manner. It is undeniable that Black females have been oppressed simply for being black.
It is interesting to note that this statement was issued in 1977 but nearly 40 years later the general populous still haven’t embraced intersectionality as a concept. The last sentence succinctly summarizes the problems faced by the women’s movement. Women confine themselves to one cause, and exclude those issues not directly affecting them. I like Particia Hill Collins’ idea as our issues as a “matrix of domination” where various forms of suppression are connected and as such affect us all.
In Angela Davis’ Women, Race and Class she argues that Black Women and White women were divided. One way in which this occurred was because white middle class women couldn’t understand that life of a working Black woman. She states that a Black woman’s position in their household was not the same as white woman’s, because Black women went to work. She suggests that therefore in their own household they were seen as equal to men. However here in this statement from the 1970s that seems to have changed. Clearly here women are being defined as less valuable than men.
This section points out that within the women’s movement there are many different issues dealt with, especially that of the working woman. While the second wave women’s movement may have grown recently, working women have always been in an arena of struggle. Since the women’s movement encompasses such a large expanse of female experience, it is important for these smaller factions to come together and fight for their particular cause (such as working and black women).
This section really highlights the need for an intersectional black women’s group. I find this concept of “craziness” very interesting. That because these women were unable to find the answers in neither black politics nor women’s rights, they fulfilled a need to create a new group. This paragraph outlines that they are concerned with racial, gender, economic, educational and social justice (and that all of these concerns are connected with their personal struggles).
This demonstrates a point made in Freedman’s article. Namely the quote by Pauli Murray explaining how she feels herself “split in two” fighting for her rights as being both a person of color and a women. For women of color, the to struggle for racial and gender equality cannot be separated since they are inherently bound in their own personal experience.
[…] Combahee River Collective Statement (1977). Retrieved on July 22, 2016 from CUNY Academic Commons: https://wgs10016.commons.gc.cuny.edu/combahee-river-collective-black-feminist-statement/ […]
[…] DS: You write that women are the hate movement’s “dulcet voices and its standard bearers.” Given that white women have historically supported white supremacy, do you think that women who consider themselves white should play a particular role in dismantling white supremacy? […]
I think this is one of the most important ideas of women’s rights because it is the most basic right to have control over your own body. Just because society expects women to become wives and mothers doesn’t mean every women should have to become one. Women should decided if and when she wants to get pregnant and have the freedom to access resources that help with her decision.
By educating ourselves as women about our ourselves and not being ashamed of our bodies gives us so much power and freedom. There was this woman who runs marathons regularly and was training for a recent one for a while but started her menstrual cycle the day before. She chose to still run the marathon free-flowing and people were literally stopping her and disgusted- especially women. Apparently a woman stopped her to tell her she was bleeding. I just thought this was relevant to this because it’s not a shocker that women bleed during their menstrual cycle, but it was so shocking to see a woman not be embarrassed by it.
This is somewhat like a pay it forward method, every person goes off and tells two other people and the the numbers grow at an exponential rate. There is always power in numbers and it brings more opinions and knowledge to the table.
I think it’s very interesting to think about the differences between learning things in the school setting vs. talking about them with a group of peers who are like minded and go through the same thing. I feel like even today, women tend to be a little weirded out when talking about touching themselves or talking about menstrual cycles, even though its a natural human action. So being able to openly talk about it for probably the first time, it seems to have bonded them even more and given women lots of comfort.
The decision to decide when to become pregnant is indeed crucial to women’s freedom because they can control the direction of their lives. With unwanted pregnancies, it can make women feel like they are losing control and become distant from their bodies. So, it is important that preventive measures are available for women.
By learning about their own bodies, women became critical of the way society works and strive to reform society to address their needs. As a growing political force, women and those who support their goals can work together to create a society that serves everyone equally.
It is interesting how strongly women felt they should learn more about their bodies during this time period. By asking doctors questions and some doctors not being helpful, it just motivated these women to learn even more about their bodies.
Their actions to learn more about their bodies is very admirable. They felt they were capable of collecting research, understanding it and evaluating medical information. One does not need to be a doctor to learn more about their bodies or a professional in any field to get a better understanding of any subject.
As mentioned in this paragraph, women’s sexuality and the natural bodily processes of (typically) female organs are regarded with significant negative stigma. This is no accident–our society’s disregard for women’s sexual needs and the global taboo regarding menstruation are both results of centuries of misogyny and organized subjugation of women. Only through solidarity, discussion, and normalization of these topics can the negative stereotypes be overcome.
This is an argument crucial to the abortion ‘debate.’ Not only is the choice to become and remain pregnant essential for women’s freedom, but once that right is granted, women’s lives and the roles they fill benefit overall.
This proves how empowering knowledge can be especially in this case when health decisions concerning women are being heavily influenced by government and corporate institutions.
Reminds me of what we read in Women, Race & Class by how persistent many women were when it came to their education. As they expanded, they were able to connect with many different women of gripping backgrounds.
After years of oppression against women, it was common for females to be uneducated about their bodies. Society always seemed to enforce certain norms regarding their bodies. Since women were not as important as men, not much research was gathered about the female anatomy
I like how they just didn’t have a teacher-student relationship, but one where everyone contributed and learned from one another. No one was a leader,but everyone still worked collectively together. Women took the initiative to learn more about their bodies by gathering together, than just relying on men to give them non-informative information.
This demonstrates how science and biology doesn’t make the menstrual cycle or masturbation unnatural, but rather society. Society is the one that forms taboos and makes something that is natural seem as if it’s unnatural.
Not knowing about our bodies was also a reason why men blamed the women for not being to reach “vaginal orgasm.” Of course, pregnancy has always been an issue as it could have been a hindrance to women or even kill them during labor.
There are some women who just aren’t meant to be mothers, either mentally and or physically. Having knowledge on preventing pregnancy means giving women freedom. Not every woman wants to be at home caring for children because I believe women should be given the chance to work and not being able to prevent pregnancy is a hindrance.
Innovations through contraception in conjunction with awareness among females in regards to their own bodies enables women to enjoy the basic sexual liberty and control of their bodies that men often take for granted.
It is hypocritical how for most politicians they feel the desire to regulate pregnancies for women, yet at the same time they blame the government for regulating them. Women are entitled to conduct their pregnancies in any manner they feel suit and should not be at the whim of a higher figure controlling them. This is more than a question on abortion, but rather a question on freedom and control of women.
The period between 1968-1975 was important in the sense that birth control became available, the decision to have abortions was liberalized, and the second wave of feminism grew. In order to hold their grounds it was paramount for women to become fluent in the way their body works, which reflects they dedication and desire to regulate their own lives.
I think in many ways this is a problem that still persists today. Many women still have their medical concerns written off by doctors as ‘stress related’ only to find out it’s something far more pernicious such as cancer. What this proves is that not only has science clouded humane treatment, but is has also clouded the very pursuit of truth to which medicine is dedicated.
I like how this section brings up the fact that many of these things were taught in schools. However, due to the environment or context, they were forgotten. Schools often only teach the bare text book necessities. This leaves out a real aspect important for women. No matter how much you can learn in school, it won’t be truly learned until it is applied and shared to your real life. Schools, even now, fail to educate girls on the nature of their bodies. For example, the many states which outright refuse to teach sexual education, leaving out the education of women’s bodies (which is sexualized, even in this instructive educational context).
I like the way this piece came to a close. The menstruation process that every female goes thru should not be looked at as weak. The body is an amazing being, yet this monthly cycle is looked upon so immaturely. However, the average woman goes through “hell and back” in order to be independent.
“But the societal expectation that a woman above all else will have babies does not die easily.”
This is sad. Having a child should not be the pinnacle of a woman’s life. Yes, children are a joy but some couples or women do not feel the need to breed. Children are not for everyone. Women could be focused on their career or trying to get established first before they bring a child into the world. This should be taken into consideration.
It’s fantastic that women are doing something to take care of their health, genuinely, instead of allowing condescending and sexist doctors decide what’s wrong and right, not for medical terms, but because of sexist terms. Women should explore their own bodies and find out more about themselves, seeing as it’s THEIRS.
When women being to know their bodies, they do feel liberated because it is THEM who begin to take care of themselves. This new found knowledge allows women to take care of themselves more effectively, and this new energy, as stated, begins to flow within their personal and professional life; being healthy is an aspect that affects us throughout all spectrum.
This is definitely a problem that still occurs today. A few days ago, I actually read something a friend posted about how for months she had this stomach pain and doctors kept saying she was fine and that she should wait it out. She even went to the emergency room one night for experiencing an excruciating amount of pain and was made to wait for hours while they took a guy before her that arrived after her and was in less pain than her (he was laughing about being there). Long story short, after months of doctors belittling how she was feeling and not believing how much pain she was actually in, they found out she had an ulcer burning a hole through her stomach. It is sad to think that doctors might not take women as seriously as men and think that women cannot feel the same pain as men or that women are just overexaggerating. Women should be treated by doctors the same way men do.
Women should feel liberated after learning about their own bodies. At the end of the day, they are going to be the only ones who know what is good for themselves and their bodies. I wonder how different women’s lives would be if they started learning about their bodies and their body’s needs a long time ago.
Women feel that they aren’t being taken serious and this was one way of showing to the world their anger and frustration. Considering that doctors was being stereotyped by being a “male” job, now we see that “women account for a third of the nation’s lawyers and doctors” published by the Wall street journal. After all the individual effort is bringing awareness to the females that support and understand their bodies, and the best way to take care of this situation is by impacting the medical field.
By setting the course in that way i feel that it actually gives the student or the people in it the opportunity to be there without stress and learn without being monitor with homework or a teacher, is more of being present and vent with one another and learn about each other, which i believe is a good method to learn or to get a topic to go around because the people that are willing to be in a course like that actually do it for their own personal desire.
Menstruation being a completely normal process is sometimes regarded with disgust in some cultures. In some, during the historic times, women while on their period have been isolated. I think it is very upsetting and disturbing for people to have such negative feelings about it.
As discussed in our first article for this module, women were disfranchised in healthcare for a large period of time. There had been a lot of talk of the problems of diagnosis of certain condition among female patients since the signs of certain disease in the female body were not adequately studied. The medical institution as it stands today is making some progress of condescending to female patients. Studies have also shown that doctors and clinics are more likely to disregard a wish of the patient in regards to their health when the patient is a woman. This preface is extremely vague in its description of the issues but I feel it opens up a dialogue that need to be discussed when looking at public health policy today.
Adding onto the schools lack of fully educating their students, I was never taught SexEd and I went to school in NYC. People think that it’s just small towns or religiously influenced areas that stray from teaching students the much needed information, but it’s not. In my health classes the information always got deferred to the next year “Oh, you’ll learn about that in your next Health class in 10th grade.” But of course that never happened. I wish that Health teachers had encouraged their students to read this book instead of just telling them to wait to learn this information in a class that never came.
I like that the article also mentioned the role that social media plays in all this. At the time women on TV weren’t seen as main characters as often as they are today. They were wives and sisters reliant on the man of the house, not independent and self-assured. This book went against that and was telling the women to take control.
I love how these women synthesized ideas about their bodies through experience and actual facts or readings. I think that’s the best way to create books that help people understand. I’m sure lots of women have had “I guess I am not the only one” moments.
This shows how the idea of Voluntary motherhood being the notion that women could plan or control their motherhood to exercise political rights and career has widened into their limitations and planning into self discovery. women’s rights have evolved from basic into ensuring their development.
A woman’s body is constantly referred to as mysterious, confusing or even nasty. I think a lot of that has to due to the lack of information available to students. The menstrual cycle is something normal, a part of womanly hygiene, and yet men see often it as nasty and so women are too. We end up hating it (even those who do not suffer physically) and hiding all evidence of it.
I agree with he fact that women have learned more about their bodies by talking about it amongst themselves rather than being taught in a classroom. This is because classes hold back on all information while women chatting it up in a locker room hold no bars. We are taught to hide our bodies and the ideas and knowledge that comes with it, simply because it is not lady-like. But how can a lady be a lady if she doesn’t know what it truly means to be one?
When knowledge and choice emerge, it gives women the freedom to postpone or expedite the idea of being pregnant. I think this makes women happy. This form of freedom is a big leap in a woman’s life because it changes the elements that surround them.
What these women did was truly inspiring. Even today I feel as if women’s bodies are incredibly under explored in the medical field. It really says something that women , who aren’t even doctors, took it upon themselves to not only educate women but im sure many medical professionals as well.
This is incredibly important. Its one thing to learn about female experiences through science and facts and things written down by someone who doesn’t even go through it themselves. The emotion and shame talked about in this paragraph is a huge part of womanhood and its great that these women realized that too and decided to take not only science into consideration when writing this book.
This is the basis of women being in control of their bodies. Choosing when to reproduce and actually being educated on birth control was a huge stepping stone for women rights. Biology should never interfere with destiny.
being healthy is important, and being denied this information for so long was unjust. if women are to be able to take care of themselves, they should have the ability to understand themselves, both physically and mentally. denying one aspect of understanding makes it harder to do the other.
i feel that this is very important because if you yourself don’t know what exactly is wrong with yourself in a health sense, then how can you determine which doctors are good and which ones aren’t? having at least a basic understanding of yourself as a woman is far more important than it is for a man to have a basic understanding of himself, as there are far more things that could go wrong, so you have to be prepared.
A really strong point made in this paragraph is women having more enjoyable parenthoods because it is “our choice rather than our destiny.” That statement captures the essence of the pro-choice movement; advocating for women’s rights over their own bodies. Giving women this deserved power over their bodies in addition to better sex education, contraceptives and health care can aid in allowing women a happier life that includes motherhood by choice.
Although published in 1973, the mindsets conveyed in this paragraph are still carried on today. It is common for women to be ashamed or unknowledgeable when it comes to their own bodies. This has to do with the “role” women are supposed to play in society, which is this delicate, sweet, groomed and passive child-bearer. Natural female occurrences like having a sexual drive and a menstruation cycle do not fit this mold. Therefore their are negative stereotypes associated with the women who talk about them. This can deter women from wanting to learn about their bodies. Since sexual urges are not looked down upon on men, I wonder what the social stigma against menstruation and other female bodily processes would be like if they occurred in men instead of women.
It’s unfortunate that such bias exists in the medical community. It must have been eye opening to discover that so many of their peers were frustrated by the same unsatisfactory answers. How rewarding it is to focus and finally bring attention to personally pressing issues.
This political empowerment through the analysis of existing, failing, institutions brings with it substantial opportunities for the future. The realization that the system is failing is the first step in rectifying the problems that exist.
People become uncomfortable with the issue because in male dominated society, being a lesbian is contrary to what men expect women to be. If a woman isn’t “catering” to men’s sexual appetite, then she isn’t being a woman at all. To define a woman’s true self, it shouldn’t be held to “male standards,” as the woman herself should be proof enough of her humanity.
Women working together is what ultimately make society listen to our struggles. When a woman supports another woman, we are validating our liberation, movement, revolution. Working together demonstrates how male approval is no longer needed, and that a woman herself can make a difference.
[the essence of being a “woman” is to get fucked by men.]
This quote and this argument in general really struck a chord with me. Although sexism is obviously inherent in gender roles and objectification of women for male pleasure is apparent in almost every aspect of our society, I’d never before stripped it down to this point. Gay men are reviled because they refuse sex with women, and gay women are despised because they refuse sex with men. Thus homophobia goes beyond “family values” and gender roles to reveal the actual sexism rooted in our understandings of what it means to be a “woman” or a “man.”
This argument seems to call into question such labels as “gay,” “straight,” “bisexual,” etc. If we reject the labels of gender, does that not mean we would also lose our ability to specify gender preferences?
It’s funny to think about the fact that being with a woman is just a second choice to being with a man, like a back up plan. Of course you would never see anyone claim that men get with other men sexually as an “alternative” for women, which just shows that male primacy and dominance is still very powerful in a way. Men relate to men perfectly, but you never see women seeing that as a threat. Seems almost as if the me are nervous that a women could take much better care of another women than they could.
The idea that there is power in numbers is a big main point here. When you have multiple women all agreeing on their mistreatment, it starts to get the recognition it deserves. It also does a help for the struggling people psychologically, by having emotional support from people who are understanding of how you feel and what you crave for.
This represents the pure reality of people that are attracted to the same sex because they have to go through a lot of struggles and end up realizing that they aren’t doing what’s right or normal according to society, which causes them to feel lonely and restrict them self from society in a lot of cases, but at the end of the day most of them find that sense of liberation sooner or later.
Unfortunately there is oppression being laid on women. Society implies a certain way in which a person must be, which makes it difficult for someone to not accept the view that society has on them
It is true that it is a category of behavior possible only in a sexist society. Also if society changes and does not oppress women and sexual expression is allowed to follow feelings then it is true, the categories of homosexuality and heterosexuality would disappear.
As it was mention “Lesbian is a label invented by the man to throw at any woman who dares to be his equal, who dares to challenge his prerogatives”, which takes us back to power and who has the last saying in our society, that word is used to draw a boundary between male and women and it gives female a sense that they are stepping above their role in what society has portrait.
It’s as if Lesbians are treated less than human and ostracized because of the gender that they like. Society always tries to condemn anyone that is different by dehumanizing them. Just because someone is Lesbian, society will isolate and end up shunning them. Lesbians must work so hard, in order to just be treated as a women.
This demonstrates how society always values and gives power to men, while making women subordinate to men. A woman’s role is only to be feminine and merely follow around men everywhere. Lesbians, who go against this dependence on men, will just be marginalized and not even visible. Unfortunately, some women even help to maintain this male supremacy today by condemning and isolating Lesbian women. In order to cease this male dominated society and culture, both men and women have to accept that women can be completely independent and capable of surviving without men.
The gist of the author’s argument can be found in this paragraph. Men are the immediate cause for the subjugation of lesbians. Yet I love how the author eloquently articulates the problems of a male-centric society, yet circumvents potential solutions. This style of rhetoric seems common in today’s society; it is very easy to articulate problems, but harder to explain solutions.
There are very strong sentiments expressed here as the author vilifies men for subjugating women that engendered the lesbian label. I wish the author would be a tad less critical towards men as it doesn’t promote a diplomatic interaction with readers, as when I read this I felt as if I was attacked.
I agree that when women identify themselves in relation to men, it will definitely bring on self-hate because they won’t feel complete since they are comparing themselves to a different sex. If women identify themselves only in relation to themselves, I think that self-hate will decrease because they are not trying to fulfil a “gendered” role but instead they can turn to their internal wants and needs.
I agree that women should support women and disregard men’s opinion because listening to men would only add to oppression. Also, when women form their identities without men in the picture, I think that it is empowering for women because it shows that women do not need men to validate their sense of self.
I completely agree with everything said in this paragraph. I really like the 6th sentence: “To be a woman who belongs to no man is to be invisible, pathetic, inauthentic, unreal.” This is played out in society as woman are scrutinized for, not only being a lesbian, but for not wanting to get married or have kids. Women openly state that they don’t want to get married are constantly looked down upon. This sentence revealed the reason why, which is because by not having that partnership they are rejecting the social norm of belonging to a man.
Feeding off of what Tasnia was saying, lesbians are treated with so much less respect than others members of the LGBTQ+ (save for bisexuals) in regards to privacy. I’ve experienced that some times when a guy finds out that a woman is a lesbian he doesn’t view her as a person anymore but as some one from whom he can gain sexual pleasure. He will ask “Can I watch?” Same with bisexuals when someone asks “Can I join?” It’s taking away their person and reducing them just to form of entertainment.
The stigma against sexualities that are different from the norm keeps both women and men divided. It’s sad to see that the disapproval of homosexuality, pertaining to females, keeps women from relating to one-another during a time when that relation is imperative for self-reflection. This paragraph made me realize that even if the “self-hate” is unrecognized it is still existing within the female and it’s unhealthy.
This is very interesting because it is not only sexuality that is from a society where there are strict sex roles. Gender expression also stems from the strict gender roles. If we didn’t have all of the rules that governed what a woman or man does then there wouldn’t be genders that exist beyond the sexual organs we have. There would be no such this as feeling like being born in the wrong body because the body is just a way of means as expressing yourself. Feeling like a boy wouldn’t exist because there would be no expectation of what a boy should be or how he should feel.
The last sentence hit me like a ton of bricks. Women who like other women do not make them any less of a woman. Sexism will always be an issue in society, however, with men the stereotypes (like in the reading) are greatly associated with ‘gay-bashing’ but everybody loves girl on girl action. What type of world do we live in?
It is true that our society has set up certain norms. The majority of people determine what is socially acceptable. Unfortunately, the certain norms that society has placed are demeaning to women.
It is sad how some people do not consider a woman a women because they are sexually attracted to a woman. Even for straight women, it seems like we are only considered women because we are sexually intimate with men.
The namecalling and calling women lesbians to keep women in line is such a negative influence on children because they think that namecalling and degrading women is okay. I feel like this leads to young kids saying “You kick LIKE A GIRL,” etc.
It is interesting how Lesbian women are expected to act due to our society. They are automatically expected to take the role of the man. Without the setbacks from our society Women would be able to establish a new sense of self.
Men still confirm the image of women. Not only for lesbians, but even for heterosexual women. Women are looked down upon if they say they do not want to get married or they do not want to have kids. In order to be a real woman, it seems like we need to have this certain image. It is sad that even today, there is still this image that are forced upon girls. Women still have this pressure to get married and have children because this is supposedly the “ideal woman” in society today.
Most of the time when there was an oppression, it was toward to the minorities in racially and in sexually. If the lesbians were not the minority in the society, will there be an oppression? and the limitations on them? I just wonder.
When I first read the sentence, I thought this would be an article hating on lesbians, but as I read on, I was proven wrong. I think a lesbian can “never truly find peace with herself” is because of society and its hatred towards anything they deem “abnormal.” In addition, conservative parents rarely show support, leading to the “tortuous journey” lesbians (but also gay men) have to go through. Society also seems to misunderstand how lesbians feel and what they do due to the image created by the pornography industry. No, they don’t find every girl hot and want to have sex with her. No, they don’t want you to watch. Lesbians are just like you and me, human.
This heavily supports the idea of “men don’t get fucked”. It explains how in a (heterosexual) sexual relationship there are often rigid roles to be be played. The men always must be dominant, doing whatever he likes for his own pleasure, and women must be submissive and serving the man for his pleasure.
Basically all women are objects to be used for a man’s pleasure. If a woman prefers a woman’s sexual attention rather than a man’s she is no longer useful. She is no longer a woman, even.
I googled the date of this article because I think that most lesbians nowadays embrace themselves for being who they are. The paper was written in 1970, and that explains why the author wrote that society seems to be hating on homosexuals. I thought homosexuals from 10 years ago had it bad, but I didn’t think about how badly they had it about half a decade ago. It is interesting how the author used “Man” instead of “man” when she mentions how “Lesbian is a label invented by the Man” and by doing so, I think she pulls in the Bible as a factor for society not accepting homosexuality.
This is a powerful opening paragraph. Its sad to see how powerful society’s conception of what is “right” or “normal” can have on someone’s life. I really like that lesbianism is being described as free and being able to be ones true self. Its incredibly empowering towards a group of women who are sadly seen as a minority.
wow, that last sentence gave me actual goosebumps. Sex roles are obviously present and enforced in society even as early as in childhood (the marital barbie and groom ken). I never thought of lesbianism as a sort of waste bin created by men for women who refuse to have relations with the male gender. Being a lesbian or a dyke, however, shouldn’t mean you aren’t a “real woman”… what does “real woman” even mean? Is it really just having sex with a man that makes someone a “real woman”? That makes me incredibly uneasy.
I agree that females can receive compensation when in a relationship with a male; especially the social acceptance part. Being that most of society sees heterosexuality as “right”, it seems like being with a man has benefits, however, I also agree that dehumanization plays a big part in sexual conditioning and see how it can keep women in a mindset where they need to play a feminine role.
Although this article was written in the 70s, the notion that lesbians are not real women is still very evident in our society today. Women who are a part of the feminist movement, especially those who are considered to be more radical are constantly labeled as lesbians by misogynist men. What makes a woman a woman is not whether or not she identifies her self as one but whether or not a man does.
“To be a woman who belongs to no man is to be invisible, pathetic, inauthentic, unreal.” To be a woman who belongs to no man is to not be a woman at all. Power has been given to men to decide whether a woman meet the mark of being feminine enough or being “a real woman”. They hold the power to label women whichever way they feel is appropriate to their own expectations.
This is really interesting because i have never thought about it like that. It makes sense that roles would be set up in that way, and with how people have been persecuted in the past it seems like men have set up systems to exclude people. Or at least define their preferences as different.
A woman being the person she is and the numerous personalities and qualities women all around possess should be the definition of “being a woman” and it should be an idea that is broad. The narrow ideas of what a woman is should not affect the way one should behave given the freedom and feminist liberation that our ancestors have long fought for.
I agree that lesbianism is a category that exists in a sexist society. Developed countries have gained the freedom to self expression of such identity whereas in poor countries and many developing countries the people still fear of self identification.
The whole idea of autonomy as humans instead of just being able to act a certain way in society without being persecuted is something i thought would be common sense. The male given identity is hard to overcome and recognize when its what we have grown to define it as.
It is probably impossible to understand the emotions of a person who is homosexual endures through the onslaught of people arbitrarily throwing around norms. As i said its probably impossible to understand how ones feels when experiencing conflicting gender expectations but confusion, frustration, and anger are the first things that come to mind.
I was ready to disagree that men were solely the cause for discrimination based off sexual orientation but then I thought about monotheistic religions (Christianity, Islam, Judaism) and the role it plays in this. In today’s day and age some women are just as opposed to homosexuality as men but I realized that was not the point. I believe the existence of discrimination based on sexual orientation must be based on monotheistic religions or at least its a huge contributing factor. In ancient Greece for instance homosexuality was not looked at under any negative scrutiny, it was just seen as another potential option.
Is there “grudging admiration felt for a tomboy” and disdain felt for a “sissy boy” because of the power differences these images confer? If you are defined as a “tomboy” then this implies you are a woman taking on what society defines as male traits. So this is seen as taking power. Conversely if you are defined as a “sissy boy” this implies that you are giving up traits typically seen as male. So is this seen as giving away power and therefore looked up unfavorably by society?
“when a straight woman learns that a sister is a lesbian; she begins to relate to her lesbian sister as her potential sex object, laying a surrogate male role on the lesbian.” I am not sure I agree with this statement. it seems to imply that we can only relate on a sexual level to anyone that in theory is available sexually to us. I think platonic relationships are possible, and within these relationships we can learn a lot.
We are so accustomed to our defined sexual roles that we hardly view them as constructed. Sexuality is as much a social and political invention as race or class. I think that we often believe our sexualities to be organic and independent, meaning they are natural and unconnected to outside influence. However here it is pointed out that these sexual roles are very much shaped for us and are introduced in a way which seems normal, however it is actually politically constructed and damaging to autonomy.
It is odd to think that many of the things which are deemed valuable as a woman, come from a male arena. But it seems here that our current social definition of womanhood, is only so through the validation of men. Women are only women in so far as they service men and present themselves in accordance to what the patriarchy deems acceptable. A woman then has no worth as an autonomous individual, but merely as she can serve a man interest. Here it is pointed out that this is revealed through many conventions which have been deemed normal (ex. a woman must take a man’s name). This cycle of dependency which prevents a woman from actualizing her own freedom and individuality is very much reminiscent of the Hegelian Master-Slave dialectic.
Sorry i’m late on this one, the thought on the “myth of marriage” and how it obscures the “essential loneliness of life” i find to be a rather interesting point trying to be made by the author. to be honest, i’m not too sure about the point the author is making, but it sounds as if marriage creates the illusion that one is no longer alone, even though you are. homosexual or heterosexual, how does your preference in partners, in marriage in particular even relate to being alone and that marriage is an illusion? Benitez says that because of same sex interests, those whom are of such preference go through struggles in society that make you feel restricted and lonely based on the norm approved by society, which makes sense, but if you have a same sex marriage, obviously your not alone in that struggle and in fact you have someone who’s willing to stand with you… so how does this point the author is trying to make, make sense? i could just not be seeing it at the moment but i thought it was interesting…
um…what? i understand the point being made about labeling women as “dyke” can be offensive, but i find it hard to grasp the whole lesbianism thing. is the author trying to say that calling someone lesbian is derogatory, or is it just a form of oppression, or is it something else. there us a lot of interesting points here, but i’m struggling to follow what the primary point is. the statement that lesbianism is giving primacy to men and that because its being categorized as a sexual preference is divisive and sexist, and men respond negatively to it, sounds rather idiotic. i have 3 lesbian friends, none of which have ever complained about anything directed towards them, because there’s nothing at all to direct, and all the men that have ever met them didn’t particularly care whether or not they were lesbian, whatever the author is say that may entail. two of these women some would classify as a “butch” character, yet i still can’t see the issue being discussed here. like I’ve said, on the topic of lesbianism, whatever may be meant by that, all the men i’ve personally spoken with on the topic have no issue whatsoever with it, so what is the point being made here? is it being based on a incredibly small sample size out of texas or something where the religious fanatics would have a heavy say in something like that? a point like that where you categorize a group without actually speaking to them will create errors in understanding.
Yeaa what the heck mann just let us ladies play with our sticky puhs man.
Screw men! Nut on they faces!
I think it’s so sad how sexism is like a double edged sword that is negatively impacting both men and women when it comes to women’s rights. I never really considered how excluding men from women’s rights movements caused harm to men and the relationships between men and women.
The real problem of our capitalistic society and money buying freedom is a sad truth that all oppressed people face. Like Cathy Mccandleuss mentions, money affords you the freedom to basically do whatever you want and having enough money makes you unlikely to be dependent on a man. Therefore, you can essentially do whatever you want. However, this privilege is just that- a privilege that is not accessible by most women.
Because of society’s constant pushing for men to be “real men” (essentially dominating everything, even woman) even the idea of women being slightly equal to men threaten their manhood. A woman cannot be dominated by them if they’re equal; in situations like these, men would automatically make it harder for women to succeed.
I think this is a really interesting way to look at this problem. Not all men are equal and sometimes society forgets that, which can cause an internal pain and empty feeling for men like it says. If men were not born and given this predetermined “role” to fulfill, the amounts of rapes and domestic abuse would probably go down and in time there would be very few men who are actually the “super dominant in charge and have everything and full of power, changing the idea of what a “real man” is, probably for the better.
Although this may be true in some ways, when a women needs money she doesn’t always think “oh, I’ll just go find a man, that’s where I’ll get money from.” Also, on the other side, women with money are still very capable of “Laying eyes on a man” just for companionship and basic human interaction.
In recent times, women are much more willing to step up and take care of herself, doing whatever must be done to meet her needs. The dependency of a man seems to be slowly disappearing. An example of this could be the increasing number of single moms you see in the general public and how many women are the only working person in a home, a man isn’t exactly a necessity.
The overarching theme of this idea should be sexism is in general a problem that must be dealt that is applicable to both men and women. Certainly we cannot disregard that women are afflicted in more areas than men, but we cannot centralize our efforts in one direction, but as both in order to facilitate a unified society, that minimizes sexist intentions and exploitation.
This is an interesting perspective that I have not given much though to honestly. It makes sense why men who leave their jobs till retain their titles of masters of the house hold and women cannot. I am not sure where author derives her evidence that men send their women to work in labor that are tantamount to pimping and such; possible real life experience, but it is a very powerful statement especially with a dearth of evidence to corroborate her ideas.
By trying to obtain more support for their movement, liberal feminists may have unintentionally made the movement be thought of as women’s work. This idea is interesting because it makes the movement be thought of as one sided in which only women should join, but men should also contribute to ending sexist oppression.
this is a great point being made in this paragraph. unintentionally, both men and women, when these “groups” push toward a certain goal, somewhere along the way it develops into a bias against the other, even if unintentionally. both men and women should be working to end sexist oppression, but unfortunately, if members inside both groups still hold something along the lines of grudge, but less malevolent, then little to no progress can be made, because of lack of cooperation and understanding.
this is a remarkably bold statement, and very profound to some groups. have men been fairly oppressive throughout history? absolutely. have women had opportunities to eliminate this concept in the past? yes. have they ever acted on it? no. why? because they thought it was ok back then to be subordinate to men, and even today, you can find videos from news channels where women are arguing on how to take care of their men and this is why divorce rates are up. excuse my language, but this is horse-crap. have men been oppressing women? absolutely. do all women care? no. that’s the biggest issue; not everyone cares, and when someone doesn’t see whats happening as oppression, then progress cannot be made. both men and women need to wake up and see whats wrong before a statement like this could ever have serious impact.
Real feminism is not about hating men, or erasing them from women’s life, but rather, acknowledging that equality must exist for all genders and that cannot be achieved by pushing away men.
I find it interesting that by women not actively calling for men to join the feminist movement (and only focusing on women involvement) it essentially kept the sexist oppression cycle going. It kept women as being the victims. Even today this rhetoric is continued with ‘boys will be boys’ – men then were not made responsible for their actions in furthering equality just like men’s actions today are dismissed as them just behaving the way they should.
By creating the thought that men weren’t welcome in the feminist movement, along the lines it wasn’t helping their cause because they wanted equal right, by creating that bias it gave men the idea that it was a rivalry and it turned more into a competition.
In a way from my point of view this statement can be true to a certain point, due to the “male oppression that has been carried on for so many years, it has set a path for our society to follow and we live in a word where male supremacy still occurs and it’s due to the way we have molded as a society and got used to certain things because only a few try to speak up and men keeps taking the praise. If “all men have oppressed women” it’s because of what we see around society and what it has thought us.
Its interesting to see how men are also being affected by sexism as much as women in the feminist movement are. The exclusion of males in the movement is actually not benefiting it at all by keeping the sexist oppression somewhat alive even if it is being felt by men. The real enemy seems to be privilege.
I agree that male supremacy has been a factor in the oppression imposed on women a great one in fact but i don’t think ALL men have oppressed women or at least haven’t on purpose. Its true society, the economy and so on have been male dominated but again i do think this applies to males of privilege those who can afford to or have what in their minds are means to enforce said dominance.
The idea of resisting sexist socialization and oppression would have definitely helped the feminist movement transform in a positive way. I can see why the anti-male stance seems to want to influence and female supremacist rule but the feminist movement evidently seeks equality not supremacy therefore I think that statement might be a bit much.
Like the Kimmel reading stated, the feeling of needing male supremacy ties in with oppression of not only females but males alike. This all seems to be a huge social fear driven issue that comes along with Gendering and roles given to us in the culture we live in.
There are definitely unequal balances of patriarchy. The admiration of the “Marketplace man” is a challenge when attempting to identify a culprit. The enemy is sexism and gender expectations for everyone.
It’s important for feminists to stress that everyone is a victim of sexism if they hope to bring unity and real change. Otherwise, men will continue to be turned off by the idea of feminism.
I agree with Ileana–although the Black women that hooks references here are right to resist an anti-male view, I don’t believe that true feminism (however you want to interpret that) espouses an anti-male view. Feminist ideals would be beneficial to all people regardless of gender.
This is a concise explanation of why Crenshaw’s understanding of intersectionality is necessary. Because Black women feel disenfranchised by both their race and their gender, it stands to reason that they would be hesitant to reject a group that (sometimes) is their ally.
I agree that male supremacy is the very foundation of all other forms of oppression like racism, capitalism and more. It was power hungry men who subordinated slaves, Native Americans, and women. Men even subordinate other men! However, it is “over the top” to say that women have done absolutely nothing about this. Ever since the 1800’s there has been a movement that allows women to express themselves and free themselves. Maybe today, not all women “care” about oppression and dependency on males, but overall milestones have been made regarding these concepts.
This is interesting as it states that making men the enemy of the femme isn’t movement is based on further disfranchisement of groups of people and pushing back issues that are in many ways connected to feminist ideas. The article notes it later and it seems to be one of the main messages of the article, femenist agenda that looks at men as the enemy of women does not work toward liberation of the oppressed group of people but rather for reinstation of women as the group of opressers within the same hostile environment
By making men the enemy, feminists lost sight of the main goal. Many feminists were more concerned with equality in class privilege. Without real concerns towards ending sexism as a whole, the oppression continued.
This article I think does a good job in describing the relationship between race, class and gender in relation to feminist movement and the need for the new direction of the movement to work not only to in favor of white women or women in general. Feminist theory is detrimental is destroying race and class stereotype and could be used to include all types of issues, same way political solidarity was created within the anti-racism movement that allows for more involvement of women in the public sphere.
Using common stereotypes about masculinity, such as violence and power, contributed to the oppression against women. With women at the absolute bottom of our social ladder, our society continues to suppress women groups. This was a direct result of some feminists excluding men. Unfortunately, that was not the best way to go about that.
This is a strong and interesting point. Male supremacy is not only the oldest form of domination but all other forms of oppression comes from it as well. Its is true that throughout history when power is the main focus it would be male oriented and in a lot of examples throughout history demonstrate men using it to keep women in an inferior position.
I agree with this statement as white people always having had the benefits and good status in society don’t necessarily require the active participation of white women whereas the black community having been oppressed in numerous ways require to have a close and strong connection amongst themselves.
This indicates how white women didn’t care about issues such as racism and categorized all men into one category. They didn’t focus on how race played a factor on the power men held, not all men held immense privilege.
I agree that the male supremacy is the oldest and most basic form of domination as gender being the widest category of differentiation amongst humans have been exploited as early as the stone age where the men with their strong physique were more likely to be the food provider and hence the head of the family. this also further supports the existence of patriarchy in societies and hence leading to all other forms of oppression against women.
This shows how men are also affected by sexism. Gender is a social construct that dictates how men and women should behave. But I like how men in these consciousness-raising groups at least acknowledge the benefits they receive from patriarchy. One of the first steps to end oppression is for the privileged to acknowledge the power they have. These men aren’t avoiding this face which I find is important.
When people share a common struggle, it is definitely much easier to unite than if they didn’t share the same struggle. This reminds me of the women’s suffrage and black men’s suffrage movement because Elizabeth Cady Stanton did not want the black men to gain the right to vote before white women. White women had the privilege of being white so the right to vote did not have the same meaning as it did for black men. Even though black women would not get the right to vote, they still supported the black me because they share the common struggle of racism.
In a society where maleness, specifically white upper-class maleness, is deemed the quintessential archetype a human can take anti-male sentiments are seen as rebellious or harmful rather than productive for the feminist movement. Fortunately the isolation of black women from the white women’s suffrage movement united the black race. Despite the severe sexism that exists within society the black identity managed to escape this form of discrimination due to their solidarity.
I believe that the solidarity that existed between the black women’s rights movement alongside the overall struggle for equality among black people created a strong united front. This already existing issue helped black individuals to confront their struggle together as opposed to the white women vs. white man sentiment that existed within society.
I feel like this is so true. White women at the time had no idea about what it was to struggle on equal terms with men and because of that they were short sighted in their assessment of sexistm when it came to pejoratively coming at men and assuming all were equally culpable. I feel like this still happens today when white people say things they are normal to them but they really are only experencing it as normal because they are white. And they are too white to see that.
I feel that this paragraph summarizes the author’s point that men and women should be equal participants in the struggle to end sexism. Men and women should not accept the sex roles defined by society but fight against it even though there will be others who will oppose them. The real enemy is capitalism, and if men and women have equal opportunities and equal treatment, then men and women can be equal and be seen for being people, not their sex.
So I find it interesting that the assumption that single gendered groups and organizations would make a stronger message than mixed ones. From the feminist stand point, I would think that if you could have men that agree that women deserve the fair shot at being on top and asserting their presence to be less oppressed that it would come across more widespread and therefore more accepted by both sides to see that it’s not just a group of women feeling a certain way. That masculine men could share the same views and then support the notion.
Living in a household with five women has made me have a drastically fdifferent view point on who brings home the bread. My dad was absentee and my mom, grandma, and titi were the ones succeeding in my eyes. That commercial pretty much puts most of all the responsibilities of life on the woman and is really messed up.
I agree that the separation from all men and the antagonistic image placed on all of them does slow down feminist movement. Sexism and gender expectations, while they do highly affect women in a negative way, men are also deeply affected by them. Recognizing and implementing these views in one integrated movement can lead to greater more inclusive results.
It is very unfair t keep men out of the women’s movement. In fact, it is completely wrong how women so desperately want equality, but exclude men. This builds to our continuous disproportionate society. Equality should be evenly spread no matter the class, color or sex. However, many white women did not care for poor white men or black women. Still today, this pattern persist. Many women “blame” men or say “all men” this/that. I personally think that the separation of sexes or race is masterminded by politics and the idea that if government allows certain laws, they will get the smaller people, distracted.
As discussed at length in class, you cannot analyze a problem without taking into account the totality of the situation. Trying to promote feminism without account for large populations of women (e.g. women of color, impoverished, old, etc) is incomplete and will fail to change the existing circumstance.
The intrusive reality of racism and classism in America. It has even infiltrated feminist circles into the present, without realization.
Patriarchal societies fear the idea of women working together to eradicate their struggles. They’re aware that power comes in numbers, and when women work together they become closer to removing male as the ultimate authority. Women’s need to help other women is instinct as naturally human beings help other humans.
“Social norms” continue to be accepted by everyone purely through ideas that cause separations, such as different class status and race. They highlight the differences among women so that their differences can always pin them against each other. Without community or womanhood, women will continue to be oppressed.
This reiterates Crenshaw’s statement of the power inherent to the discovery of injustices being social and systemic in nature, rather than individual and isolated. Solidarity arises in an oppressed class out of such a redemptive need for companionship and understanding.
[For the master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house.]
This quote states that one must operate outside of an existing system in order to overthrow that system (think: “You can’t vote your way out of slavery.”) This way of thinking is what inspires political protests, for action beyond legislation must be taken in order to change our political/economic/societal system as it currently exists.
This makes a pretty strong point. If you do not have a variety of different women, anything said by the few will be assumed true for all women. This makes the entire situation extremely biased. For example, you can just ask one person if they like apples or bananas better and assume since the one woman there said apples, every woman prefers apples.
Its interesting to think of any human being just being “tolerated”. A person is a person and should be able to express their self however they please. It is just plain wrong to shunned or seen as inferior for something in which you can not change or didn’t ask for. It seems like this is what different women were trying to make known. They are great too, you are just a coward for not allowing them to show it.
The way in which she was treated reflects how those who held the conference feel about her ideas. The fact that she is asked to speak at a specific time in the conference shows how much change is possible.
The fact that there wasn’t any consideration towards lesbians and third women among all these women just makes it seem that they were trying to promote a certain idea which was “who attempt to emancipate themselves pay perhaps too high a price for the result”, it’s basically installing so fear among them which creates a bias towards this conference because it seems that it was target to one group for the most part.
I agree with the comment from fortino, just by the way she was treated tells us a lot about the idea and this conference. The fact that there was two black women that were found at last hour shows how weak they were trying to make this point that lacked different thoughts from various women who could of had a greater impact among their audience.
I agree with her idea of tolerance of difference between women. She phrases it in a strong way saying that it should be seen as a fund of necessary polarities.
It’s interesting how Lorde states how, “only within a patriarchal structure is maternity the only social power open to women.” This displays how women are only acknowledged, given power, and respected if their mothers. It’s as if other women who aren’t mothers are incapable of respect, and that the only way women can gain respect is if they became a mother.
I agree with this. Women shouldn’t shed away or get rid of their differences and conform together, but rather acknowledge their differences and the different struggles they face. Women should acknowledge each other’s differences, treat each other equally, and work to end injustices inflicted upon them from men and patriarchy.
It is very frustrating to be mired within a society where it is acceptable to subjugate any individual for any reason in our modern society. Certainly, our thoughts and perception would seemingly have evolved to a more accepting and compassionate mindset, yet this doesn’t seem to be the case.
The author makes an assumption that men are ignorant about the needs of women. It is overgeneralizing a certain perception that men are assumed to possess, yet it seems hypocritical for the author to claim this, as Lorde and several other authors stress the fact of how men overgeneralize certain perceptions about women and blacks.
People tend to have their own definitions when it comes to being a feminist. However, when it comes to racist feminism i think eveyone should have a check on their nearby and stand up for it before attending big conferences on feminism.
I definitely agree with this. Women are considered the weak especially in the developing nations where i come from. Many do not realize that nurturing and conceiving a child is when ‘our real power is rediscovered’.
The first sentence of this paragraph is really interesting to me. It seems as if women have the assumed role of being educators to men. Although this should not be the case, I cant help but wonder if women rejected this role would they be further oppressed and ignored? I also think that the author does overgeneralize a little bit when she states that men are uneducated on a woman’s existence and needs.
I agree that women’s real power is discovered through nurture from other women because it brings fear to the patriarchal system. I think that men will become scared if women don’t look to them for support because it’ll render them as nothing to women since their views are not needed.
The last sentence in this paragraph is a really strong statement. Women have to stop thinking of differences as weaknesses and we have to recognize differences as a major source of power. As we open ourselves to learning about experiences that are different from our own we will become greater thinkers, sympathizers and most of all stronger fighters for a cause that is so important.
The questions that the author asks in this paragraph sheds light on ALL women who need to be included in the feminist movement. It is important that women of color are mentioned because the goals of the feminist movement should support the needs of colored women too, not just white. Therefore, by reflecting questions back to the reader, the author allows us to think of all types of women, and how women treat other women.
With racism being a huge factor in our society, it is infused in every community. I would like to find out more about some of the ideas involved in racist femenism.
The constant intolerance form White America to Black people continues to be a major setback. In order to make progress more White people have to be understanding of their constant struggles.
I completely agree with this. Instead of just tolerating eachother, as Lorde mentions before, we should acknowledge these differences and use them to our advantage instead of shying away from them. “Without community there is no liberation”, the fear of being unpopular should never effect the achievement of a common goal.
This is a strong call to end ignorance. I do agree that women are needed in order to educate others on our needs and how to achieve certain things when dealing with the existence of women as a whole. Differences should be used in order to educate instead of repeating past situations such as oppression or embarrassment.
Racism and its ability to be present in all communities in socitey has caused the feminist movement to be so backtracked. Its such a strong factor in feminism and it sucks that this prevented people from being less ignorant towards bigger issues that generally affected everyone.
I know that in order to understand sexism, class and race go hand in hand with gender, but I didn’t know that age also has a role. Are women in their 80s not taken seriously if they were to talk about injustice? Since lesbians were considered abnormal, I would assume the lives of blsck lesbians were beyond safe and sound.
I agree that community is necessary for changes to happen, hence unions were formed amongst laborers. In a community, it is important to see the differences but acknowledge them as part of your own so that the community will grow stronger. Relating to the black feminist movement, I think it took 40 years for them to gain suffrage because the black males looked down on their movement and decided to not assist them, hence hindering in the feminists’ advancement.
Lorde talks about how maternity is the only social power open to women in a patriarchal world. It seems that women are only respected and given power if they are mothers. Women should be respected, even if they are not mothers. It seems like if women want to fit in a patriarchal society, they must have children in order to be respected.
I agree that a community is important in order to witness change, but acceptance of differences needs to be part of a community. Differences should not lead people to separate from one another or ignore the differences, but rather bring people together. Differences should be embraced in order to create a strong community.
After reading so much of this, i am starting to feel like ^^Filip. When the authors argue these points so tenaciously, its easy to feel like they are putting you in that category. But since the systems are set up against them by the men in power, especially back in the day, probably a lot more men didn’t feel like they do today.
She brings up a valid point. It seems odd that there would be only two black women present at a Humanities conference held at NYU where the topics of discussion were race, sexuality, class, etc. New York is too diverse for this to have even taken place. The only conclusion one can draw is that no one really cared in the first place and oppression still exist but in different more subtle forms.
I like the analogy she used comparing the contemporary women’s issues to the slave struggle. Women who don’t fit the mold of an ideal “lady” normally stand on their own proudly defying everything that is not them. There needs to be a real change amongst individual people before any systematic change can occur. Individual also need to be brave enough to step out and embrace their differences and the non oppressed have an obligation to support there endeavors.
This is a great paragraph that sees our differences not as a barrier to uniting us but as a cause for celebration. Perhaps our differences would allow us to see different solutions to each others dilemmas. By supporting each other in our causes perhaps we will achieve more than thinking only that we have to “win” by reducing others.
“the master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house” so are the masters tools those cultural constructs of “race, sexuality, class, and age”? So in order to unite we must acknowledge that these cultural constructions have very real impacts on our lives in different and complex ways and look beyond this to find solutions.
a very interesting statement, with so many points that its hard to figure out where to begin. one of the most interesting points being made in this paragraph is that we have so much room for improvement, and many of us are willing to make the change, but because we acknowledge a particular social norm, we are afraid of breaking away from that and trying something new, so we conform and criticize, eliminating all this potential for originality.
this is a perfect follow up for my statement that i made earlier in paragraph 2. Interdependence, something rather hard to find nowadays, allows the originality and creativity of I, the self, a being separate entirely from the us, the order, the passive being. being something that lacks the “active” element means we lack creativity, which can slowly starve society and toughen the elements that already exist such as racism and sexism for example.
[…] Lorde: Poetry and “The Master’s Tools will Never Dismantle the Master’s House” from Sister Outsider. Note: If you’d like to listen to Sister Outsider as an […]
[…] reading “The Master’s Tools will Never Dismantle the Master’s House” and/or all of Sister Outsider. You can also read some of her Poetry. We can continue to […]
[…] Lorde reading: “The Master’s Tools will Never Dismantle the Master’s House” and/or all of Sister Outsider. You can also read some of her Poetry. We can continue to […]
This relates back to the previous reading: by asserting that the a woman’s ‘role’ is to provide sexual pleasure to her husband regardless of her own enjoyment, it echoes the Radicalesbians’ statement that “the essence of being a woman is to get fucked by men.” The clitoral surgery mentioned here is just one example that shows how far the patriarchy will go to maintain this order.
This section, to me, seems condescending. Although I am no expert on the science/biological factors behind the female orgasm, I would be interested in reading more on the subject that focuses on a scientific explanation of this “confusion.”
Little was done to challenge the basic assumptions because his sounds stupid…
The female reproductive system has functions just as any other part of the body. The clitoris is literally a ball of nerve endings. Of course there will be tons of stimulation in that area.
The relation between adolescent and the whole puberty argument is not valid.
Perhaps this is the origin of the word “frigid” when referring to a woman’s interest in a man (or rather lack thereof).
I find it interesting how this article explains how sexual intercourse is considered in defining women. Many women do, in fact , fake orgasms just to please the opposite sex.
Sexual intercourse often goes hand in hand with power. Men tend to see women as objects during sex making it okay to display acts of violence.
Once again due to the ignorance of woman’s bodies, woman’s reactions to things are deemed “crazy” or “mentally unstable”. The act of declaring a woman “crazy” because of her hormones and other bodily functions has gone one since the beginning of time.
I’d say this is due to men not seeing women as human beings. They are objects that do not have much depth to them. If this object isn’t working the way the owner wants it to, something must be wrong/broken.
It is crazy how experts could not trace female frigidity back to these incorrect assumptions made on female anatomy. They just automatically assumed there was something psychologically wrong with these women.
If these experts were more knowledgable about the female anatomy, maybe the problem would have been solved already and there would be a lower frigidity rate among women.
I agree with this point that we have to redefine our sexuality. Times have changed and we need to start realizing that people are different. We feel things differently, so standard traditional sexual positions will not be effective for everyone. If experts would have thought of the individuals rather than the whole gender, maybe there would be a lot more sexually satisfied people out there.
I really don’t like that the word frigid is used by males to explain not having vaginal orgasms. Just because its not happening where they deem it “should” be happening doesn’t mean someone or the situations should be described as cold.
I kind of laughed when i read “woman should transfer the center of the orgasm to the vagina”. The female reproduction system has its own functions that women do not control. Also, I don’t really see how the clitoris is related to adolescence and the vagina is related to maturity.
Its gross to see how ignorance towards the female body and its functions can so easily be turned around and blamed on a woman being mentally inadequate to achieve vaginal orgasms. Then, they were labeled as jealous of men which is just so wrong. Seems like Freud believed the maturity behind the vaginal orgasm was only mature because it involved a penis.
This article as a whole seems to emphasize on the dominance of male interests during sexual intercourse. The physical superiority of males seems to have to be something women enjoy.
The idea of the clitoris being a threat to masculinity is really interesting. Being that the clitoris gives the female the power to achieve orgasm,the dehumanizing act of clitoridectomy is like a way of males regaining dominance and once again sexually conditioning women.
Men like to find things to blame so that their prides wouldn’t be hurt, but they should do their research instead of blaming others. I have no idea why society would think a “problem” found on the body can be solved by someone who experts in problems of the brain. It’s absurd for gender roles to continuously find its way to the lives of women. Gender roles is like bugs (particularly cockroaches), they last through thousands of years and wars.
“Foreplay is a concept created for male purposes, but works to the disadvantage of many women, since as soon as the woman is aroused the man changes to vaginal stimulation, leaving her both aroused and unsatisfied.” When a man is concerned about a woman’s pleasure during intercourse, it is for the sake of his own pleasure, which is why men are so quick to change to vaginal stimulation. They are more concerned about their own orgasm and how quick they will achieve it.
Of course. Just blame every problem in society on the lack of femininity. I acknowledge Freud for his contribution to psychology, but he was sexist, just like most men were in his period. Men are to blame for not being able to pleasure women, but men never seem to want to blame themselves just like how Helen is supposedly infamous for the Trojan War.
When men are concerned with whether or not a woman orgasm it is for their own egotistical purposes. If a man does make a woman orgasm he is gratified with the fact that he is good on bed not that the woman enjoyed their sexual intercourse. Women fake orgasm in order to cater to the mans ego and needs.
I agree that masculinity is symbolized by numerous factors like the penis size, for which there are jokes about when one possesses a smaller size. Those men become insecure and tend to hide the fact as it would mean that they were not “masculine”.
I think the mental side of our body is solely responsible for all kinds of pleasures. the bodies of all people have the same sensory receptors but respond to simulations in a different manner which i think i related to mentality as each individual processes situations in a different manner hence deciding on what is pleasurable and not which is on a part controlled by the ideologies that the society puts ahead of them.
This alludes to how sex in our society revolves around mainly the pleasure of men rather than a women’s. There’s so much extensive knowledge about a male’s role in sex and his sexual organs, but rather so much ambiguity and confusion over a women’s role and her sexual organs. Men will complain so much about not having good sexual intercourse due to women, but women can’t say much about not having good sexual intercourse. Society, in a lot of times, just doesn’t allow women to speak about their sex lives.
This was written in 1970, but i wonder how long people knew about this general idea. Also i didn’t know there was an actual term for it, but “frigidity” sounds really awful.
Was talking about the fact that they were not sexually satisfied a viable method? I mean it seems logical that a medical professional would come to the conclusion that women do not have something wrong with them and that they are unsatisfied sexually.
I find Freud’s whole statement to be ludicrous and just absurd. I never thought Freud would be saying these statements and actually thought he was a feminist. First, I can’t believe he said that a women’s “natural” role was to just have sex to satisfy the sexual needs and desires of men. Women aren’t sexual objects to be used only for sex, but actual human beings capable of doing the same things as men. Second, I can’t believe he related a women being “frigid” to having psychological problems. These two things don’t correlate and there’s nothing wrong with a women psychologically if she doesn’t have orgasms. I don’t know how he put these two things together. It’s absurd how men would send women away to seek psychiatric help just because they don’t make their sex “enjoyable.”
This demonstrates how women don’t even have control over their private body parts. Men and the society around us continually tries to make the women’s sexual organs even more feminine. I also believe women and men aren’t ashamed of having non-typical sexual organ sizes, but rather society makes them feel ashamed about it.
It seems as though whenever an issue cannot be explained blame must be placed somewhere. In this case a lack of scientific knowledge of female anatomy must be then placed on the female psyche. This is just classic gender bias and immaturity at its finest.
I agree with this to an extent. If there are two consenting adults involved then I don’t see why there should a “standard” in terms of sexual positions. I feel like both people are going to do whatever they want how they want.
This is pretty much saying that “girls should change how there bodies work because a man’s penis is only going to go into their vagina, and so she better get used to it”. Which connects back to the idea that men are superior and women are only around to please them.
It seems like this whole article is just saying that pleasure isn’t really necessary. Like women aren’t allowed to do something just because it feels good, and that the only thing that matters is giving men a son. But how does this make sense when a man is wearing a condom or a woman is on birth control? Then its just for the pleasure of the man.. but nobody puts any focus on that..because its just okay for a man to do it for fun, but not okay for a woman to stimulate her clitoris for just pure enjoyment.. double standards much?
Having never studied Freud before I am surprised at his disparaging comments towards women. It is an interesting question to pose of the influence Freud had on anti-feminist participants, if at all. Being the progenitor of the the human psycho-analysis individuals would naturally gravitate towards his thoughts as he predominately codified many of our known psychological disorders today.
It is disparaging enough for women to have to be subjugated to men in every day aspects of our lives, but a clitoridectomy seems like a draconian means to an end for men to further subjugate women. Again we see here Freud comparing female organs to masculinity, augmenting his anti-feminist ideas.
I think “frigid” is used in a derogatory manner along with the term “slut”. While these terms maybe seen as polar opposites: frigid implying that a woman doesn’t have enough interest in sex and slut implying she has to much interest. They are both used to wield power over women by making them ashamed of their level of sexual interest.
Clitoral-vaginal reconciliation seems like a ridiculous surgery to us today. I wonderin the future if we will view the medical assignment of a sex to intersexed infants in the same way. We can laugh at Freud’s fascination with the penis but have we evolved much beyond his theories? when we can decide to assign a female sex to a baby simply because we can’t surgically create a good enough penis.
“recognition of clitoral orgasm as fact would threaten the heterosexual institution” I feel like saying this quote is akin to saying that gay marriage is a threat to hetero marriage. I think this reading is a little dated. It is arguing a point that I think is now commonly accepted in society. Being more aware of our own anatomy and how women achieve orgasm I am not sure that we continue to believe in the vaginal orgasm. Finally I do not like the general tone of the article that seems to view women as passive in the exploration of their sexuality. However it was written in the 1970s. so maybe there has actually be some progress in this area. What is stark to me is that this is the only article we have read in class where we might have actually made some progress, unfortunately all the others are still relevant today.
It is interesting that many of our conventions are based off a complete ignorance of biology. It is frightening to think that so much of our culture about sex and a women’s role and pleasure stems from ignorance.
talk about being direct on the claim that frigidity is a psychological problem from “experts”. who are these “experts”? men who expect women to receive elation from their presence? very crude and pompous statement to be made, and “failure to adjust to their role as women”? talk about serious bashing.
Freud needs to go take biology 101 again to realize that he is not educated enough to make any claim of any kind with the statement “transfer the center of the orgasm”. i don’t know about anyone who’s reading this, but for both men and women, it happens where “it” happens, you can’t move anything….ever. however i do like the way the author illustrates the point to be made from the statement in the coming paragraphs.
I don’t think fridgid is meant as a derogatory term, but more as a medical one. From what I understood, and I might be wrong, it just implies a woman who is left unsatisfied.
As a bisexual woman I actually feel that section was written fine, it’s just being misconstrued. I believe what they’re saying is the male ego would be hurt if they realized they’re an option not a requirement. Women are more likely to pleasure women with clitoral stimulation in my experience. This is due to the fact that women know what women like. If you have the same anatomy you understand how that anatomy will work for someone else. Therefore heterosexual intercourse isn’t as fulfilling because men A. Don’t understand what its like or B. Don’t care.
It’s a shame that even within academia, women of color are still overlooked when discussing gender studies. Of all institutions, universities and other research institutions should always take multiple dimensions into consideration (intersectionality).
Surprised to read the statement that white women are unable to see black women as different from themselves, and how that contributes to a misunderstanding of black women’s work. I thought the differences are perceived to be so dramatic that white women so often overlook the additional struggles of women of color.
It is true, a lot of western European history conditions us to view human differences in oppositions. I think the author phrases the idea that there must be a group of people who occupy the place of the dehumanized inferior in a strong way.
The three ways we react to differences is interesting. These ways mentioned are common when it comes to people reacting and handling human differences.
I completely agree with this. The oppressed must educate the oppressors since they are completely ignorant of what is going on. The oppressors in many times, don’t understand what they are doing until they see it from the perspective of the oppressed. And I love how the author tells us that the oppressed rather than fighting back against the oppressors should educate them. The author doesn’t suggest that the oppressed should start oppressing the oppressors and to seek revenge, but to educate them which is essential to prevent another cycle of oppression being created.
White women can’t be feminists, without dealing with issues such as racism. In a way, if women aren’t fighting racism, then they are are also keeping patriarchy intact. Many women unfortunately don’t oppose patriarchy in fear of being economically unstable, being alone, and due to the fear of men being against them.
I believe all women should work together, rather than isolate and marginalize certain women just due to their sexuality or if their not “feminine” enough. Women should embrace each other’s differences, especially since men could use the differences amongst us to maintain their patriarchy.
It seems a bit hyperbolic to put the fate on the earth on the ability of women to gain new forms of power doesn’t it? The world will not spontaneously combust if women aren’t given power, yet this doesn’t mean that society shouldn’t attack this issue head on.
But this is life in a nutshell. When given the opportunity, people will relish to subjugate any, and it is incumbent onto us to resolve this issue particularly with w0men. True equality is very difficult to achieve, yet we must set our goals towards it to show initiative and attempt to correct the incorrigible.
I think it’s an interesting concept of it’s the oppressed responsibility to teach the oppressors their mistakes. It really shows the necessity of speaking out against injustices in order to hopefully stop them from happening again in the future.
For some reason some women are afraid of being called a lesbian if they are heterosexual, even if they are promoting equal rights for gays. If there is nothing wrong with being gay then why is being called gay a bad thing? It’s an implied insult that goes against what is being preached.
This paragraph is pure facts. It’s something that everyone knows yet never wants to speak of and that is sad. White privilege will always and forever be around. Black women have definitely made strides in history for standing up for themselves yet racism still lives which is why there are not that many black history being taught unless it is self taught. There are capable people but they are just unwilling. Similarly how back in slavery days if you teach a slave to read they’ll outsmart the owner, if you teach black children from young how to enrich themselves they’ll stray and prosper. Clearly this is not what they want to happen.
This paragraph is interesting of what the author said. Instead of oppressors (in race and gender) are trying to understand the others but the minorities such as women, lesbians etc are responsible to enlighten their differences.
And what the author pointed out i agree sometimes. But will there be a less oppress or judgements when they enlighten the differences?
I completely agree with this as well. I feel as though POC have to be aware of their culture, other’s culture and of course white/pop culture or else they’ll be attacked and ridiculed. While white people often only know of their “culture” and are ignorant to basic cultural things.
If black lesbians were the ones committing those crimes, all black lesbians would be condemned even more than they are now. The same goes for any other minority group/type. Society doesn’t really care that these people are being attacked. As long as they aren’t the ones who are attacking, everything is okay.
Its kind of peculiar how the human mind works. Its seems that everything our society teaches revolves around hierarchy and labeling. Art forms should not be compared just as race and gender should not be used as a tool to gauge an individuals worth. Comparisons of this manner have just been arbitrary besides the point of hindering others and glorifying some.
I feel as though the quote by Kalamu ya Salaam is fairly obvious however, implementation is the hardest part. No individual can accurately foresee what another human is thinking, therefore it makes it extremely hard to stop rape. Sometimes it just comes down to individuals are just plain evil or mentally ill.
“Certainly there are very real differences between us of race, age, and sex.” If these three things are cultural constructs then how can they be defined as real differences? Isn’t it more the case that these cultural constructs have led us to believe in differences which allows us to excuse poorly treating those we view as different. It also seems to keep the masses arguing among themselves rather than looking to ask why the 1% controls us.
The ideology of the American dream seems to me to be based on the ability of achieve the norm. The idea that we all have an equal chance to achieve whatever we choose to. If we didn’t buy into this dream we may start to question those that are telling us to try an achieve what they say is the norm. We seem only to be able to focus on one oppressive piece of the puzzle at a time and to believe that we can only raise ourselves up while denigrating others.
I think it easier to study Shakespeare, Moliere etc as they political problems to which they allude are so far removed from ourselves for the most part. however if you start to study more current relevant literature that highlights for you of the problems in society today then how can we pretend its not happening. Don’t we then have a moral duty to respond? Anyway look to see who is in charge of our esteemed academic institutions.
Yea go women! Nut on they faces!
August 4, 2021 at 12:22 pm
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