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Notes as of 10/14

by: Anna Quesse

Notes as of 10/14 PHL 233

Marketplace > DePaul University > PHL 233 > Notes as of 10 14
Anna Quesse
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These notes cover up to what we have gone over through today, 10/14
Issues in Sex and Gender
Paul Turner
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This 12 page Bundle was uploaded by Anna Quesse on Friday October 14, 2016. The Bundle belongs to PHL 233 at DePaul University taught by Paul Turner in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 4 views.


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Date Created: 10/14/16
Issues in Sex and Gender Day One: Syllabus day Class Discussion - Brainstorm in small groups: What does “natural/nature” mean? (Come up with as many different associations and English usages of the term) (What is its opposite? Does the term imply anything moral? etc) - Relevance to our class? ● One of the most complicated words in the English language. Gender roles in nature. If there are gender roles in nature, then why even pursue equality? ● Masculine in Nature vs. Feminine in Nature. ● Opposite- artificial (Improvement vs. Laziness), synthetic, man-made ● Pre-constructed (prior determined, unchanging) (human intervention) ● Instinct, genetic, hereditary ● Behavior, “human nature” ● Can be altered by environment/situation/conditions ● Natural as a relative feeling- comfort - Unnatural: awkward, out of place, not intended by a higher power. ● Categorization: of people, roles, behaviors, attraction, sexuality. Heteronormativity. ● Beauty Standards: Maintaining an air of naturalness. “Woke up like this.” ● Nurture, Culture. ● Gender as a social classification. Syllabus Discussion *** See the document in D2L Reading: Sturgeon. ---------------------------------------------- Day Two ● Pedagogy- instructional method/theory of education ● Philosophy - Reasons investigation of our ideas and deeply held beliefs - Problematizes what is clear or obvious ● Metaphysics - Asks questions about the nature of things, or what is real - What kind of reality things have - “The house exists.” - physical existence - “The number 4 exists.”- not physically represented *** How do these exist differently? ● How does gender exist in this way? - “Meaning of existence” ● Epistemology - Knowledge: how we know stuff - What we know and HOW we know it - Descartes: How can I be certain that I am not dreaming? ● Ethics - How do we decide what is good? - What is goodness? - How should we live? - What is the good life? ● Aesthetics - Beauty or the value of art ● Politics - How it is that society should be organized ● Logic - The process of thinking - How things make sense - Rules of right reasoning Reading Discussion: ● Thesis: the primary point of the reading - Evidence - What the author wants us to believe Outline: ● Components/Major Sections; Chapter 1 (pages 17-49): - Defining/blurring the difference/ distinction between culture/nature - Humans play a role in evolution and natural selection - Questions the identification of gender and sex. - Associations between nature and groups of people, ideas, etc. Nature/ natural. - Minority groups? - Defenseless, weak (nature). - Women of color are even more natural - Women in nature| Culture=male - Women of colour are even more natural ● culture/nature - gender/sex - Social role - Birth ● Natural associations - Political: law of nature - Humans to have certain political rights - Rights are denied to other groups of people: women (viewed is less intellectually capable), less rational, Day Two (etymology- word history) ​ ● Etymology of the word “savage”- “silva”(sylvan) - Word for “forest creatures” - Word to describe people who live in the woods - Wild - Natural - People being colonized were called “natural people” - Not a good name Barbarian - greek Thesis: - Because nature and natural have complex cultural connotations, the use of these concepts has the capacity to confuse and obscure our thinking about env. Policy. Evidence to support this thesis: - People decide what is normal - Nature as a tool of power - Glorifying nature - It’s human nature to want to decide what’s right - Natural can be manipulated - Natural rights: positive connotation - Negative connotation:savage is, by his or her nature, incompetent. Nature of the savage is to be too close to nature. (natural political arrangement). - Liberalism: a system of ideas that asserts political power that resides in comes from, individuals (rationality) - Natural: prevents critical scrutiny. Evaluate something for its merits. - Nature is unchanging: genetic basis Patterns of Nature in US popular culture: - class/sex/race: impact your view of what nature is (associations as meanings). ● Dualism: nature culture dualism, pose two terms against each other. Nature is often characterized as feminine. How do we make culture more natural? ● Ethical: basic philosophical problem of what the good life is. Day Three Bell Hooks reading Patriarchy Etmyology Greek: patrios/pater / arche - Father -governing principle, source of order - (patriot) -anarchy (negation) -monarchy Group Activity: Identify key passages for explaining patriarchy: - Page one, third paragraph: Patriarchy is a political system that implies males are dominant| Synonyms: institutions that operate as communication. Sources: religion, cultural values. Inherent: naturally, intrinsically, essentially. - Page three, we need to highlight the role women play in patriarchy - Page three- women are just as much to blame for patriarchy Psychological terrorism: Any type of attack on someone’s belief and the way that they are. Meant specifically to change the way you think. Does patriarchy actually alter people?- changing those who don’t fit the molds. Conditioning. Patriarchal manifestations: -men/women - parents/children. Dominating relationship: clear hierarchy. Traits in children: “Masculine” (men) - Anger - Rage - Rational - Stoic - Martial warlike “Feminine” (men) - Love - Nurture - emotional *Expectation that these emotions are deployed in the correct context ● Is patriarchy bad for men? - “...denied males full access to emotional well-being…” ● Sheltering - Parenting styles? - Patriarchal ‘shelters’ - Shelters the system from criticism - Alt. ‘shelters’ White Supremacy Definition: system white subordinates people of color to whites Capitalism: governing structure that relies on big business to support an institution. ------------------ Simone de Beauvoir 1908-1986 - Second sex - Originally in french, french existentialist. - “Existence precedes essence.” - Essence: what it is to be something. - Things have their meaning in relation to human existence. - The start of second- wave feminism. - De facto inequalities ● 1st wave feminism - 18th/19th centuries - Legal equality (property, vote) ● Question 4- shared struggle for all women that is more fundamental than race/class struggle. ● Femininity - “Abe lincoln no longer exists, but he once did!” - How is femininity different, then? ● existentialism - in-itself= objects, things they coincide with themselves. - for-itself= consciousness, characterizes humans (the subject) - So the human subject does not fully coincide or identify with itself - What is a subject in grammar? object? ● Make sense of this claim: “If today femininity no longer exists, then it never existed.” - Femininity: what makes a woman a woman? - Supposed to be eternal - Liken femininity to god. - Femininity is socially constructed - Was supposed to be eternal - If something has changed with it to show that there was never a n tural woman, women can be different. - If femininity makes a woman, on what basis can we call her a woman? ● Question 2- - Man as positive/neutral: man is the archetype - positive: good, in possession of. - Negative: lack, inverse; bad. - Neutral: - Standard, archetype, rubric. - “Absolute sex” - She is absolute sex - Define woman: defined by its departure from its masculine standard, refer to FIRST the definition of man. - Take away standard qualities such as strength, rationality. - Bodily characteristics of a woman are going to interfere with the basic way that humans exist. *sexual characteristics ● Question 3: ● Absolute - Complete, unchangeable, top, total - Doesn’t have limits - Unconditional love - Unrestricted - Going to fall fortune to it by virtue of the unclear thinking which rises from her body ------------------- subject/object Subject- acts, carries out verb, active Object- recipient of action, passive Subj/ Absolute/ One Subj- agent Absolute- complete, unconditioned, unrestricted One- opposed to the other Existentialist concept of persons: Man: For itself (subject) In itself (object/en-soi) Woman In-itself For itself---> In itself *transcendence- to go beyond Object- simple being, uncomplicated reality. [man] human consciousness Man is the protagonist of life Women -other oppressed groups have historical memory Women: ahistorical - Societal buildup and cultures but within those cultures there is a patriarchy *women participate in their own oppression *oppression of women is also harmful to the supposed oppressor - Women’s oppression disappears in thinking about their “broader” group identity - How: woman/man - Biological, primordial “mitsein” (basic being with) Transcending: going beyond what currently exists Existence {ek-sist} existence= human Out-stand Be present Existence- consciousness, creation of meanings -------------------------------------- Other-- Jew, Proletarian (working class), bourgeois (property owning/owners of businesses), People of Color Subjectivity (subject): acts, agent Object- passive recipient 7- “Society is not a species” - Species (human) only attains this existence - Transcending itself Exist Out-stand Standing-beyond Transcendence- going beyond oneself, exceeding one’s conditions (immanent)- existing or operating in, inherent Object (in-itself) is characterized by a very simple being, identical with itself. Not sentient. Does not wonder about itself or ask why. Subject- complex being, not identical with itself. Not unified with itself. Capable of transcending themselves. Metacognition- awareness of one’s own thought. Young---- Situation, situatedness - No feminine essence - “Femininity”: situation in which human beings exist, limit the lived possibilities for human (female) subjectivity. - Home base for creating human projects - Cultural box: what it means to be a women - Verb: situating, conditioning Feminine “Bodily style” - “Throwing like a girl” - - no follow through with bodily movements - Taking up the least amount of space - Clearly supposed to be derogatory - Cautiousness, non-fluidity of the activity Modality - Mode of expression, experience - Manner 3- ambiguous transcendence - Inhibited intentionality - Discontinuous unity - Common root: body is both subject and object for itself - Can think of itself (consciousness), and thus acts, but it is frequently a passive object ---------------------------- subject/object- Fem. style: being at once and insane act both subject/object Subject-transcendence-consciousness, non-identical. Object- fixed being-immanent, inert. ● Double- consciousness: intention, body as fragile. Phenomenal/lived space vs objective space. Phenomenal- Actually take up Used in human activity The portion of physical space that we relate to in our movement Constricted, reserved Objective space - Physical space - mathematics/ geometrical - physics Existential Enclosure: Social Sources? (object- tendency)- inert Space- restricts her movements Restricts the things that she’ll think about A baseball not throwing toward but at Reactive vs proactive - Woman as guest in male space Socialization - Not encouraged as much to play in specific ways - Fem: domestic, gentle, safe - Masc Guevedoche: - Dominican republic - Babies born w/o normal penis due to testosterone deficiency - Socialized as girls, identify as males - But advantages to identify as men, so as adults they opt - Parents reluctant to socialize in a particular gender - *socialization overcome biological nature -------------------------------------- Warnke Reading 1) Behavioral Ecology posits what difference between males/females? [quote on page 21] - What is its source? - What else do they explain through their account? ● Males- maximize reproductive opportunities. Females- choosy: more focused on raising the child. ● Reading maps, geometry, associate with a male ability 2) testosterone/ estrogen - What surprising findings did the article point out regarding testosterone levels in differing groups of males? - What is the difficulty in identifying “masculinity” or a masculine sort of gender characteristics through the presence of testosterone? ● Many say that testosterone leads to masculine behaviors and estrogen to female behaviors ● Testosterone affect dominant behaviors or submissive behaviors ● “Testosterone isn’t causing aggression, it’s exaggerating the aggression that’s already there.” ● Monkey 3 does not attempt to dominate social superiors Halperin Genealogy (family history) Contemporary homosexuality Pre- homosexual concepts (tributaries) 1) effeminacy 2) pederasty/ active sodomy Effeminacy - Historically conceptualized? - Describes excess desire, can be heterosexual or homosexual - Classically: masculinity consists in restraint of impulse - Heterosexual: feminizes you ------------------- Genealogy - History - Family tree - Lines of ancestry - Concept- parents of concepts Prehomosexual categories Effeminacy- let their passions for sex overwhelm them, overindulgence. “Marker of sexual inversion” Pederasty/ Active sodomy - Pedophilia - Social superior has erotic relation with inferior - Sodomy: non-reproductive sex - Active sodomy: focuses our attention on the active/insertive partner (the top) - “As an erotic experience, sodmoy refers to the active partner only.” - Pleasure is ignored for the recipient - Hierarchical - Gifts, power, favor, invert - Pederasty as prehomosexual category - - we see this relationship between two men and say “that’s a homosexual relationship” - But this is not how the relationship is historically understand by the people who are contemporaneous with it or actually experiencing it - Homosexual in that moment - Situational, pseudo - Sexual preference for males is not sexual orientation within sodomy or pederasty. (drive, fixed to given sex). - Why not sexual orientation? - Orientation: innate drive (natural) - Preference: “choice” - Sexual object choice Male friendship - Not sexual - Nonetheless, he sees it important for the formation of this homosexual category. - What is the difference between friendship and modern concepts of homosexuality? - H: equality. - Friendship: way of relating between two men that is not hierarchical. No negative social consequence. - Invert is not homosexual - Invert defined? Important depart from being homosexual - Invert is someone who likes assuming the role of recipient - Playing the womanly role - Gender non-conformity - Departing from standard male gender expression - Dressing in women’s attire - Enjoying being penetrated


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