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Introduction to Gender Studies Class Notes

by: Victoria Notetaker

Introduction to Gender Studies Class Notes GS 1173

Marketplace > Mississippi State University > Communication Studies > GS 1173 > Introduction to Gender Studies Class Notes
Victoria Notetaker

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About this Document

Class notes for Introduction to Gender Studies. Week 2 material.
Gender Studies
Dr. Emily Ryalls
Class Notes
Gender, Studies, communication, notes
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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Victoria Notetaker on Sunday April 24, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to GS 1173 at Mississippi State University taught by Dr. Emily Ryalls in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 9 views. For similar materials see Gender Studies in Communication Studies at Mississippi State University.

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Date Created: 04/24/16
Chapter One:  Ideology­concept that we don’t question. o Common sense ideas o Ex: the idea of the American dream  Athusser o Ideological State Apparatus  Berger & Luckman o Social Construction  “Good” Privileged: o male  o rich o educated o heterosexual o white­collar o white o CIS (sex at birth) o Masculinity   “Bad” Privileged: o female o poor o uneducated o homosexual o blue­collar o black/other race o transsexual o femininity   “Good” and “bad” privilege=Binary: Ideology makes this  Ideological State Apparatus o Family  o School  o Religion  o Media (law) o Ex: story of Thanksgiving  Hegemony: works when even those oppressed by those ideologies are buying into it. o An idea that everyone must obide by something o Ex: Native Americans telling Thanksgiving story o Ex: 1950s American housewife  Social Construction: something doesn’t exist until we start talking about it. o Ex: Environmentalist vs “tree hugger”. o Ex: Gender  We “do” gender  Sex=biological  Gender­social meanings and practices (a performance)  Masculine=male and feminine= female illusion equal or not equal; negative views o Sports o Crying o No dolls for guys o No pink for guys o Mother­daughter & father­son  expectations  Masculine: o Strong o Independent o Healthy o Dominant o Protestant  Feminine: o Passive o Weak o Emotional o Fragile  Gender order o Patriarchy (Agrarian culture)  “Law of the father”  o Power vs. oppression o Hegemonic masculinity  One right way to do masculinity o Emphasized femininity  “The norm” and “deviant” o leadership= masculinity trait  97% of top CEO positions=male/white  9% of top films directed towards women  Marginalized masculinities= “bad” on the chart.  Intersectionality o Matrix of domination o Race and ethnicity o Social class o Sexuality  o Ability  Chapter Two:   Gender inequality exists with bodies as well.  Race, class, sexuality, age, and disability all intersect with gendered bodily pressures.  Men=gender inequality.  Body projects­ how one is “supposed” to look in society. o The idea that individuals use their bodies to exercise agency in the face of social  pressures.  Costs faced by those who veer from social prescriptions are: high­negative social  sanctions­ verbal harassment to physical violence; death.  Social change­ people who use their bodies to challenge widely held beliefs.  Bodies are eminently social, bound up in complex social practices, which fundamentally  shape and alter them and our experiences of them.  Testosterone + men = aggression = politics = higher economic status.  Biological reductionism= reduced argument to biological factors.  Gender and sex = ultimately connected.  Feminist socialists differ in: importance of the social as it interacts with the biological in  complex ways, fundamentally shaping bodies.   Biological reductionists= not popular.  Female genitalia= mean genitalia inwards o Ovaries= internal testes o Uterus= scrotum inside/out o Vagina and cervix= inversion of penis  Sexual dimorphism= 2­sex model of biology.  “Coat­rack approach” = sex= coat rack upon which different societies hang their own  cultural meanings of gender. o Coat= gender  can change coat, but not the rack (sex)  People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)  Muxes­indigenous  Hijras­India  Hermaphrodites (true)= herms­ 1 testes and 1 ovary  Male pseudo hermaphrodites­ testes and some female; no ovaries.  Female pseudo hermaphrodites­ ovaries and some male; no testes.  The Two­Sex Model o “At the core of our contemporary gender system is the belief that there are two  biological sexes: male and female.”  Biological reductionism o Sex = gender  Heteronormativity: heterosexuality = the norm o Challenges  One­sex model  “Women are inverted and hence less perfect men. They have  exactly the same organs but in exactly the wrong places.”  Significant differences among men and among women.  Changes over the course of a lifetime.  Sex (biological) Gender (social) Male (testosterone)              = masculine aggression Female (estrogen)                = feminine [maternal, nurturer, caregiver]  Intersexual Approach­ race, sex, class, etc. factor in.  Feminist Sociological Approach o Sex and gender are intimately (not innately) connected.  o 1970s= sex as unchangeable o 1980s= sex as pliable  Intersectionality and body works o Race, ethnicity, social class, (dis)ability, sexuality, and religion (among other  identity aspects) figure prominently in gendering bodies. o It takes a lot of work to produce “normal” bodies.  Emphasizes Femininity  Boy or girl? o “The demand for two­ and only two­ sexes is a societal demand that often runs  roughshod over natural biological variation, for there are many people who don’t  fit so neatly into either of the 2 categories.” o Intersex  20,424 MSU students (2011) = 408 intersex o Normalizing surgery­ surgery to make it look normal. Small penis  removed and  made into girl. Enlarged clitoris  shaved down and made “normal” 1. Male 2. Female 3. Hermaphrodite (“true”) 4. Mermaphrodite 5. Fermaphrodite  Transgender o “At the heart of these practices is the social demand that we know someone’s  sex.” o Assigned sex at birth, but incorrect.  Concluding thoughts o Bodies reflect social mandates


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