7 terms

Feminist Theory

Males is to Female as _ is to _: A Guided Tour of Five Feminist Frameworks for Communication Studies
Feminist Theory
Complex theory with four common features.
1. Grounded in a concern about and a desire to change the subjegated status of women.
2. Attempts to explain the sources of women's oppression
3. Makes assumptions about the origins of the differences between men and women.
4. Is at some level activists in nature. (Seeks to actively change the lives of women).
The article organizes Feminist theory into dualism (binary oppositions) each with comparisons to other theories.
These dualism can explain gender oppression.
1. Liberal Feminism: Reason vs. Emotion
- compared with Rethorical Theory, but it focuses on women's contributions in speaking, writing and political work.
- Perception of this dualism is a source of oppresion.
- Focus on womens exclusion from social & political institutions.
- Gender-difference research with regards to interpersonal communication
Content analysis of culture artifacts
- part of 2nd wave of feminism
2. Socialist Feminism: Private vs. Public
- compared to Marxist Theory
- Economic capital as the major souce of gender discrimination
- Women (Consumers) Men (Producers)
- Women's labor seen as free which in a capitalist society is undervalued.
- interception between patriarchy & capitalism. Men make the rules which continue to priviledge themselves.
3. Radical Feminism: Nature vs. Culture
- linked to Essentialist Theories (We get lesbian separatism, eco-feminism & muted-group theory)
- women connected to nature (witches) & men are the creators of culture and civilization.
- Fundamental differences between men & women (biologically) that will always matter when it comes to their place in society.
- Men's treatment of women linked to their treatment of the natural world. Tendency to conquer nature & women (erotic literature - Fifty Shades of Grey).
- Pornography always violent & derogative towards women. (What about Samantha SITC & Sash Grey?)
4. Psychoanalytical feminism: Subject vs. Object
- in response to Freud & their focus on the development of gender identity in childhood.
- psychology/biology - Men are seen as complete (subject) women as incomplete (object). - essentialist theory/"penis envy"
- identity formation is as much biological as it is social
- Film & TV studies: THE MALE GAZE Theory
- Most visual culture is shot from a male subjectivity to emphasize the female object
5. Cultural Feminism: Mind vs. Body
Similar to Standpoint theory's notion of looking at how the markers of our body influence our minds and perspectives.
MIND - is what makes someone human and apart from animals. Men are free for more intellectual persuits like the finance, arts, mathematics, political, etc.
BODY - closer to animals (women are more closely associated with the body due to childbirth, that ties women to their bodies unlike men).
- in porpular culture women are closely tied to beauty, clothing, makeup, etc.
- sexualization of women through language (muted group theory) language to describe women is body & sexually related (Sir & Madam - madam also used the head of a house of prostitution, Master & Mistress - mistress a woman who sleeps with a married man)
- swear words applied to women related to sex, sexuality & animals. (devaluing)