Feminist Politics

Purpose of Course  showclose

Comprehending the role that feminism has played in identifying, critiquing, and, at times, altering the distribution of political and economic power is integral to understanding democratic citizenship and government.  In this course, we will examine the history of feminist thought, beginning in the late eighteenth century and continuing through the early twenty-first century.  An overarching goal of this course is to encourage you to develop and shape your own concepts and ideas about feminist political thought as a potent and multifaceted global force.  In working toward this goal, we begin the course by defining feminism and engaging with some of the cultural and political stereotypes of feminism and feminist thinking in contemporary politics and popular culture.  Next, we explore the history of feminist thinking.  We conclude by examining current topics in feminist politics.

Throughout the course, we will examine and discuss questions important to feminist politics, such as citizenship, political participation, and political rights; work and family; reproductive rights and birth control; gender representation in the media; and finally, the role of gender in militarism and national security.  In considering each topic, we will draw on historical analysis and seek to consider the variety of women’s experiences.  Though this course will focus on feminism in the U.S., we will also attempt to incorporate international perspectives on women and feminism.

Finally, it is important to note that our course materials are, by their very nature, political.  They are not, however, political in a narrowly partisan sense.  Feminist theory does presume that gender inequality is unjust.  Nevertheless, you are free to challenge and disagree with this presumption, just as you are encouraged to critically evaluate all of the arguments advanced in materials presented in the course.

Course Information  showclose

Welcome to POLSC303.  Below, please find general information on this course and its requirements.
 
Course Designer: Amy Gangl, and Professor Angela Bowie
 
Primary Resources: This course is composed of a range of different free, online materials.  However, the course makes primary use of the following materials:
Requirements for Completion: In order to complete this course, you will need to work through each unit and all of its assigned materials.  You will also need to complete the Final Exam.  In order to pass this course, you will need to earn a 70% or higher on the Final Exam.  Your score on the exam will be tabulated as soon as you complete it.  If you do not pass the exam, you may take it again.
 
Time Commitment: This course should take you a total of approximately 107.75 hours to complete.  Each unit includes a “time advisory” that lists the amount of time you are expected to spend on each subunit.  It may be useful to take a look at these time advisories and determine how much time you have over the next few weeks to complete each unit and to then set goals for yourself.  For example, Unit 1 should take you 20.75 hours to complete.  Perhaps you can sit down with your calendar and decide to complete subunit 1.1 (a total of 4.5 hours) on Monday night; subunit 1.2 (a total of 4.25 hours) on Tuesday night; etc.
 
Tips/Suggestions: This course includes a wide variety of texts and audio and visual media.  Thus, it is essential to keep careful notes as you engage with the materials.  These notes will also be useful as a review for your Final Exam.Welcome to POLSC303.  Below, please find general information on this course and its requirements.

Learning Outcomes  showclose

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  • Explain what feminist theory is, and describe the breadth, depth, and variety of feminist approaches.
  • Identify key feminist theorists from the Enlightenment era through the Suffragist movement into contemporary political theory, and describe their respective arguments.
  • Identify the key issues in each “wave” of feminism.
  • Identify the explicit and implicit ways in which gender influences the distribution of political and economic power.
  • Critically evaluate the way in which gender influences the portrayal of political candidates in the media.
  • Evaluate existing political and cultural stereotypes of feminist politics and feminists more generally, based on key historical and contemporary feminist readings in academia, journalism, and popular culture.
  • Apply feminist theories to engage and critique contemporary political arguments.

Course Requirements  showclose

In order to take this course you must:

√    Have access to a computer.

√    Have continuous broadband Internet access.

√    Have the ability/permission to install plug-ins or software (e.g., Adobe Reader or Flash).

√    Have the ability to download and save files and documents to a computer.

√    Have the ability to open Microsoft files and documents (.doc, .ppt, .xls, etc.).

√    Be competent in the English language.

√    Have read the Saylor Student Handbook.

Unit Outline show close


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  • Unit 1: Feminism and Its Political and Cultural Discontents  

    In this unit, we will look at different definitions of feminism and introduce some key topics, ideas, and concerns of feminist theorists and activists.  The lectures, readings, and videos in this unit seek to define feminism as well as engage with (and contest) some of the political and cultural stereotypes and caricatures of feminism in contemporary discourse.

    Unit 1 Time Advisory   show close
    Unit 1 Learning Outcomes   show close
  • 1.1 Definitions of Feminism  
    • Reading: Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Sally Haslanger, Nancy Tuana, and Peg O’Connor’s “Topics in Feminism”

      Link: Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Sally Haslanger, Nancy Tuana, and Peg O’Connor’s “Topics in Feminism” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: Please click on the link above, and read this entire entry.  This reading will introduce you to different definitions and ways of conceptualizing feminism.  Indeed, there are many approaches and definitions within feminist philosophy and practice, some overlapping and some competing with one another.  The reading also presents a number of broad theoretical concerns that motivate feminist scholars.  This reading should take you approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes to complete.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Reading: Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Elizabeth Anderson’s “Feminist Epistemology and Philosophy of Science”

      Link: Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Elizabeth Anderson’s “Feminist Epistemology and Philosophy of Science” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: Please click on the link above, and read this entire entry.  Epistemology is a branch of philosophy that explores theories of knowledge.  When people ask questions about how we know what we know, they are engaging in epistemological questions.  As the reading indicates, there are several approaches to feminist epistemology – feminist standpoint theory, feminist postmodernism, and feminist empiricism – but all take as a core assumption that sex plays a role in the production and interpretation of theories of knowledge.  Later sections of this reading address feminist critiques of science and the argument that scientific inquiry has historically been conducted from a distinctly male perspective and informed by sometimes biased masculine values.  This reading should take you approximately 3 hours to complete.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 1.2 Assumptions and Attitudes about Sex, Gender Identity, Gender Orientation, and Gender Roles  
  • 1.2.1 Feminism and Identity  
    • Reading: Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Diana Meyers’ “Feminist Perspectives on the Self”

      Link: Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Diana Meyers’ “Feminist Perspectives on the Self” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: Please click on the link above, and read the entire entry.  Conceptions of the self are important to feminist philosophers.  A distinctly male notion of identity has prevailed throughout much of Western intellectual history, and the female self has been seen as “Other.”  Feminists have sought to define and situate a female self both in the context of the male identity and, in some cases, in opposition to male identity.  This reading will take you approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes to complete.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 1.2.2 Sex and Gender Orientation  
    • Lecture: YouTube: UCLA: Thomas Bradbury’s “Sex and Gender Orientation”

      Link: YouTube: UCLA: Thomas Bradbury’s “Sex and Gender Orientation” (YouTube)
       
      Instructions: Please click on the link above, and view the entire lecture.  Changes in thinking and attitudes toward sexual and gender identity are important to understanding historical and contemporary feminism.  Dr. Bradbury’s lecture engages with issues of differences in definitions regarding sex and gender orientation in the context of human relationships.  Viewing this lecture and pausing to take notes should take you approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes to complete.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 1.2.3 Sex and Gender-Role Stereotypes  
  • 1.3 Discussions of Feminism in the Wider Culture  
  • 1.3.1 Feminism, Gender, and the Media  
  • 1.3.1.1 Feminism in the Media  
  • 1.3.1.2 Gender and Politics in the Media  
    • Web Media: Top Documentary Films: Media Education Foundation, Jean Kilbourne’s “Killing Us Softly 3: Advertising’s Images of Women”

      Link: Top Documentary Films: Media Education Foundation, Jean Kilbourne’s “Killing Us Softly 3: Advertising’s Images of Women (Flash)
       
      Instructions: Cultural and political stereotypes of women are a product of many institutions, including religion and family.  The media is another important source for how people perceive women in American society.  This video focuses on a particular type of media: advertising.  Watch the documentary video, “Killing Us Softly 3: Advertising’s Images of Women.”  Viewing this video and pausing to take notes should take you approximately 45 minutes to complete.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Reading: Portraying Politics: A Toolkit on Gender and Television: “Research”

      Link: Portraying Politics: A Toolkit on Gender and Television: “Research” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: Decades of research have shown that the public has different stereotypes of and expectations for women who run for political office than for men who run for political office.  The sections in this report examine these different stereotypes and expectations and how the media facilitates gender biases in coverage of political campaigns.  This reading should take you approximately 2 hours to complete.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 1.3.2 Feminism’s Uneven Successes  
  • 1.3.2.1 Gender Equity in the Economic Sphere  
    • Reading: New York Times: Nancy Folbre’s “Feminism’s Uneven Success”

      Link: New York Times: Nancy Folbre’s “Feminism’s Uneven Success” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: Read this blog entry, which provides data on gender equity in education, wages, and labor over time.  The author suggests that the feminist movement has come a long way, but there is still a need for greater wage equity among working men and women.  This reading should take you approximately 20 minutes to complete.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Reading: The Atlantic: Anne-Marie Slaughter’s “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All”

      Link: The Atlantic: Anne-Marie Slaughter’s “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: Please click on the link above, and read the entire article.  Make sure to click on the “Next” link at the end of the article to read all 6 pages.  In the summer of 2012, an article in The Atlantic about the ongoing difficulty women face in balancing careers and family received a great deal of media attention.  Some complained that the author focused only on women with advanced degrees in professional positions.  Others praised the article for asking why men do not seem to struggle as much with balancing career and family.  Whether you agree with the author or not, the key questions she raises have informed feminist discussions about work, family, and class for over a century.  This reading should take you approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes to complete.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 1.3.2.2 Gender Equity in Political Representation  
  • 1.3.3 Does Feminism Equal War of the Sexes?  
  • Unit 2: First Wave Feminism  

    Historians tend to divide the feminist movement into three waves.  Though there is not a strong consensus on the exact dates defining each wave, we can safely make some generalizations.  The First Wave of feminism occurred in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.  The overarching goal of this wave was demand for more opportunities for women, with a particular focus on suffrage.  The Second Wave started in the 1960s and continued into the early 1990s.  This wave was informed by anti-war and civil rights movements, as well as by the growing self-consciousness of minority groups around the world.  The Third Wave of feminism started in the mid-1990s and focuses on poststructuralist notions of gender, the body, and sexuality.  Though there are alternative ways to organize the study of feminist politics, for the bulk of this course we will engage with each wave of feminism along this chronological pathway, ending with issues that fuel feminist politics today.

    he First Wave of feminism had its origin in the European Enlightenment, but it was not until the publication of Mary Wollstonecraft’s “A Vindication of the Rights of Woman” that the movement really gained momentum.  We will read Wollstonecraft’s thesis, as well as the writings of several other early feminist theorists.  Additionally, we will engage with many of the key issues of the First Wave, which focused on political equality and citizens’ rights, including voting rights (suffrage), ownership of private property, and access to education.  It is important to note that many First Wave feminists, including Wollstonecraft and Susan B. Anthony, would likely be considered politically conservative today.  This is not true of Emma Goldman, who we will also discuss in this unit.

    Unit 2 Time Advisory   show close
    Unit 2 Learning Outcomes   show close
  • 2.1 Foundations in the European Enlightenment  
  • 2.1.1 Liberal Beginnings  
  • 2.1.1.1 Mary Wollstonecraft  
    • Reading: Mary Wollstonecraft’s A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792)

      Link: Mary Wollstonecraft’s A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792) (HTML)
       
      Instructions: Please click on the link above, and read the entire text (Chapters I through XIII).  Mary Wollstonecraft’s book is considered one of the firstpublished feminist treatises in Europe.  In A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, she discusses women’s sexual lives, the need for voting rights, and access to education.  Wollstonecraft’s book influenced activists in the suffrage movement in the United States, including Susan B. Anthony.  This reading should take you approximately 10 hours to complete.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 2.1.1.2 John Stuart Mill  
    • Reading: John Stuart Mill’s “The Subjection of Women” (1869)

      Link: John Stuart Mill’s “The Subjection of Women” (1869) (HTML)
       
      Instructions: Read John Stuart Mill’s essay.  John Stuart Mill argues for the emancipation of women, contending that gender inequality permeates the social and legal fabric of the modern state.  This reading should take you approximately 3 hours to complete.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 2.1.1.3 Sojourner Truth  
    • Reading: PBS’s This Far by Faith: The Faith Project’s “Sojourner Truth”

      Link: PBS’s This Far by Faith: The Faith Project’s “Sojourner Truth” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: Please click on the link above, and read the entire webpage. Sojourner Truth was famously born a slave who, in the early 1800s, fought racist and sexist oppression through her words and deeds.  She introduced an element of diversity into a largely white, aristocratic feminist movement.  This reading should take you approximately 20 minutes to complete.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Reading: Sojourner Truth’s “Keeping the Thing Going While Things Are Stirring”

      Link: Sojourner Truth’s “Keeping the Thing Going While Things Are Stirring” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: Please click on the link above, and read Truth’s address to the First Annual Meeting of the American Equal Rights Association in New York City on May 9, 1867.  Even after the Civil War, Sojourner’s speech remains important to the anti-racism, feminist canon.  This reading should take you approximately 15 minutes to complete.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Web Media: C-SPAN Video Library: “Sojourner Truth and Women’s History”

      Link: C-SPAN Video Library: “Sojourner Truth and Women’s History” (Adobe Flash)
       
      Instructions: After reading about Sojourner Truth in the biography above, and also her famous speech, “Keeping the Thing Going While Things Are Stirring,” watch a re-enactment of her famous “Ain’t I a Woman” speech.  Sojourner Truth was among the first to publicly contest what many people of color perceived as the racial bias in early feminism.  This web media assignment should take you approximately 30 minutes to complete. 
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpages above.

  • 2.1.1.4 Charlotte Perkins Gilman  
  • 2.1.2 Radical and Anarchist Feminism  
  • 2.1.2.1 Emma Goldman  
  • 2.1.2.2 Anarchist Feminism and Its Expressions  
  • 2.2 Key Issues in the First Wave  
  • 2.2.1 Women’s Suffrage  
  • 2.2.2 Employment  
  • 2.2.3 Right to Private Property  
  • Unit 3: Second Wave Feminism  

    Though the exact dates of the Second Wave of the feminist movement are disputed, most agree that it began in the 1960s and lasted through the early 1990s.  Whereas the First Wave addressed political equality, activists in the Second Wave addressed cultural as well as political issues.  The mantra that “the personal is political” really came alive in the Second Wave.  For instance, while at the same time seeking an equal rights amendment to the U.S. Constitution, the Second Wave also focused on representations of women in advertising.  The Second Wave, which began with concerns about gender equality at work and in the home, ended with a debate within the feminist movement over how to define sexual exploitation.

    Unit 3 Time Advisory   show close
    Unit 3 Learning Outcomes   show close
  • 3.1 Key Issues in the Second Wave  
  • 3.1.1 Work and Family  
  • 3.1.1.1 Changing Role of Women in the Family and in the Workplace  
  • 3.1.1.1.1 Simone de Beauvoir  
  • 3.1.1.1.2 Betty Friedan  
  • 3.1.1.2 Changing Roles of Working Men and Women in the Home  
    • Reading: The American Prospect: Linda Hirshman’s “America’s Stay-at-Home Feminists”

      Link: The American Prospect: Linda Hirshman’s “America’s Stay-at-Home Feminists” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: When retired Brandeis professor Linda Hirshman published her column, originally titled “Homeward Bound,” in The American Prospect in 2005, media and cultural elites responded with a conversation about the changing roles of working men and women in the home.  Some criticized Hirshman’s methodology; others criticized her suggestion that women are smart to marry “beneath their own pay grade.”  Some championed her call for men to help working women break the glass ceiling at home, while some men insisted that Hirshman was not giving them enough credit for the work they were already doing at home.
       
      As you read, consider the following questions: how has the debate about the role of women and men in the home shifted in the last fifty years?  To what extent do you agree or disagree with Hirshman’s main arguments.  Why?
       
      Reading and answering the questions above should take you approximately 1 hour to complete.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Reading: Slate Magazine: Emily Bazelon’s “Understanding Betty Friedan: Why Linda Hirshman Doesn’t”

      Link: Slate Magazine: Emily Bazelon’s “Understanding Betty Friedan: Why Linda Hirshman Doesn’t” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: Read this essay by legal journalist and Slate Magazine editor Emily Bazelon.  The author offers a critique of Hirshman’s arguments in the context of Betty Friedan’s written work and personal and public statements.  This reading should take you approximately 15 minutes to complete.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 3.1.1.3 Gender in Society: A Shifting Balance?  
    • Reading: The Atlantic: Hanna Rosin’s “The End of Men”

      Link: The Atlantic: Hanna Rosin’s “The End of Men” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: Please click on the link above, and read the entire story.  After reading Hanna Rosin’s much discussed 2010 cover story for The Atlantic, which argues that women are coming to dominate professional and academic circles in the twenty-first century, do some web research.  Try to look for critiques of Rosin’s data and work.  If you were assigned a critical thought essay on Rosin’s piece, what would your principal argument (thesis statement) be?  This reading and research should take you approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes complete.
       
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  • 3.1.2 Reproductive Rights  
  • 3.1.2.1 Roe v. Wade  
  • 3.1.2.2 The Debate over Reproductive Rights in Contemporary Politics  
    • Web Media: PBS’s Frontline: “The Last Abortion Clinic”

      Link: PBS’s Frontline: “The Last Abortion Clinic” (Flash)
       
      Instructions: Watch the Frontline video on the pro-life movement.  Even though religion and morality play important roles in fueling the debate, focus on the key constitutional issues raised in the film.  Viewing this video should take you approximately 1 hour to complete.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Web Media: PBS’s NOW: “Democrats and the New Politics of Abortion”

      Link: PBS’s NOW: “Democrats and the New Politics of Abortion” (Flash)
       
      Instructions: Please click on the link above, and view the entire video.  As attitudes about gay rights have become more liberal in the early twenty-first century, attitudes about abortion have become slightly more conservative.  The video engages with this shift and explores how the Democratic Party – traditionally the party of reproductive rights – has changed in response.  Viewing this video should take you approximately 30 minutes to complete.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 3.2 The Equal Rights Movement  
  • 3.2.1 National Organization of Women (NOW)  
    • Reading: National Organization for Women

      Link: National Organization for Women (HTML)
       
      Instructions: Please click on the link above, and spend at least 1 hour with the materials on the National Organization for Women website, especially looking at its history in light of the contemporary issues it highlights.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 3.2.2 The Equal Rights Amendment (1972)  

    The U.S. Congress passed the Equal Rights Amendment in 1972.  However, the states did not ratify the 27th Amendment, so it was not incorporated into the Constitution.  Below are a number of articles and web media about this topic for you to explore.

  • Unit 4: Third Wave Feminism  

    In this unit, we will look at the Third Wave of the feminist movement, which challenged fundamental assumptions about the category of “woman” and criticized the class disparity that existed within the feminist movement itself.  Separating questions of gender from questions of sex, Third Wave feminists often argued that the category of “woman” was itself socially constructed.  This critique of “essentialism” and “reductivism” developed out of the broader poststructuralist movement in political theory.  It focused on images of bodies, medical discourse, and the reduction of complex identities to gender.  It also explored the ways in which language had led to reductive understandings of gender categories and asked how gender difference relates to race and class difference.  Building on these critiques, the Third Wave addressed how the Second Wave feminist movement had ignored the diversity within its own ranks.

    Unit 4 Time Advisory   show close
    Unit 4 Learning Outcomes   show close
  • 4.1 Poststructuralist Theories of Power  

    Michel Foucault’s understanding of power is very helpful in thinking about the Third Wave with its critique of the category of “woman” or “feminine.”  Foucault did not set out to write feminist theory, and not all Third Wave feminists are Foucauldians, but this way of thinking about power helps provide background to the thinking of some Third Wave feminism.

  • 4.1.1 Foucault’s Theories of Power  
  • 4.1.2 Feminist Theories of Power  
  • 4.2 Key Issues in the Third Wave  
  • 4.2.1 Sex and Gender  
    • Reading: Theory.org.uk: David Gauntlett’s “Judith Butler”

      Link: Theory.org.uk: David Gauntlett’s “Judith Butler” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: Read this overview of contemporary feminist Judith Butler.  Butler’s work on gender performance as separate and distinct from sexual identity has influenced feminist and cultural critics alike.  This reading should take you approximately 30 minutes to complete.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Reading: Ron Hammond and Paul Cheney’s Sociology and the Family: “Chapter 4: Gender and Socialization”

      Link: Ron Hammond and Paul Cheney’s Sociology and the Family: “Chapter 4: Gender and Socialization” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: Please click on the link above, and read Chapter 4 in its entirety.  Biological differences between men and women were said to be of little significance in First Wave feminism.  Second Wave feminists acknowledged biological differences – in particular, women’s reproductive capacities – and suggested that men should take a larger role at home and in childrearing.  Third Wave feminists also point to biological differences between men and women but draw on medical research demonstrating more commonalities than differences.  This chapter on the socialization processes inherent to gender and sex offers an academic discussion of sex and gender differences and will provide you with useful background for future readings.  This reading should take you approximately 1 hour to complete.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Reading: Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Cressida Heyes’ “Identity Politics”

      Link: Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Cressida Heyes’ “Identity Politics” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: A Foucauldian notion of power helps us in thinking about gender as something socially constructed.  Scholars of identity politics argue that sex is a social construction, too, but not all Third Wave feminists go that far.  Read the entire entry on “Identity Politics.”   Note in the “Gender and Feminism” section that Judith Butler argues that if “woman” and “feminine” are social constructions, and if identity in general is socially constructed, then Third Wave feminism leads us to ask why we privilege “woman” and the “feminine.”  This reading should take you approximately 2 hours to complete.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Lecture: Yale University Open Courses: Paul Fry’s “Queer Theory and Gender Performativity”

      Link: Yale University Open Courses: Paul Fry’s “Queer Theory and Gender Performativity” (JWPlayer)

      Also available in:
      YouTube
      Transcript (HTML)
       
      Instructions: Please click on the link above, and watch the entire lecture.  You may also click on the link for the transcript, and read along with the lecture.  Professor Paul Fry, a Yale University professor, discusses the work of Judith Butler in the context of Michel Foucault’s History of Sexuality.  This lecture should take you approximately 1 hour to complete.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Reading: Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Talia Bettcher’s “Feminists Perspectives on Trans Issues”

      Link: Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Talia Bettcher’s “Feminists Perspectives on Trans Issues” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: Please click on the link above, and read the entire entry.  Animportant subset of feminist concerns addresses competing conceptions of the self and its relation to gender, sexual identity, and gender performance.  Studying this entry engages with these issues and should take you approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes to complete.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 4.2.2 Race and Class  
  • 4.3 Feminist Issues in the Global Context  
  • 4.3.1 Global Feminist Community  
    • Reading: National Organization for Women: “NOW and Global Feminism”

      Link: National Organization for Women: “NOW and Global Feminism” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: Pease click on the link above, and explore links of interest on this webpage.  Only in the Third Wave did feminist thinkers and writers actively expand their attention to global concerns.  The National Organization of Women was key in promoting global examination of feminist concerns.  Spend at least 1 hour examining NOW coverage of global feminist issues.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 4.3.2 Concerns about Female Genital Mutilation  
    • Reading: Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Anita Superson’s “Feminist Moral Psychology”

      Link: Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Anita Superson’s “Feminist Moral Psychology” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: Feminists in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries have contested cultural and religious practices of genital mutilation in various parts of the world.  Read the entry on “Feminist Moral Psychology,” noting its call to take action against state and private behaviors deemed immoral in the U.S. and internationally.  This reading should take you approximately 2 hours to complete.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Reading: Womenshealth.gov “Female Genital Cutting Fact Sheet”

      Link: Womenshealth.gov: “Female Genital Cutting Fact Sheet” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: Please click on the link above, and read the entire text.  This reading focuses on the various aspects of the issue of female genital mutilation.  It should take you approximately 45 minutes to complete.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Web Media: YouTube: Journeyman Pictures: “Abandon the Knife - Kenya”

      Link: YouTube: Journeyman Pictures: “Abandon the Knife - Kenya” (YouTube)
       
      Instructions: Please click on the link above, and view the entire video.  The video examines efforts to end female genital cutting in Kenya.  Viewing this video and pausing to take notes should take you approximately 45 minutes to complete.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 4.3.3 The Arab Spring  
    • Reading: NPR: Sheera Frenkel’s “After the Revolution, Arab Women Seek More Rights”

      Link: NPR: Sheera Frenkel’s “After the Revolution, Arab Women Seek More Rights” (HTML, Flash)
       
      Instructions: Please click on the link above, and read the entire article.  You may also click on the play button to listen to the program.  The West characterized democratic revolutions in the Arab world in the spring and summer of 2011 as the “Arab Spring.”  Concerns about women’s rights, along with individual human rights more generally, played an integral role in the uprisings.  As you read or listen to the NPR story, apply what you have learned about a variety of feminist critiques to the “Arab Spring.”  The reading should take you approximately 30 minutes to complete.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Unit 5: Current Topics in Feminist Politics  

    In this last unit of the course, we explore topics that inform and energize current feminist approaches to politics both in the U.S. and internationally.

    Unit 5 Time Advisory   show close
    Unit 5 Learning Outcomes   show close
  • 5.1 Gender Gap  
  • 5.1.1 Gender Gap in U.S. Politics  
  • 5.1.2 Gender Gap in Science and Technology  
  • 5.2 National Security and Gender  
  • 5.3 Title IX  
  • 5.3.1 The 1972 Statute  
    • Reading: U.S. Department of Justice: Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972

      Link: U.S. Department of Justice: Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (HTML)
       
      Instructions: Please click on the link above, and read the Title IX Statute.  Title IX is a federal law that states, “no person in the United States shall on the basis of sex be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.”  A 1987 amendment expanded the definition of “program or activity” to include all operations of an educational institution, governmental entity, or private employer that receives federal funds.
       
      This reading should take you approximately 1 hour to complete.
       
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  • 5.3.2 Title IX in Practice  
  • 5.4 Feminist Responses to Prostitution and Sex Trafficking  
  • 5.5 Feminist Concerns about Violence against Women and the Legal System  
  • 5.6 Feminists Concerns about Poverty and Women’s Health  
  • Final Exam