Political Ideologies III

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					Political Ideologies III


Feminism, Environmentalism, and
        Postmodernism
           Chapter 7



  Political Science 100 Introduction to Politics
         Political Ideologies III

Feminism:
• opposes the political, economic, and
  cultural relegation of women to positions of
  inferiority.
• Critiques historical, contemporary,
  national, and cross-cultural practices that
  deny women power over their own lives
  and prevent women from living as free,
  self-governing individuals.
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          Political Ideologies III

Feminism:
• Affirms that women should have equality
  with men and should possess as much
  autonomy as that enjoyed by men.
• Rejects patriarchy whenever manifest in
  intellectual, cultural, religious or political
  traditions and practices.
• Includes liberal, radical, and diversity
  feminist perspectives.
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        Political Ideologies III

Patriarchy:
• A term used by many feminist to describe
  the rule of men as a social group over
  women as a social group.
• A patriarchal system is based on a sexual
  hierarchy, whereby men exist in positions
  of superiority and women are accorded
  positions of subordination and
  dependency.
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        Political Ideologies III

Evidence of Patriarchy:    (p. 137)
• Women have been denied equality of
  resources
• Women have be denied equality of
  political power
• Women have be denied equality of
  educational opportunities
• Women have been denied equality of
  basic health care
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        Political Ideologies III

Evidence of Patriarchy:
• Women have been denied equality of
  respect
• Women have be denied equal protection
  from violence
• Women have be denied equal protection
  by the state

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        Political Ideologies III

• Judeo-Christian tradition invokes
  female subordination
• Western philosophy tends to support
  patriarchy
  – Aristotle taught that men and women
    were fundamentally different and that
    woman’s highest function was having
    children whereas man’s highest function
    was intellectual creativity.
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         Political Ideologies III

• French philosopher Jean-Jacques
  Rousseau asserted:
  – Women should be subordinated to male
    authority within the family.
  – A woman’s duty was to please her husband.
  – Domination of women by men was natural
    and desirable.



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        Political Ideologies III

After World War II, books and magazines
  told women to be happy wives and
  mothers and avoid competing with men.
• Ambitious, career-minded women were
  harmful to men.
• Women who sought educational and
  economic advancement were castigated
  as selfish, man hating, and family
  destroying.
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         Political Ideologies III

• Esquire magazine, in 1947, label married
  working women a threat to society.
Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)
• A widely accepted cultural practice in
  Africa that involves surgically changing a
  female’s body in order to elicit male
  approval.
• U.S feminists cautioned not to judge as
  altering of female body to stimulate male
  interest and desire is wide-spread.
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          Political Ideologies III
   Liberal, Radical, Socialist and Diversity
             Feminist perspectives
Liberal Feminism
• Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797)
  – Wrote Vindication of the Rights of Woman
  – Wanted to be included in the concept of
    “human nature”
  – Contended oppression created vice
  – Patriarchy forces women to develop traits
    designed to appeal to male conceptions of
    proper femininty.
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        Political Ideologies III
– Such traits include superficiality, feigned
  weakness, supposed helplessness, and
  jealousy of other women.
– Men develop a sense of entitlement
– Ending patriarchy would encourage men
  and women to live more virtuously
– She argued that love can be detrimental to
  women
  •   Can impede women’ ability to demand respect
      from men and equality with men
  •   Women loved their oppressors
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       Political Ideologies III
Environmentalism:
• Emphasizes preservation of ecosystem
  health and well-being
• Calls on women and men to assume
  obligations to nature
• Advocates environmental stewardship
• Proposes that any use of nature be done
  in a manner supportive of sustainable
  development
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       Political Ideologies III
• Claims that owning natural resources does
  not imply complete discretion over use of
  those resources
• Rejects the belief that humans are the
  center of the universe and masters of
  nature
• Suggests that economic value is not the
  only value to consider when calculating
  the worth of natural resources
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       Political Ideologies III
Postmodernism
a perspective that contends that any
 ideology putting forward absolute
 statements as timeless truths should be
 viewed with profound skepticism.
Postmodern theorist Jean-Francois Lyotard
 (born 1924) questions metanarratives


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        Political Ideologies III
• A metanarrative is any system of thought
  that identifies its own explanation of reality
  as an undeniable truth having validation
  independently of the premises and
  structures that make up the system of
  thought itself. (p.150-1)
• Often associated with relativism,
  postmodernism reject metanarratives as a
  source of intrinsic truth.
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       Political Ideologies III
• Postmodern perspectives highlight the
  importance of avoiding the temptation to
  see one’s own frame of reference as
  somehow superior to all others because in
  do so, one would be turning one’s frame of
  reference into a metanarrative.



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