Gender_ Sexuality_ Sexism_ and Heterosexism Gender Inequality by wuyunqing


									    Gender, Sexuality,
Sexism, and Heterosexism
            Gender Inequality
●   Gender stratification refers to the ranking of
    the sexes in such a way that women have
    unequal power, opportunities, and resources.
●   It is one thing to acknowledge differences,
    and different roles, it is another thing to rank
    those “differences” in relation to each other.
    What is feminine is inferior, and what is
    masculine is superior.
●   Gender inequality exists in most parts of the
    world today.
●   Gender inequality is often justified by people
    and institutions, based on what they say are
    biological differences btw men and women.
       Theoretical Approaches

●   Lorber and Allen both talk about this, and
    Allen criticizes uses only this approach to
    understand gender inequality.
●   Gender Roles Approach – This approach
    emphasizes the socialization process
    through which we all learn to perform our
    masculinity and/or feminity.
●   Gender Structure Approach – this approach
    looks at how gendered inequality is
    structured into everyday lives. Gender is
    something that goes beyond individual
        Social Construction of
         Gender Differences
●   Society transforms biological females and
    males into social actors that perform their
●   Masculinity and Femininity are not going to
    be shaped the same way in every
    circumstance/culture. There is variation in
    how boys and girls are treated and trained.
●   This varies between cultures, with a culture
    over time, over the course of individuals
    lives, and btw and among different groups of
    women and men depending on race, class,
    gender, ethnicity, nationality, and ability.
    Gender as a Process - Lorber
●   Gender as a process -
●   creates and maintains social differences that
    define “woman” and “man”.
●   In almost every social interaction we engage
    in, we are performing the gendered “acting”
    that we have learned.
●   We produce, and reproduce gender as a
●   Gendered behavior is enacted through the
    way we express our sexuality, through the
    way we parent, through the way we express
    ourselves at work...
             Learning Gender

●   At home – family strongly influences how we
    learn and understand gender
●   At play – toys are important socializing
●   Formal Education – curriculum, textbooks,
    teacher/student intersections, sports, female
    role models, counseling services...
●   Interactions with peers
●   The media
●   The church
    Reinforcing Male Dominance –
       Micro level interactions

●   Verbally – Through language we learn and
    reinforce a partriarchal culture. Men are
    referred to as studs, dudes, jocks vs bimbos,
    girls, and chicks. What is the differences
    between the meanings of these words?
●   Interpersonal behavior - nonverbal – guys
    interrupt girls more frequently, guys speak
    longer and more in public...
    Reinforcing Male Dominance –
       Meso Level Institutions
●   Media - Women are less represented in film; the
    ways that women are portrayed is often
    degrading; there is little complexity in the roles
    that women play. Men's roles are also limited.
    This varies substantially by race, class,
    sexuality, nationality, etc.
●   Religion – Clergy are generally male, the holy
    books prescribe different roles for men and
    women, women are subordinate to men.
●   The Law – Women were not allowed to vote,
    sexual discrimination was only recently
    acknowledged, intra marital rape was only
    recently criminalized...
    Reinforcing Male Dominance –
       Meso Level Institutions
●   Politics – Women are increasingly involved in
    politics, but the gap is still large. In the state
    capital, women are 60% of the labor force,
    however, these jobs are often undervalued and
    their role as workers is invisibilized.
●   Medicine – Insurance routinely refers to
    pregnancy as a “disability” (rather than an
    ability), traditional women healers have been
    historically criminalized – midwifery and home
    birth are still illegal in many states. The
    medicalization of child birth has become
    something that gives a male dominated
    profession power over something that has
    historically been a woman's work.
     Patriarchy, The System - Culture

●   Culture is used to provide and perpetuate symbols
    and ideas about what is “real”.
●   Patriarchy is a set of symbols and ideas that make up
    a culture – these permeate our everyday lives.
●   Patriarchal culture uses a complex web of ideas to
    explain what is real. These cultural ideas define what
    is good and desirable. It establishes the rules we are
    all supposed to live by.
●   These rules range from the formal – legal rules
    adopted by the government, to the informal – maybe
    even illegal rules that everyone understands as
      Patriarchy, The System - Culture
●   Gaining and exercising control is the highly valued in
    patriarchy. Power in patriarchal culture means having
    “power over” other people, resources, and events...
●   Power over (masculine) is thought of as good in
    patriarchy and to lack such power (feminine), is
    considered weak.
●   Cultural ideas – about the nature of men and women.
    Where men and masculinity are what makes up
    humanity and women and femininity are “other”.
●   Cultural Expectations – of how social life is supposed
    to be and about how people are supposed to feel.
●   Cultural Standards – of feminine beauty, submission,
    and vulnerability and masculine toughness,
    domination, and protectiveness.
●   Cultural Importance – of men's careers and women's
     Patriarchy, The System - Culture
●   Patriarchal culture perpetuates the idea that:
●   there are two and only two distinct genders.
●   heterosexuality is normal and natural and that
    homosexuality is not.
●   Men cannot feel compelled to love and nurture
●   Women, whether they identify as straight, bisexual, or
    lesbian all want a real man who knows how to take
●   Females cannot be trusted, especially when they are
    menstruating or when they are accusing men of
    sexual misconduct or abuse.
●   Patriarchal culture normalizes misogyny.
Patriarchy, The System - Culture

●   The symbols and ideas of patriarchal culture
    are important to understand because they
    powerful effects on the structure of social life.
●   Social life is structured by a system that
    privileges some over others...
●   Social life is structured so that resources are
    distributed unevenly.
●   The structure of patriarchy is found in the
    unequal distribution of power that makes
    oppression possible, in patterns of male
    dominance in every facet of life, from
    conversation to global politics.
    Gender – Stratification System
●   Resources are distributed based on gender
    (and race, class, sexuality, nationality...)
●   Men are ranked above women.
●   In a Gender stratified society, men's work is
    more valued than women's work.
●   The more economic resources that are
    available to a group, the more they are
    monopolized by men.
●   Being a man doesn't always work in favor of
    men though...depending on one's race and
    class, how they are perceived by others and
    how many resources are available to them
    will change.
           Gender - Structure

●   Gender as a structure divided men's work
    and women's work into public and private.
●   Gender divides work in terms of economic
    production – who gets paid to do what?
●   Gender as a structure legitimates those in
    authority, and it legitimates the unequal
    distribution of resources.
●   As a structure, gender organizes
    sexuality...and how people are supposed to
    feel about their's and others' sexuality.
           Gender and Power
●   Gendered Institutions means institutions
    (family, church, medicine, higher education)
    are patterned by gender. These institutions
    maintain gender inequality.
●   Men are not all dominant all of the time.
    Many men have power over other men.
●   What we tend to accept as legitimate
    differences between men and women, are
    used to normalize and justify men's
    domination of women.
●   Patriarchy is the system of domination where
    men dominate women.
        Patriarchy, The System
●   We all participate in something larger than
    ourselves, that we didn't create, but that we help
    maintain through how we choose to participate
    in the system.
●   Patriarchy is more than individual men. It is a
    system, and it cannot be reduced to the
    individuals who participate in it.
●   We tend to see sexism as a problem in the way
    individuals were trained to see themselves and
    to treat each other. That might partly explain
    sexism, however it does not completely explain
    how gender oppression occurs systematically.
           Patriarchy, The System
●   The Status Quo – the normal functioning of the
    system...the thing that everybody is doing, without
    really questioning.
●   Maintaining the status quo is the easiest thing to do in
    a system of oppression. Resisting the system is more
●   Talking about gender socialization helps us
    understand part of how the status quo is maintained,
    but it talking about gender socialization does not offer
    us a solution to change patriarchy – the system.
●   To understand patriarchy, we have to look at the
    cultural ideas taught to and performed by men and
    women, the web of relationships that structures life,
    and the unequal distribution of rewards and resources
    that underlies oppression.
     Structured Gender Inequality-
●   Since 1980, women have taken over 80% of the
    new jobs.
●   Women and men are still clustered into different
    kinds of work. Women are more likely to fo
    clerical work, to be an elementary or highschool
    teacher, or to be a nurse. They are less likely to
    become lawyers, doctors, and
    which have historically been held by men.
    Women do the “background” unrecognized
●   White women are much more likely to move into
    jobs historically held by white men. They have
    been the only group of people to noticeably
    benefit from affirmative action.
     Structured Gender Inequality-
●   Women earn 77 cents for every dollar men earn;
    for women of color the gap is greater.
●   If women earned as much as men, their annual
    salary would increase by $4,000 on average
    and the rate of poverty would be cut in half.
●   Women earn less than men b/c they: are
    concentrated in lower paid jobs, enter the
    workforce at lower paying levels than men, have
    less education and experience than men, tend
    to work less overtime than men.
●   Despite these factors, women with the same
    credentials as men still earn less. Sex
    discrimination in the job market blocks women
    from higher paid positions.
     Structured Gender Inequality-
           Race and Gender
●   Women of color make up over 10% of the US
●   Women of color are concentrated in the more
    domestic, more “private” and feminine work.
    Mexican American women - secretarial, cashier,
    and janitorial jobs; Central American women –
    domestic cleaners, janitors, and textile machine
    workers; Filipinas – nurses, nurse aides,
    cashiers; Black women – nurses, nurses aides,
●   More white women (38%) occupy managerial
    and professional specialty jobs than Black
    women (30%) and Latinas (21%).
     Structured Gender Inequality-
           Race and Gender
●   The labor market is divided into 2 segments –
    The primary market has jobs that are stable,
    have promotion ladders, have high wages, have
    opportunities for advancement. The secondary
    market has jobs that are unstable, have low
    wages, fewer opportunities for
    advancement,and poor working conditions.
●   Women's work is concentrated in the secondary
    labor market
●   The “glass ceiling” refers to the invisible forces
    that block women's advancement in the white
    collar workforce.
    Ideological Racism and Cultural
●   In his article, Espiritu argues that racist, sexist, and
    homophobic imagery has been used to reinforce
    US/white cultural dominance.
●   Which social institution does he focus on in his
●   What does he mean when he writes about “Yellow
●   What are some of the stereotypes our culture has
    of Asian men? How is this related to ideals of
    white male sexuality?
●   What are some of the stereotypes our culture has
    of Asian women? How is this related to ideals of
    white male sexuality?

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