Feminism & Gender

During today’s CTS session we talked about socio-culturally constructed differences between male and female. We also tried to figure out what is feminism and we came up with the following definition : ‘the belief of social, economic and political equality of all genders’. Although the dictionary definition is as follows :

  • the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes;
  • organized activity on behalf of women’s rights and interests;

We went through the 1960s in the USA and UK – Hippies and Flower Power, fighting against war in Vietnam and generally world peace.

Another definition we tried to estimate was a stereotype. What is a stereotype. As for me, it is linking and comparing the exact abilities, features and/or ways of behaviour that are repetitive in the sociality to some person/thing with someone who is not following ‘the rules’ socially acceptable by majority of people. The dictionary says:

  • to repeat without variation : make hackneyed;
  •  to develop a mental stereotype about;

As stereotypes follow, there was set up a movement of Suffragists who mainly focused on  obtaining the votes for women, what they did in 1928. We were shown few postcards with suffrage and anti-suffrage content. One of those was a cartoon by John Hassall c.1910

Znalezione obrazy dla zapytania cartoon by John Hassall c.1910 anti suffrage

At the time, the Illustration and visuals were used to communicate at the time in more of a political way.

See Red Women’s Workshop, poster 1976 “To look at and combat the negative images of women in advertising and the media”.

We also went through few artists/writers etc who base their work on feminism and gender equality:

Ann Oakley’s Housewife 1974, Juliet Mitchell, 1966, essay, Woman

Jacky Fleming cartoon 1978

Ain’t a woman? black women and feminism (1981) bell hooks

Laura Mulvey – Feminists Film Theory and ‘The Male Gaze’





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