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Flashcards in Feminist theorists Deck (17):

Name the most important feminist theorists.

bell hooks
Van Zoonen
Judith Butler


bell hooks theory, in summary

Feminism is a political struggle to end patriarchal domination. Other factors affect this domination, including race and class.


What is the patriarchy and why is it bad?

The patriarchy is a white male dominated society. It features sexism, sexist exploitation and oppression, so should be stopped.


How does the patriarchy affect the media?

Media representations often show a dominant male outlook from white, heterosexual men.


What else (apart from sex) affects how badly individuals are discriminated against, according to bell hooks?

- Race and class as well as sex determine the extent to which people are discriminated against
- Differences within the female gender (race) of discrimination.


Van Zoonen theory, in summary

Men and women are represented differently in the media.
Women are objectified as a result of Western culture.


How is gender different to sex, according to Van Zoonen?

Gender is performative, and is shaped by cultural and historical factors.


How are media upholding stereotypes in gender representation according to Van Zoonen?

Men are presented as a spectacle whereas women are presented as an object.
Different visual and narrative codes are used to portray the genders differently, e.g. a woman looking timidly over her shoulder vs. a man's head and shoulders directly facing the camera and filling the composition.


What is the concept of "post-feminism"?

Postfeminism can be considered a modern and critical way of understanding the changed relations between feminism, popular culture and femininity.
Postfeminism may also present a critique of second-wave feminism or third-wave feminism. (Too "white" and "straight").

Postfeminism is a highly debated topic since it implies that feminism is "dead" and "because the equality it assumes is largely a myth".


What is "Second wave feminism"?

After WWII, many women refused to return to their jobs as housewives. The second wave feminists fought seriously for many newer issues, e.g. employability, clothing, family and political involvement.


Summarise the theory of Judith Butler.

"Gender" is a social construction. "Masculine" and "feminine" are created through repetition.


What is gender performativity?

Performativity is not a singular act but a repetition and a ritual that becomes naturalised within the body.


What is her belief about genders outside of "male" and "female"?

Any feminism that focuses only on the concepts of "masculine" and "feminine" excludes other genders and therefore creates "gender trouble".


Briefly describe the term "male gaze", used most famously by Laura Mulvey.

A media text that enforces the "male gaze" puts the viewer in the place of a heterosexual male. e.g. a scene focusing on the curves of a woman's body.


How is the male gaze a negative thing?

Mulvey claims it "denies women identity", and forces them to be viewed - and view themselves as - objects.

A female character often only exists in relation to the male - how she makes HIM feel/act. She herself is not important.


Define the term "hegemony".

Those who are in power wish to stay in power.


Define the term "Scopophilia"

Literally means a "love of watching".
(Sexual) pleasure watching others engaged in activity, sometimes sexual.