Discuss The Ways In Which Gender And Race Intersec - Discuss The Ways In Which Gender And Race Intersect With Each Other Make Reference To The

Discuss The Ways In Which Gender And Race Intersec -...

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Discuss The Ways In Which Gender And Race Intersect With Each Other. Make Reference To TheFilm "Falling Down."2595 words - 10 pages Expert ReviewedThis essay argues that the concepts of femininity and masculinity are culturally and raciallyspecific and can not be read as universal. The notion that there are commonly held ideas aboutwhat constitutes being a 'woman' across cultures and races will be rebuffed in this essay usingthe arguments put forth by Ien Ang. Ang's article, 'I'm a feminist but ... 'Other' women andpostnational feminism' puts forth the arguments that mainstream feminism is embodied inwhite/western culture and that there are incommensurable differences between womenresulting from their position as racialized subjects. These arguments will be analyzed anddiscussed within this essay to further strengthen the argument that femininity is culturallyspecific. Ang's example of American women's reactions to the artist Madonna's sexualizedperformativity will be analyzed and discussed as an example of the differences between theperformance of sexuality between white and black American women. Rita Felski in 'The Doxa ofDifference' counter argues to Ang that the different reactions to Madonna's sexual performativityare the result of overlapping frameworks and discursive regimes. Felski's argument will beanalyzed and I will then draw my own conclusions surrounding the arguments put forth by Angand Felski. The construction of white masculinity as a product of cultural and racial specificity willthen be looked at in regards to Joel Schumacher's 1992 film Falling Down. The argument that thefilm disassembles white masculinity and that white masculinity is not a unitary perspective willbe discussed in relations to the arguments put forth by John Gabriel, Jude Davis and Carol Smith.Ang argues in her article, 'I'm a feminist but . . . 'Other' women and postnational feminism' that acore, unconscious aspect of white/western feminism is its' embedded ness in white/westernculture. Ang uses the example of the feminist maxim, 'When a woman says no, she means no!' toarticulate the extent to which feminism is embodied in white/western culture. This maxim bringsto mind the image of the ideal feminist woman as one who is strong, confrontational andassertive. However it is only through Ang's analysis of this maxim that I realized these qualitiesare not culturally neutral but rather are used in white, Western discourse. For these qualitiespraise individuality, directness and confidence, all of which emphasis Western cultural values.However, this does not mean that all western women have these qualities or that these qualitiesare not valued in other cultures, rather that these qualities are admired in western culture. It cantherefore be argued that the maxim represents a very particular feminist subject position, that ofthe white western woman for, '[these] values may not be available or appeal to 'other' women.'This example illustrates that feminism must develop as 'a self-conscious politics of partiality.'
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  • Fall '12
  • White people, White American, ang, D-FENS

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