Adrienne Rich – “Claiming an Education”
Education entails being responsible for one.
She emphasizes dear thinking, active discussion, and the intellectual and imaginative capacity to be
persuaded that new ideas might be true.
Johnson – Patriarchy, the System (#9 in Women’s Lives Chapter 2)
Patriarchy as a king of society/system vs. people who participate in it
Men have a role to play in feminism
By blaming the system, we are not taking responsibility for others or ourselves.
“The something larger we all participate in is patriarchy, which is more than a collection of
individuals. It is a system, which means it can’t be reduced to the people who participate in
Feminism helps liberate men from controlled norms of behavior and social roles – the ideal of
masculinity can change
“Feminism is the set of social and analytical processes that makes it possible to name and disrupt
gender oppression and help people choose to resist patriarchal cultures.”
Participation in social systems shapes our behavior through paths of least resistance, a concept that
refers to the conscious and unconscious choices we make from one moment to the next.
Lorber – The Social Construction of Gender (#8 in Women’s Lives Chapter 2)
Everyone “does gender” without thinking about it. Gender is a human production
Gender construction starts with assignment to a sex category on the basis of what the genitalia look
like at birth.
Sex categories become a gender status through naming, dress, and the use of other
gender markers. Parenting is gender, with different expectation for mothers and for fathers.
Gender is a social institution that humans organize their lives. It is the process of creating
distinguishable social statuses for the assignment of rights and responsibilities.
In social interaction, individual learn what is expected, see what is expected, and act and
react in expected ways
As part of a stratification system, gender ranks men above women of the same race and class.
As a structure, gender divides work int the home and in economic production, legitimates those in
authority, and organizes sexuality and emotional life.
For humans, the social is the natural.
Allison – A Question of Class (#13 in Women’s Lives Chapter 3)
“They” from North Carolina, dealt with incest, lesbianism and physical abuse as well as poverty, to
overcome must “throw off conditions of being despised, the fear of becoming that “they” that is
talked about so dismissively, refuse lying myths, to see all of us as human- flawed and extraordinary.
I learned as a child that what could not be changed had to go unspoken, and worse, that those who
cannot change their own lives have every reason to be ashamed of that fact and to hide it.
Some people begin to believe that the security of their families and community depends on the