holly greenwood

Week 4:

During the tutorial this week we were discussing a list of traits and trying to determine which gender these traits were more suited to. Personally I feel like I found this exercise a bit more difficult than most because I could see the traits being associated with both genders rather than just only feminine or only masculine.

For example "gossips more" you generally would expect to be associated with females - however I know a lot of males who gossip quite distastefully about their "friends", particularly in a sporting context. Another one would be "worries more about appearance", SO many (straight) men I know have smoother shaved legs and more styled hair than I do! There are many other traits in the list I could relate to being attributed to both men and women which is why I disagree the statement that these traits are commonly seen in society as being feminine.

I believe in the 21st century there has been shift between what is feminine and what is masculine. More and more females are involving themselves in traditionally male jobs such as a trade or business and more men are taking on more feminine roles such as being the house husband who looks after the kids. This is great! There should be no restriction on what a man or a woman can do.

As for those men who don't want to date a woman who earns more than you... wouldn't you rather be happy than emasculated?

Week 2: Women in the Olympics

The week 2 lecture and tutorial brought up a lot of questions regarding what is feminine and what is masculine. Today I will discuss and reflect on these concepts in relation to the Olympic Games.

Olympic hype is high at the moment. This has given female athletes a great boost in being able to get their name out there, and show the world what they are really capable of!

It has also bought up a lot of controversy regarding women in sport. Today I will discuss a few issues that have interested me.

Feel free to comment if you agree or disagree with any thing I say.

1. Sexism in Sport:

I recently read a fantastic article by Lizzie Armitstead, silver medallist in the women’s road race (cycling), which took place last Sunday. She spoke about how the small salary and lack of media coverage compared to men’s cycling can get can get overwhelming and frustrating. Perfect timing for her to eloquently voice her opinion I believe!

Some people have suggested that women’s cycling (and other more male dominated sports such as running) is not as “exciting” or “fast” as male sports. This lowers media coverage and therefore the amount of businesses willing to invest in women’s sport.

So what's the solution? There's no simple one, sadly. Hopefully in time, with epic finishes like there was on Sunday (between Lizzie Armistead and eventual winner Marianne Vos) at the Olympics where the whole world is watching, interest does grow, allowing investment to follow and that growth is honoured with more great racing which will perpetuate the cycle.

Article: (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/olympics/news/9437921/London-Olympics-2012-cyclist-Lizzie-Armitstead-says-women-athletes-face-overwhelming-sexism.html)

2. Media being mean to Women

If you have been watching the news at all you may have seen snippets of a post race interview involving Australian swimmer Emily Seebohm. I feel particularly sorry for her. The story goes: she got a silver medal in her event and was extremely disappointed by her performance (in tears), because obviously she wanted gold. The media then bombarded her with questions in this vulnerable state where she eventually had to walk away.
(e.g http://www.news.com.au/sport/london-olympics/emily-seebohm-edged-out-in-100m-backstroke-final-by-missy-franklin/story-fndpu6dv-1226439045872)

The media always focus on the feminine characteristics that define women such as tears and emotions!!!

If you take the same scenario but instead it was a male who got silver, the article would be about how he narrowly missed out yet still showed superb strength blah blah blah. The poor guy is probably crying just as hard in his hotel room, but he didn’t do it in front of the cameras because he has been conditioned that way. Could explain why men are not good at expressing and sharing emotions, and have high rates of depression (big assumption by me).

3. “Women have to prove they’re not men”

I would like to conclude by sharing a photo of Australia’s only 63 kg female weight lifting competitor Seen Lee:


Note the obvious underarm hair.

Could this perhaps be her way of expressing her similarities to manly strength by portraying herself with socially constructed physical male features?

An expression of her radical feminists beliefs because she doesn’t want to conform to artificial gender norms? If so, respect!!!

Alternative solution is she may be using a very expensive doped up protein powder…


Week 1: Feminism and Hysteria

Well after the week 1 lecture I was very interested in finding out exactly what some of these feminist theories were, and the sort of women who identify with them. Prior to this lecture I had only ever known of the word “feminism”, and not the meaning of any of it so my descriptions could be a bit off.
In a nutshell I will describe the four main theories from my research on google. Feel free to correct me by commenting below if you oppose anything I say.

Radical Feminism:
Radical feminists believe that women’s oppression is the fundamental oppression i.e. male dominated society has caused women to be viewed as less than a man. Radical feminists seek to counteract this belief which has been embedded in society, and put the power back in women’s hands.

Marxist/Socialist Feminism:
Believe that capitalism and class are the cause of women’s oppression. Still a bit confused by this theory.

Eco Feminism:
A relatively new term which sees the oppression of women and domination of nature interconnected. One website gave this statement to describe eco feminism which I thought was a good summary – “A feminist approach to environmental ethics”. Ecofeminists do not seek equality with men as such, but aim for a liberation of women as women.

Liberal Feminists:
Believe that society holds beliefs that women are less intelligent and physically capable than. Liberal feminists believe in freedom for women and that women should be treated as equal to men. As Julie said in the lecture liberal feminists take a more DIY approach. Women today, being involved in traditional male jobs such as the military and police force is an example of the empowerment of the liberal feminist movements.

Yesterday I was meant to see the Katy Perry with Mum, instead I made her come and see Hysteria with me (http://www.sonyclassics.com/hysteria/). She had her sights set on seeing Katy Perry (sorry mum) but ended up really enjoying Hysteria and having a few laughs at the same time. For me, I was more interested in the feminist themes underpinning the film… as well as how the vibrator came to be invented!

One of the main characters, Charlotte Dalrymple, reminded me a lot of a Liberal Feminist. She could see that the city she lived in was cluttered with men who saw women as nothing more than someone to take care of the domestic duties. She on the other hand, opened a shelter for families providing education for women and children, straying from her traditional role as a housewife, much to the anger of her father. She even kept up with the current medical literature of that time (germ theory), this was something that really only a male doctor would do. Anyway I found her to be a really inspiring character in the film. Without women like this in history, willing to make a change and speak out against men, I doubt we would be where we are today.

I don’t think I am a feminist. Sure I agree with a few things each of the theories listed above say however I would not align myself with one particular theory. If I had to choose one I would say liberal feminism appeals to me the most.

But I have a strange feeling by the end of this unit I could be a raging radical feminist…