During weeks #10 and #11 of the semester, we will be covering material on the topic of gender inequality. Our materials includes chapter 12 of our textbook as well as two documentaries, I was a Teenage Feminist and Still Killing Us Softly, 4.
The movie I was a Teenage Feminist explore one woman’s journey to understand what feminism means in her own life and what some of the current issues are within the movement.
In the first half of chapter 12, the authors set out to define the extent and social understanding of gender inequality. The open with some statistics, “worldwide, women perform an estimated 60 percent of the work, yet they earn only 10 percent of the income and own only 10 percent of the land. Two thirds of the world’s illiterate are women” (319). The authors make a distinction between “sex” and “gender” and describe how various social theories have attempted to explain the differences between men and women and their differential positions and respect through arguments that are based on “nurture versus nature” distinctions (320). As sociologists, the authors establish an understanding of gender difference as based upon social structure.
In the second half of the chapter, the authors discuss how gender expectations are framed through various social institutions: language, behavior, media, religion, law, politics, and the economic system. The chapter then dives into the employment disparity between women and men, examining also racial and class divisions as well.
In the documentary, Still Killing Us Softly, 4, Jean Killborne overviews how women are represented in television and magazine ads and what this tells us about the social messages of women and men in our society.
Four our blog posting #9, due on March 31st, (2 hours before class), please discuss in detail a few of the themes from the reading and movies. Find some informational and academic links that exemplify (or counter), some of the points made in the chapter. Be prepared to review your links and present them to the class. Please also include a discussion question with your blog posting and your presentation. We will have about 10 students present their links and then we will discuss the reading together. b