Monday, 26 May 2014

Feminists I want to read.

Andrea Smith - writer on Native american issues. Founded INCITE collective.

Eleanor "Happy" Leacock- Anthropologist. "She is known for her ethnographic work in Labrador with the Montagnais-Naskapi people, influenced by William Duncan Strong. During this 1950 study, she found the Montagnais-Naskapi's life was changed due to the fur trade".essay, Women's Status in Egalitarian Society: Implications for Social Evolution, in Current Anthropology, vol. 33, no. 1, supp. Inquiry and Debate in the Human Sciences: Contributions from Current Anthropology, 1960–1990 .

Feminist anthropology-

Fragments of an Anarchist Anthropology

Mosuo women

Primitive communism

Marx, Engels, Luxemburg and the Return to Primitive Communism

Ruth Benedict (1887-1948): Benedict, a student of Franz Boas, was an early and influential female anthropologist, earning her doctorate from Columbia University in 1923 (Buckner 1997: 34) ?. Her fieldwork with Native Americans and other groups led her to develop the "configurational approach" to culture, seeing cultural systems as working to favor certain personality types among different societies (Buckner 1997: 34).

Eleanor Leacock (1922-1987): She uses a Marxist approach in her ethnographies, since she argues that capitalism is the reason for female subordination. She also challenged Julian Steward’s work on hunting and trapping. Leacock talked to English speaking informants to find out their pattern of hunting, subsequently mapped out the hunting pattern herself to avoid informant’s overgeneralization (Gacs, Khan, McIntyre, & Weinberg 1989).

Sherry Ortner (1941- ): She isone of the early proponents of feminist anthropology, constructing an explanatory model for gender asymmetry based on the premise that the subordination of women is a universal, that is, cross-cultural phenomenon. In an article published in 1974, “Is Female to Male as Nature is to Culture?,” she takes a structuralist approach to the question of gender inequality. She argued that women have always been symbolically associated with nature. Since nature is subordinate to men, women are subordinate to men. She suggests that women’s role as childbearer makes them natural creators, while men are cultural creators (Ortner 1974: 77-78)). Ortner points out that men without high rank are excluded from things in the same way women are excluded from them.

Michelle Rosaldo (1944-1981): Together with Ortner, she offered an integrated set of explanations, each at a different level, for the universal subordination of women. These focused on social structure, culture, and socialization. She argued that in every society women bear and raise children and that women's socially and culturally defined role as mother provided the basis for subordination. Rosaldo argued that because women frequently participate in behaviors that limit them, one must perform an analysis of the larger system in order to understand gender inequality.

  • Geller, Pamela and Miranda Stockett. 2006. Feminist Anthropology: Past, Present, and Future. University of Pennsylvania Press. This book examines what it means to practice feminist anthropology today, at a time when the field is perceived as fragmented and contentious. A holistic perspective allows for effective and creative dialogue on such issues as performativity, pedagogy, heteronormativity, difference, and identity.
  • McClaurin, Irma. 2001. Black Feminist Anthropology: Theory, Politics, Praxis, and Poetics. Rutgers University Press. Unfortunately, the works of black and non-Western feminist anthropologists are rarely cited in major works, which means that they have yet to be respected as significant shapers of the direction and transformation of feminist anthropology. In this collection, Irma McClaurin has collected essays that explore the contributions of black feminist anthropologists.
  • Mead, Margaret. 1935. Sex and Temperament in Three Primitive Societies. New York: William Morrow. In this text Mead explores the relationship between culture and human nature. Culture is considered to be a primary factor in determining masculine and feminine social characteristics and behavior. One of the purposes of this text was to inform Americans about the nature of human cultural diversity (McGee and Warms 1996:202-3).

  • Ortner, Sherry. 1974. Is Female to Male as Nature is to Culture? Anthropological Theory, pp. 402-413. Ortner offers an explanation to why women have been universally considered to be second-rate to men throughout history. She argues that women’s body and psychology are perceived as symbolically identifiable with nature, while men are more associated with culture, thus resulting in the women being considered inferior to men.
  • Ortner, Sherry. 1996. Making Gender: The Politics and Erotics of Culture. Boston: Beacon Press Books. In this book, Ortner draws on her more than two decades of work in feminist anthropology to offer a major reconsideration of culture and gender. 

The Marxist model explains that the subordination of women in capitalist societies, both in terms of their reproductive role, "the reproduction of labor," as well as their value as unpaid or underpaid labor, arises from historical trends predating capitalism itself (Rubin 1975: 160-164)

 Anthropologists such as Rosaldo, Edholm, and Ortner used dichotomies such as public/domestic, production/reproduction, and nature/culture (respectively) to explain universal female subordination. Ortner's use of the dichotomy to explain the universal subordination of women is built upon Levi-Strauss's conclusion that there is a universal binary opposition between nature and culture. He also argued that cross-culturally women were represented as closer to nature because of their role in reproduction (Pine 1996:254).

Feminist Anthropology: A Reader (Wiley Blackwell Anthologies in Social and Cultural Anthropology) [Paperback]

Ellen Lewin.

Gayge Operaista -  autonomist Queer feminist group.

Mariarosa Dalla Costa- Autonomist Feminist.

Selma James- sex worker rights activist, marxist feminist, 

Christine Delphy - Material Feminism. Attacks gender binary. Anti-capitalist/marxist.

Lies - a journal of materialist feminism

Maya Andrea Gonzalez-Communization and the abolition of gender.

Leopoldina Fortunati

Nina Power

Women’s popular movement and the Shining Path: The contradictions of patriarchal women's emancipation

Monique Wittig

What is gender? - Mary Holmes

Polite Ire looks at the links between gender and the state, arguing that masculinity is constructed in the image of the state.

Polite Ire

Borderlands/La Frontera: the new mestiza by Gloria Anzaldua

Feminism, animals and science: the naming of the shrew by Lynda Birke

Staying alive: women, ecology and development by Vandana Shiva

Color of violence: the INCITE! anthology by INCITE! women of color against violence

Conquest: sexual violence and American Indian genocide - Andrea Smith

Come one, come all! Feminist and social justice blogging as performance and bloodshed - Flavia Dzodan

Silent no longer: confronting sexual violence in the left - Rebecca Winter

What is rape apologism?

Key people and groups

  • Mujeres Libres - Anarcho-syndicalist women's organisation within the Spanish CNT union in the 1930s, active in the Spanish Revolution.
  • GDDD - I gruppi di difesa della donna, largest of the women's groups in the Italian resistance to fascism, numbering 70,000 at their height, who organised strikes and took part in armed struggle.
  • Mariarosa Dalla Costa - Marxist feminist famous for arguing that women's unwaged labour is an essential part of capitalist reproduction, rather than merely an oppression imposed on women by men.
  • Silvia Federici - Italian Marxist feminist writer drawing the links between capitalism's need for women's unpaid labour and the subjugation of women under patriarchy.
  • Selma James - American feminist and libertarian socialist, widow of CLR James and founder of the International Wages for Housework Campaign.
  • Emma Goldman - Anarchist, feminist and birth control advocate, described as "one of the most dangerous women in America"

Other recommended texts

Other recommended texts

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