Rape Culture, Masculinities, and Femininities

Based on the readings, how would you define “rape culture”? Given the high rates of rape, sexual abuse and sexual assault experienced by women and children do you think that sexual violence is a method by which society puts the less valued and less powerful “in their place?” Is it possible to say that we live in a gender equitable or fair society when so many women are victimized? What would have to change in order for our cultural norms to reflect a society that values male and female bodies equally and that celebrates difference and uniqueness in individual human beings rather than fearing and hating it? Sexual violence on campus is a big issue these days. Some people believe that schools should handle cases of sexual harrassment, stalking assault and rape while others believe these things should be handled by police. Based on your reading, which apporach do you think is best and why? What is your opinion of the Hunter College policy? Is there anything you would add to the policy or omit? There are many different kinds of violence that occur between people who live together and/or are in close relationships. Violence that takes palce systematically in these relationships goes by many names: domestic violence, child abuse and elder abuse are just a few. Based on what you have learned so far in this class, what do you think are some of the broad social pressures that contribute to violence in intimate relationships? How is this violence “gendered” and how does violence express cultural attitudes about the value of individuals and groups within society? Please illustrate your discussion with a recent story from the New York Times References:Jennifer Baumgardner and Amy Richards, “ Feminism and Femininity,” All About the Girl: Culture, Power, and Identity (2004). Kimberly Springer, “Queering Black Female Heterosexuality,” Yes Means Yes! Visions of Female Sexual Power & A World Without Rape (2008). Karen D. Pyke and Denise L. Johnson, “Asian American Women and Racialized Femininities,” Gender & Society (2003). R.W. Connell and James W. Messerschmidt, “Hegemonic Masculinity: Rethinking the Concept” Gender & Society (2005). Michael S. Kimmel “Bros Before Hos: The Guy Code,” Guyland: The Perilous World Where Boys Become Men (2009). Michael S. Kimmel, “Masculinity as Homophobia” Theorizing Masculinities (1994). Judith Williamson, “Woman is an Island: Femininity and Colonization” Studies in Entertainment (1986). Isabel Molina Guzman and Angharad N. Valdivia, “Brain, Brow, and Booty: Latina Iconicity in U.S. Popular Culture,” The Communication Review (2004). Gwendolyn D. Pough, “What It Do, Shorty?: Women, Hip-Hop, and a Feminist Agenda,” Black Women, Gender and Families (2007). bell hooks, “Straightening Our Hair,” Talking Back: Thinking Feminist, Thinking Black (1989). Campus Violence CUNY Sexual Assault Policy Barbara Perry, “Doing Gender and Doing Gender Inappropriately,” In the Name of Hate: Understanding Hate Crime (2001). Joetta L. Carr, “Campus Violence,” American College Health Association (2005). Violence and Intimate Relationships C. J. Pascoe, “’Dude, You’re a Fag’: Adolescent Masculinity and the Fag Discourse,” Sexualities (2005). Estelle B. Freedman, “Gender and Violence,” No Turning Back (2002). “Rape Case Unfolds on Web and Splits City,” The New York Times (Dec. 16, 2012). Jill Filiopovic, “Offensive Feminism: The Conservative Gender Norms that Perpetuate Rape Culture and How Feminists Can Fight Back,” Yes Means Yes! (2008). Rebecca Solnit, “The Longest War,” TomDispatch.com (Jan. 24, 2013).

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