Feminist Thoughts

Scribbles and observations towards a bigger world for sisters and daughters

Beyond Rights and Legal Obstacles

However, my focus has mostly been is to ponder some of the softer and more intangible cans of worms in regards to the predicament of women in our contemporary western society. Maybe mainly because I 

am a useless organizer and politician, but also due to how these psychological issues relate to my research in general.  Illegal as well as legal abuse and discrimination are sadly still abundant and systematic here in the 21 century.The current political climate reminds us that the basic battles are far from over. Further, the contexts of women's issues are constantly being manipulated and that lots of both practical and theoretical work is imminently needed both here and around the world to improve rights.

I have a general interest in philosophically exploring how social practices are interwoven with our conceptions of both self and other and how social practices and individual meetings constitute specific social affordances, i.e. social action invitations and expectations. The social affordance space is inherently relational, a social interaction is not simply a string of independent actions, rather actions get their social meaning in a historically, culturally and psychologically loaded context and actions cannot be understood as properly social independently of the concrete meeting - the relational affordance space and power struc

tures they are acted into. 

In regards to feminism I have long been curious to explore some areas where women engage in some degree of self-censoring and self-suppressing acts, and how these relate to both historical and current constraints and paradoxes of the present gendered and still largely male-dominated psychological and educational environment. Here a few somewhat random thoughts from an admittedly rather myopic heterosexual perspective - hopefully more complex gender perspectives will arise as I work through the ideas:

  • Flirting feminism. I want to use the social and relational phenomenon of flirting to highlight some of the existing and historical inequalities of power and constraints of typical woman to woman relations. I hope women's social relations will grow to a fuller potential as we through flirting respect and celebrate eachother and throw away the past power structures and the social pressure to always primarily be nice and considerate. For thoughts on how we flirt with power and  the historical foundation of bitchyness and manipulativeness, see my little essay Beyond Bitches and Caregivers   
  • Confidence and intellectual stereotypes - the example of math/logic/spatial abilities. I saw a very interesting study showing how girls spatial rotation performance was radically improved by simple telling them prior that normally boys and girls do equally well on the upcoming task (See Shih, Margaret et al. (1999) “Stereotype Susceptibility: Identity Salience and Shifts in Quantitative Performance”, and a poster abstract regarding mental rotation, and also on the general effects of stereotypes abstract) If these sorts of findings hold up, it would seem that we asap must deal with the institutionalized  and parental lack of confidence in girls abilities (see the Summers-math ordeal and article on math achievement gap as dependend on gender gap).  
  • Sexuality and power. A big issue is how women can obtain equality in the field of multi-dimensional power games that reaches far beyond but includes sexuality, and in which the vectors of power does not normally operate in coherent ways  if one is not a heterosexual man.
    • Why do women often feel they have to sensor their sexuality in order to be funny or smart? Or of course the other why around...Double consciousness, one-dimensionality and stereotyping is a shared minority problem. What does the female heterosexual  sexuality in all its biological and cultural submissiveness and chased seductiveness add to the power inequation?
  • Pregnancy as a paradox for ultra-individualism. A recent comment on this issue here.