Please find the questions for your midterm exam below. When typing your responses, be sure to include the question.

Directions: Type and double-space all answers to the following questions. Proofread all your work before handing it in. Your completed exam is due in class on Monday, Sept. 30th.  ………………………………………………………………………………………………………

PART I. Definition of Terms and Concepts. Address all of the following short answer questions (keep answers to about 3 to 5 sentences each). Worth 2 points each (total: 20 points in this section).

  1.  What is patriarchy? Why are feminists committed to challenging patriarchy as our “default system” of social organization?
  2. What is an “essentialist argument”? (Hint: first wave feminists often grounded their arguments in essentialist ideas.)
  3. What does Tax mean by “false consciousness”? What do we need to move from false consciousness to a more “revolutionary consciousness”?
  4. What is “internalized oppression”? Give one example we might observe of how women have internalized their own oppression.
  5. What is “gaslighting” and how is it connected to the idea that women are “overly emotional”?
  6. Freeman states that there is a long legal history of “infantalizing” women. What does this mean? Give one example of a law – either historical or contemporary – that infantalizes women as citizens.
  7. What does Adrienne Rich mean by “compulsory heterosexuality”?
  8. What is rape culture?
  9. What do we mean by “intimate partner abuse”? Other than physical abuse (e.g., beating, strangling, sexual abuse, etc.), name one other tactic that an abusive partner might use to control his or her significant other.
  10. What do we mean by “respectability politics”?

 PART II.Analysis and Reflection (Short Answer Essay). Choose 8 of the following short answer essay questions to address (aim for one good paragraph each). Write in complete sentences and provide detailed answers. Worth 10 points each (total: 80 points in this section).

  1.  Briefly compare and contrast first wave and second wave feminist movement in the United States, including: a) some of the major injustices that each wave sought to address; and b) one major challenge or disagreement that feminists faced within each wave.
  2. Lorber, Fausto-Sterling, and Chase all argue in their writing that both gender and sex are socially constructed, rather than natural, categories. Briefly define both terms (i.e., gender and sex). How are these categories socially constructed? Give relevant examples from your own experience.
  3. In the U.S., what are essential characteristics of femininity? What are essential characteristics of masculinity? How do these two lists of gender-related characteristics relate to one another (i.e., how does the construction of masculinity depend on the construction of femininity)?
  4. What purpose(s) do the words fag and faggot serve when used among young men in Pascoe’s sociological study? How does race affect which behaviors will get a boy called a fag by his friends?
  5. How does pornography contribute to and/or reinforce both rape culture and compulsory heterosexuality? What other abuses (physical and/or psychological) does such a culture condition women to accept as normal?
  6. Why is it, or why has it been, difficult for women to claim an express anger? How can claiming and expressing anger be an important of practicing an “ethic of love,” as described by bell hooks?
  7. Why are “barsexual” behavior among young women and the porn industry’s frequent portrayal of women engaging in lesbian sex acts so problematic when we examine them through a lesbian feminist lens?
  8. In attempting to prevent sexual assault, educators, organizations, and others have often targeted women, focusing on teaching women how to police their own behavior (e.g., don’t go out alone, don’t dress too provocatively). Why have many feminists criticized this approach? What might be a more effective approach and why?
  9. According to historian Nancy Cott, how did Protestant, middle-class white women first gain greater moral equality with men in their New England communities? In contrast, how do race and class affect how we judge the sexual desires and behaviors of women of color, and working class and immigrant women?
  10. In “When Women Wanted Sex Much More Than Men…,” what does Goldstein mean when she writes that “[e]ven when gender roles change, sexism has a remarkable ability to adapt”? How does “historical amnesia” enable this adaptive process?

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