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"United as one individual Soul" in Paradise Lost
In this provocative study, Kristin A. Pruitt offers a close reading of pivotal passages and critical concerns in Paradise Lost and examines Milton’s presentation of Adam and Eve’s relationship through the intersections of theology and gender in the poem. By delving into several seventeenth century commentaries on Genesis, Pruitt examines the various depictions of Eve and presents Milton’s Eve and her relationship with Adam. In recent years, scholars have addressed the disparate, often contradictory positions on gender and hierarchy in Paradise Lost. However, Pruitt adds to the discussion another layer: that the dialectic in the poem—the parallels and reversals in structure, imagery, action, and characterization—offer a reading from multiple perspectives and means of understanding one of the poem’s principal messages, which is the dual emphases on individuality versus selfhood and relationship versus union as they illuminate the ideal of unity in diversity.
Cultural Politics of Contemporary Science and Medicine
Gender and the Science of Difference examines how contemporary science shapes and is shaped by gender ideals and images. This interdisciplinary volume presents empirical inquiries into today's science, including examples of gendered scientific inquiry and medical interventions and research. It analyzes how scientific and medical knowledge produces gender norms through an emphasis on sex differences, and includes both U.S. and non-U.S. cases and examples.
This book investigates gender and power relations in the Cameroonian parliament using a critical discourse analytical approach, which focuses on social issues and seeks to expose unequal relations within institutions. The study identifies different gendered discourses within the speeches of Members of Parliament and government ministers. Consciously or unconsciously, these participants within parliamentary debates draw on topics that construct women and men in specific ways, sometimes sustaining gender stereotypes or challenging existing conditions. The way men and women are constructed using language also is indicative of gender and power relations within this particular community. The study also looks at the way men and women are constructed using traditional discourses of gender differentiation and how some of these discourses get challenged, appropriated or subverted using progressive gendered discourses that advocate equal opportunities, gender equality and gender partnership in development.
Men, Women, and the Law
Despite tremendous advances in civil rights, we live in a world where the sexes remain sharply segregated from birth to death: in names, clothing, social groupings, and possessions; in occupations, civic association, and domestic roles. Gender separatism, so pervasive as to be almost invisible, permeates the fabric of our daily social routines. Preferring a notion of gender that is fluid and contextual, and denying that separatism is inevitable, Nancy Levit dismantles the myths of gender essentialism Drawing on a wealth of interdisciplinary data regarding the biological and cultural origins of sex differences, Levit provides a fresh perspective on gendered behaviors and argues the need for careful cultivation of new relations between the sexes.
With its focus particularly on men, The Gender Line offers an insightful overview of the construction of gender and the damaging effects of its stereotypes. Levit analyzes the ways in which law legitimizes the social segregation of the sexes through legal decisions regarding custody, employment, education, sexual harassment, and criminal law. In so doing, she illustrates the ways in which men's and women's oppressions are intertwined and how law molds the very definition of masculinity.
Applying feminist methodology to the doctrine of feminism itself, Levit artfully demonstrates that gender separatism infects even our contemporary views of feminism. Levit asks questions that have been too long been unspoken--those that lie at the core of the feminist project, yet threaten its very foundations. Revealing masculinity as both a privileged and a victimized condition, she calls for a step forward, past the bounds of contemporary feminism and its conflicts, toward a more egalitarian and inclusive feminism. This brand of feminism would reshape traditional masculinity, invite men into feminist dialogue, and claim men as political allies.
Essays on Male Sexuality
Here, one of the world’s pioneers in the field of masculinity studies explores the construction of male sexuality, pornography, and sexual violence. Michael S. Kimmel analyzes what male sexuality is, where it comes from, how it works, what affects it, pornography’s impact on it, what fantasies men have about sex, what people think about sex, and how male ideas about sex affect what men actually do. Provocative and wide-ranging, these essays make important contributions to sociology, queer theory, American studies, history, and studies of gender, sexuality, and gay and lesbian issues.
This book examines some facets of gender relations in Cameroon ñ symmetry in male-female relationships, womenís access to land in traditional society, socialization into gender roles through language textbooks in schools, the association life of women, widowhood and inheritance, social capital and entrepreneurship, husband-wife relations in early German colonial encounters ñ as socially and historically constructed realities from a multidisciplinary perspective, bringing together some social sciences and humanities. The studies point to the fact that these relations are as much rooted in traditions and customs fashioned in several benchmark epochs in African history ñ arming women with formidable social and cultural capitals or making of them victims of social structures over which they have little control ñ as they are constantly evolving in contemporary times and transforming women into agents in their own affairs as well as those of the new societies in the making.
In this work, Ruffle examines traditional hagiographical texts and ritual performances of the Shi’i Muslims of Hyderabad, India, and demonstrates how understandings of sainthood, everyday religious rituals, and gender interact to shape the lives of Shi’i women & men. Taking as her focus the annual ceremonies commemorating the lamentable story of Fatimah Kubra and Qasem (whose unconsummated battlefield marriage was followed 3 days later by Qasem's death in battle), which comprises a literary tradition of central importance in the Islamic world, Ruffle shows how these practices of idealization and veneration (of Qasem and of Fatimah and other saintly women in the story) produce social and religious role models whom Shi’i Muslims aim to imitate in their daily lives. People undertake this practice of saintly imitation, Ruffle argues, to improve their personal religious practice and, on a broader social level, to help generate and reinforce group identity and shared ethics and sensibilities. The study is especially notable for its emphasis on women’s religious practice in everyday life and for its contribution to the understanding of gender and hagiography.
Perspectives from Africa
This sixth volume of the CODESRIA Gender Series is a collection of discourses, perspectives, practices and policies on the role of the female gender in science and technology, particularly in the African context. Although widely advocated as the indisputable foundation for political and economic power in the modern world, science and technology remains marked by various layers and dimensions of gender inequality that work to the disadvantage of girls and women. Despite the fact that a lot of awareness has been created, and gender issues are now more readily acknowledged by various development initiatives in Africa, participation in science and technology still remains a hurdle as far as girls and women are concerned. A common theme that runs through the book is how feminine identities, ideologies of domesticity and gender stereotypes, and the inadequacy or lack of clear policies facilitate the invisibility of women in science and technology. This notwithstanding, women have never ceased devising clever and ingenious ways that would enable them to master nature, from the margins. The book provides a window onto the current state of female participation in science and technology in Africa, along with an analysis of the historical backgrounds, current educational and professional contexts, and prospects for the future. While it is evident that more research needs to be done, with more groups in different regions, this volume brings together a rich and inspiring collection of qualitative insights on gender, science and technology in Africa. The CODESRIA Gender Series acknowledges the need to challenge the masculinities underpinning the structures of repression that target women. The series aims to keep alive and nourish African social science research with insightful research and debates that challenge conventional wisdom, structures and ideologies that are narrowly informed by caricatures of gender realities. It strives to showcase the best in African gender research and provide a platform for emerging new talents to flower.
Cross-cultural Perspectives on Patterns of Representations and Marginalization
To many young people, the term sport has an exhilarating ring; to many older persons, it signifies recreation and leisure. From colonial times, it has been viewed as a means of social control. Increasingly, it is being touted by governments and donor agencies as a self-evident tool of Africaís development. How accurate are these individual, romantic and moral notions of sport? In this volume, eleven African scholars offer insightful analyses of the complex ideological and structural dimensions of modern sport as a cultural institution. Drawing on various theories and cross-cultural data, the contributors to this volume highlight the various ways in which sport norms, policies, practices and representations pervasively interface with gender and other socially constructed categories of difference. They argue that sport is not only a site of competition and physical recreation, but also a crossroad where features of modern society such as hegemony, identities, democracy, technology, development and master statuses intertwine and bifurcate. As they point out in many ways, sport production, reproduction, distribution and consumption are relational, spatial and contextual and, therefore, do not pay off for men, women and other social groups equally. The authors draw attention to the structure and scope of efforts needed to transform the exclusionary and gendered nature of sport processes to make them adequate to the task of engendering Africaís development. Gender, Sport and Development in Africa is an immensely important contribution to current debates on the broader impacts of sport on society. It is an essential reading for students, policy-makers and others interested in perspectives that interrogate the grand narratives of sport as a neutral instrument of development in African countries.
Parents and the Pitfalls of Raising Boys and Girls
From the selection of toys, clothes, and activities to styles of play and emotional expression, the family is ground zero for where children learn about gender. Despite recent awareness that girls are not too fragile to play sports and that boys can benefit from learning to cook, we still find ourselves surrounded by limited gender expectations and persistent gender inequalities. Through the lively and engaging stories of parents from a wide range of backgrounds, The Gender Trap provides a detailed account of how today's parents understand, enforce, and resist the gendering of their children. Emily Kane shows how most parents make efforts to loosen gendered constraints for their children, while also engaging in a variety of behaviors that reproduce traditionally gendered childhoods, ultimately arguing that conventional gender expectations are deeply entrenched and that there is great tension in attempting to undo them while letting 'boys be boys' and 'girls be girls.'