Androcentrism and the Feminist Perspective

779 Words4 Pages
Trace the rise of women’s studies. Explain what is referred to as androcentrism and the feminist perspective. How has mainstream feminism broadened the discussion of oppression to include race, class and disability? What does Lorber mean in the quote “gender is so pervasive that in our society we assume it is bred into our genes” (157)? The emergence of women’s studies, both socially and academically, is very closely linked to the increased awareness in the past regarding the status of women and their stifled and secondary position in relation to their male counterparts. Although following the first wave feminism, in which women were granted suffrage, a heightened awareness surfaced regarding the need to recognize women as equals and not subordinates, it wasn’t until the second wave of feminism catapulted by the industrial revolution in the 1960s did we begin to see the rise of women’s studies (WOMN 1005, Unit 1 3). With the advent of a mass production economy which pushed the agrarian work force into a factory environment, the roles of men and women began to shift and change (3). The need to survive in the new economy took women out of the private sphere and pushed them into the public labor force. As a result the previous practice of passively labeling women as the lesser sex now bore an overtly aggressive stance. Because women were a form of cheap labor in that they were often paid considerably less than men, they were seen as sort of invaders in the previously male-dominated world. The more women were exposed to life outside the home, the lack of information and understanding of women became increasingly evident. Majority of the information that was available regarding the plights and struggles of women were authored by men and fostered an androcentric viewpoint in which men were seen as the norm and women as a deviation from this norm (3).
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