Women of Color and Feminism Midterm Exam

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1 Midterm Exam Fall 2010 Women of Color and Feminism Amber Maness Dr. Afaf Omer Sociology 359 Due 5 October 2011 2 Midterm Exam Questions 1. Both the concepts of “active female sexuality” and “passive female sexuality” have been used by different societies to subjugate women and control their sexuality and reproductive power. Explain. 2. Patriarchal societies have always used stereotypes and images of women as means of control. Discuss giving examples of the controlling images of black women in American society, showing how do women of color seek to reproduce counter-images of ourselves. 3 Response one: In many patriarchal societies, both the cultural perceptions of active and passive female sexuality have been used as tools in terms of sexual politics, in order to dominate women and restrict their sexual and reproductive autonomy. The subjugation that women, and in particular women of color, have faced under the patriarchy that demands (particularly under a passive lens) women be “desirable but not desirous” has rendered and reinforced a visible double standard for the expectations of men and women in terms of sexuality. Patriarchy structurally depends on the existence of this double standard, because it holds men firmly above women in terms of sexual power and freedom. Sexual domination on the part of men is perpetrated through not only active, violent acts such as sexual assault and rape, but through a system of fear and power instilled and cultivated by the patriarchy. Women serve as the scapegoats for the consequences of sexual activities, often abandoned by their male partners when it comes to dealing with unwanted or unplanned pregnancies. Society also perpetuates standards of expectations for sexual behavior separately according to biological sex. While men are seen as powerfully masculine and successful when they have many
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