Feminist Theory from Margin to Center Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. The author expresses how feminism reacts to "a political system of imperialist, white supremacist, capitalist patriarchy;" how does she view the state of our society today?

2. What is the author's contention about the feelings that defined sisterhood?

3. According to the author, how has the relationship between feminism and the family often been portrayed?

4. At the end of the Preface to the second edition, where does the author maintain that a feminist path will lead us?

5. In the Preface to the first edition (1984), which two key terms in her analysis does the author introduce?

Short Essay Questions

1. What is the author's approach to discussing feminism in Chapter Two, "Feminism - A Movement to End Sexist Oppression;" i.e. how does she structure the chapter?

2. Is there a note of caution in the author's tone regarding the extent to which the system of power has actually changed? Where?

3. How does war relate to the authors discussion of violence and women?

4. In Chapter Seven, "Rethinking the Nature of Work," why does the author take issue with early feminist attitudes toward work?

5. Describe the author's personal experiences with feminists from the same background as Friedan. How did they initially respond to her attempts to contribute to the conversation around feminist theory?

6. Describe the author's discussion of early feminist attitudes towards men.

7. In the author's view, are feminists ambivalent about power?

8. What differences and similarities does the author see between black men and white men?

9. Describe the particular perspective that the author offers throughout her work. What position does she claim to write from and why?

10. In Chapter Three, "The Significance of the Feminist Movement" how does the author describe her understanding of feminism and the family?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

Essay on Ch. 2, 3, and 10: Parenting.

Compare the author's discussion of the family in Ch. 2 and 3 with her discussion on revolutionary parenting in Ch. 10.

1) What is the author's thesis?

2) How can the family as a unit reproduce patriarchal ideas? E.g., how does sexism affect the family structure?

3) What role does feminism play in redefining family?

4) How can the idea of the family be reformulated so as to transform traditional models and ideas about motherhood?

Essay Topic 2

Essay on Ch. 5: Men and feminism.

In Ch. 5, the author looks at the relationship between men and the feminist movement.

1) Describe and discuss early feminist views of men as "the enemy."

2) What is the author's critique of this early view? How do race and class figure into her argument?

3) The author also makes the potentially controversial statement that "all men support and perpetuate sexism and sexist oppression in one form or another...."

What does she mean by this statement? Do you think that it is in conflict with her call to see men as comrades in the feminist struggle? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 3

Essay on the two Prefaces: Purpose and reception of author's work.

In the Prefaces to the first and second editions of Feminist Theory From Margin to Center by bell hooks, the author discusses the reasons for her work and how its reception has evolved.

1) Discuss the author's primary reasons for writing the book. Why is a perspective from the margins important? How might a person from the margins see things differently?

2) Next, discuss the book's initial reception and the possible reasons for it.

3) Has the attitude towards analyses of gender, race, and class changed within the feminist movement? Why and how?

(see the answer keys)

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