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. As stated in the 1984 Preface, what is the primary weakness of feminist theory that the author promises to address in her book?

2. In the author's view, what three things most determine a woman's destiny?

3. What is the definition of feminism proposed by the author?

4. Why does the author spend time talking about the relationship between feminism and the family?

5. Which elements define the ideal family for the author?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does the title of Chapter One, "Black Women - Shaping Feminist Theory," relate to the content of the chapter?

2. Compare the Preface to the second edition with Ch. 12: What similarities do you see regarding the author's vision for the future of the feminist movement? List two to three examples.

3. Does the author encourage a particular attitude towards manifesting change?

4. In Chapter Eight, "Educating Women - A Feminist Agenda," what does the author encourage black women to do regarding education and academic work?

5. How are traditional patriarchal concepts of gender related to violence against women?

6. What does the author say about feminist writer Betty Friedan's book The Feminine Mystique?

7. Is the author clear about her position on women who define feminism as seeking equality with men?

8. What is the author's view of feminism as a social movement in the Preface to the First Edition (1984)? What kind of movement does it need to be and why?

9. What reasons does the author give for people finding themselves at the center of society?

10. Why is educating women a "feminist agenda," as the title to Chapter Eight suggests?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Essay on Ch. 2: Definition of feminism.

In Ch. 2, the author advocates ending sexist oppression as a better definition of feminism.

1) How does the author define sexist oppression and how does ending sexist oppression differ from previous definitions?

2) What social institutions (e.g. the family) will potentially be changed by this new definition of feminism?

3) Does the author advocate a more comprehensive approach to fighting all forms oppression in general? How?

Essay Topic 2

Essay on Ch. 7: Women and work.

From the beginning of the feminist movement, work has been an important issue in feminism. In this paper you will discuss early feminist views of work, as well as the idea of a gendered division of labor (e.g. housework as women's work, and therefore as devalued).

1) Describe traditional beliefs about work and gender. What kind of work was seen as men's work and what kind of work was seen as women's work? Do we still see these ideas reflected in contemporary society?

2) Quoting the text, discuss early feminist views of housework and of work outside the home. Does the rejection of housework by women reflect society's devaluation of so-called "women's work."

3) What is the author's critique of this early view, e.g. how is the early feminist idealization of work outside the home connected to traditional beliefs about success?

4) How can changing attitudes about work in and outside of the home assist in addressing the imbalances perpetuated by traditional, gender-biased beliefs?

Essay Topic 3

Essay on Ch. 11: Sexual liberation.

Sexual liberation comes across as problematic in Ch. 11.

1) Why is the (male-defined) idea of sexual liberation problematic for the author?

2) Does it seem like our contemporary society promotes sexual liberation? Give examples of why or why not.

3) In your opinion, does the author's promotion of freedom from conforming to one model, and tolerance towards all sexualities, go far enough in addressing, or redefining the male-defined models of sexual liberation?

(see the answer keys)

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