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. What must be learned in order for the feminist movement to be successful?

2. In the author's view, is it valid to define feminism in terms of creating a sense of community?

3. How does the author propose to prioritize the struggles against various forms of prejudice?

4. According to the author, how did early feminists see gender?

5. How does the author feel about defining feminism as enabling total personal freedom?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. Does the author see feminism as aligned with other struggles, and if so why?

3. What is unique about black women's perspectives?

4. Overall, what do Chapters Two and Three develop for the reader with regard to feminism?

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. Does the author offer her own definition of feminism in Chapter Two, and if so, what is it?

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

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

9. The title of Chapter Seven, "Rethinking the Nature of Work," suggests that ideas about work must change; what changes does the author propose?

10. Does the author offer any ideas about how to create sisterhood?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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?

Essay Topic 2

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?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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