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. How does the author characterize the aims of the feminist movement in relationship to other movements?

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

3. For the author, which two main terms had been left out of feminist discussions when she first published her book?

4. Were there ever alternate reactions to black women's efforts to participate in the early feminist movement, and if so what were they?

5. What assertion does the author make (once again) about who benefits from the current feminist movement?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. 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?

3. What was the experience of many non-white and lower class women working outside the home?

4. What significant effect can feminism have on the family?

5. Are there tensions around female heterosexuality within the feminist movement?

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

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

8. Does the author mention different branches of the feminist movement in Chapter Eight, and if so what kind of relationship do they have?

9. In the 2000 Preface is the author's attitude towards change in the feminist movement positive or negative, and what examples does she give?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Essay on Ch. 12: The process of feminist-oriented change.

The final chapter of the book looks at the process of feminist-oriented change and what is required to enact that change. This essay will provide an overview of the author's critiques and her prescriptions for revolutionary feminist change.

1) Discuss the author's analysis of early feminist approaches to creating change. In what way do these approaches fall short?

2) Discuss the author's recommendation for enacting change: What kind of social analysis does the author call for? What kind of action does she call for?

3) Discuss the author's view of the process of change: What attitude is called for? Why is the process of change difficult for Americans in particular?

4) Do you believe that the change the author calls for is possible?

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 Ch. 9: The nature of violence against women.

One of the author's critiques of mainstream feminism is that it was sometimes unable to focus on transforming traditional views on gender, but instead reacted against them. For example, in her discussion of sisterhood in Ch.4, the author notes how early feminists built a notion of sisterhood around a shared sense of victimization. This view did not necessarily rethink the patriarchal dichotomy of victim and aggressor. In Ch. 9, the author notes something similar when she analyzes early feminist views on the nature of violence against women.

1) Discuss what the author means when she says that the practice of violence against women is a manifestation and perpetuation of traditional patriarchal thought, i.e. views on gender. What qualities do men and women possess according to this view. Does this view appear to make violence against women seem normal?

2) How did early feminists perceive the problem of violence against women, and what is the author's critique of their view?

3) Is violence limited to men, in the author's view? Whose problem is violence and how must the phenomenon be addressed in our society?

(see the answer keys)

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