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 was the shared feeling that helped define sisterhood in the early years of the movement, according to the author?

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

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

4. In Chapter 2, what are the author's thoughts on a universally accepted definition of feminism?

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

Short Essay Questions

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

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. Is the lack of solidarity mainly an issue between black women and white women?

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

5. Does the author still believe in her work?

6. From the author's perspective, is theory related to experience in her discussion in Chapter One?

7. 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.

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

9. In Chapter Four, does the author agree with early feminist definitions of sisterhood?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

Essay on Ch. 2 and 10: Ideas about the family.

Looking at Ch. 2 and Ch. 10 compare and contrast early and/or mainstream feminist ideas about the family with those of less privileged women.

- Did women of color and lower class women agree with mainstream feminist views on the family? What was their reaction?

- How does the author describe the relationship to family experience by many women of color, especially in relation to the broader society in which they live?

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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