Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Alternative to Feminist Theory?

Dorothy Smith proposes that in order to understand a woman's society one must part away from the traditional male driven society. In order to understand how a woman doesn't really ever leave her role as a woman one must take the standpoint of a woman. This I find a little difficult to do because of my biology. I am unable to understand a woman's point and suffering because I am a man. However, as a minority in this country I am able to understand a little of the harships encountered by minorities. Instead of taking the standpoint theory to understand feminism, is there an alternative to this so that society can be undrestood and studied completely without having to take on someone else's role? If not, do you think that my standpoint as a minority can help me understand a woman's harship?


  1. “The only way of knowing a socially constructed world is
    knowing it from within” Dorthy Smith
    We live in different times now not all women have struggles, not to say we are completely equal but in my opinion as a female it would have been tough living in the years past. So you want to understand us well intersectionality is key. Intersections of race, class, and of course, gender, help shape a person’s experiences in this case yours. Without taking on a role you need to get inside of things. Sociologist Patricia Hill Collins argued that, “ cultural patterns of oppression are not only interrelated, but are bound together and influenced by the intersectional systems of society, such as race, gender, class, and ethnicity “(Collins, 2000, pg. 42). You mentioned you are able to understand the hardships of a minority because you are one, you would be able to understand these hardships even if you weren’t a minority. What I mean by getting inside is, hearing out the problems. Take part in female topic discussions, listen to your female family members, female co-workers.Go ahead ask your questions you won’t sound silly in fact it would be nice if men really did take time to ask and mostly importantly listen. Before you know it you will be a feminist by definition and won’t even know it!

  2. Although you are a minority, and have experienced some hardships because of it i don't believe that you could ever understand what its like to be a women not to mention a minority woman from a situated standpoint. My reasoning behind this is that although you can learn about the hardships women by full hardheartedly becoming a feminist I don't think it would be a situated embodied standpoint because as a man you have might have not experienced to be a women in a still male dominated society(even though things have improved). I will also never experience what its like to be a man from a mans standpoint because I will never experience being the oppressor or the sex of the common oppressor(and I don't mean that all men are oppressors)