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Teaching About Patriarchy

This brief discussion of how to teach about patriarchy took place on WMST-L
in August 2006.  See also the related file Patriarchy: Use of the Term.
For additional WMST-L Files now available on the Web, see the
WMST-L File Collection.
Date: Fri, 25 Aug 2006 10:43:22 -0400
From: Susan Clark-Cook <SCLARK AT BENTLEY.EDU>
Subject: Re: How do others incorporate/teach patriarchy?
Once again as I prepare for my fall class in psychology of women I am 
struck by how hard I have to look to find any text that includes 
patriarchy as a section or chapter.  I know that it is often embedded in 
the other topics, but I feel that it is such an important part of the 
psychology of women that to exclude it seems to be to give incomplete 
information on women and their psychology.  Do others who teach psych. of 
women include this in their syllabus and coursework?  If so, how do you go 
about it and what texts have you used?  I would love to see a text that 
includes this, rather than searching out other specific books on it, 
although there are some good ones out there I know.

I have resisted not including it despite these problems and the resistance 
I get from the students who usually at first don't see the relevance or 
why I would include it in this particular class.  I have used the devise 
of having them prepare and debate on the topic, usually asking the 
benefits/drawbacks of patriarchal system or some such question.  I would 
also appreciate any new ideas on a good question on patriarchy to have 
them debate.

Thanking you in advance.

 "For if the mind can imagine it, the mind can make it so..."

 Dr. Susan Clark-Cook
 Clinical Psychologist
 Counseling and Student Development
 Adjunct Assistant Professor, Natural and Applied Science
Date: Fri, 25 Aug 2006 11:09:20 -0400
From: "Marshall, Denise" <denimars AT FDU.EDU>
Subject: Re: How do others incorporate/teach patriarchy?
Two texts that deal specifically with this issue and are 
easily converted to global concerns, and even are somewhat 
controversial are Virginia Woolf's Room of One's Own and 
Three Guineas.  Three Guineas has recently been reprinted 
with it photographs.  I know these are from the thirties, 
but I think they are still viable, and address the 
psychological aspects as well as social.  See in 
particular Chapter 2 of Room of One's Own--provides not 
only an entree to patriarchy but is a good exercise for 
students to look for examples of their own.  I have used 
it (and Three G's) in theory, lit, and intro to women's 
studies classes with great success.  Try also the 
lingtuistic studies: Gender Across Languages: The 
Linguistic Representation of Women and Men (Impact, 
Studies in Language and Society (Paper), 9) by Marlis 
Hellinger and Hadumod Bussmann (Paperback - Sep 2001);

More later

Denise Marshall
denimars  AT  fdu.edu
Date: Fri, 25 Aug 2006 11:08:04 -0400
From: Arnie Kahn <kahnas AT JMU.EDU>
Subject: Re: How do others incorporate/teach patriarchy?
  In response to Susan's question, I don't know of any
  psych of women text that devotes a chapter to
  patriarchy, but both Jan Yoder's "Women and Gender:
  Making a Difference and Mary Crawford's
  Transformations: Women, Gender & Psychology infuse
  patriarchy and its effects into each chapter.


Arnie Kahn, Psychology MSC 7401
James Madison University
Harrisonburg, VA 22807
Date: Fri, 25 Aug 2006 11:31:36 -0400
From: "Marshall, Denise" <denimars AT FDU.EDU>
Subject: Re: How do others incorporate/teach patriarchy?
More on patriarchy:  The Language War (Paperback)
by Robin Tolmach Lakoff "Some of the stories in the news 
over the last few years: The fight over Political 
Corretness..." ; Language and Woman's Place (Paperback)
by Robin Tolmach Lakoff and a new incarnation
  Language and Woman's Place: Text and Commentaries 
(Studies in Language and Gender) by Robin Tolmach Lakoff 
and Mary Bucholtz (Paperback - Jul 22, 2004)
  The Creation of Patriarchy by Gerda Lerner (Paperback - 
Oct 22, 1987

I kknow this is not precisely what yuor're after, and I 
understand your frustration--why aren't there chapters on 
patriarchy in other types of texts?  However perhaps you 
can find material here.  The first Language and Woman's 
Place by Lakoff is a rather short work, but tends to cover 
all the bases--so to speak.

I still recommend the Woolf material above all else.

Dr. Denise M. Marshall
Reference/Research Librarian
College at Florham
Madison, NJ
denimars  AT  fdu.edu
Date: Fri, 25 Aug 2006 13:37:01 -0400
From: Rebecca Whisnant <Rebecca.Whisnant AT NOTES.UDAYTON.EDU>
Subject: Re: How do others incorporate/teach patriarchy?
I think I've recommended it on this list before, but for my money it is 
hard to improve on the first chapter of Allan Johnson's *The Gender Knot* 
for this purpose.  He talks about patriarchy as a system characterized by 
four defining features: male-domination, male-identification, 
male-centering, and an obsession with (masculine) control.  A subsequent 
class debate on whether these features significantly characterize current 
American society would probably prove lively. 


Rebecca Whisnant
Department of Philosophy
University of Dayton
Date: Fri, 25 Aug 2006 15:53:37 -0400
From: "Rothenberg, Paula" <RothenbergP AT WPUNJ.EDU>
Subject: Re: How do others incorporate/teach patriarchy?
I would like to second Rebecca's recommendation of Allan Johnson's
discussion of patriarchy in The Gender Knot - which, incidentally, is
subtitled ""Unraveling Our Patriarchal Legacy."  It is absolutely
first rate.  In fact, I use an except from it early on in my RCG text
to introduce the concept and to argue that it is essential for
"Understanding Racism, Sexism, Heterosexism, and Class Privilege."
(The title of the section in which it appears).  I was dismayed but
not entirely surprised when the word was dropped from, or at least
demoted within, the WS lexicon after occupying a prominent place
throughout so much of the 60s and the 70s.  But I believe that it is a
crucial concept for making sense out of the universal oppression of
women both in the U.S. and through out the world.  In fact, I include
a entire section on "Patriarchy and Domination" in my text-anthology
Beyond Borders: Thinking Critically about Global Issues.


Paula Rothenberg,
Lecturer and Consultant
rothenbergp  AT  wpunj.edu

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