Joined: Nov. 2011
|Quote (Robin @ Nov. 17 2011,12:29)|
Wait...a feminist, a student of evolutionary theory, and an actor? C'mon...isn't that like sodium and water or matter and anti-matter?
Welcome to the After the Bar Closes! Glad to have you here!
I have a question regarding your blog - what are Darwinian gender studies? I've never heard of that, but it sounds interesting. I freely admit I've only skimmed a bit on your blog thus far, so if you've covered that question somewhere I apologize - I'll likely get to it eventually as your blog looks interesting.
ETA fixed smiley
Wow, I'm having some trouble getting to grips with the board layout.
|I have a question regarding your blog - what are Darwinian gender studies? I've never heard of that, but it sounds interesting. I freely admit I've only skimmed a bit on your blog thus far, so if you've covered that question somewhere I apologize - I'll likely get to it eventually as your blog looks interesting.|
DGS is a term I use as I have struggled with Darwinian feminist in the past. There is already a great deal of work that one could label DGS; the work of David Buss for instance. I sometimes prefer it because my interest is in sexual selection and the way men and women make their way through life wanting essentially the same things from an evolutionary perspective (to survive and procreate) but have different proximate strategies to those ultimate goals. I see the study of women as meaningless without also studying men - and their offspring, and traditionally feminism is the study of women only. The term feminism has a huge amount of political baggage too. Like someone said further up the thread, its a bit of a tangled bank.
If its possible to attach pdfs though I could post a couple of the most recent papers on DGS/darwinian feminism/feminist darwinians. There is a paper by Buss and Schmitt on my blog re EP and feminism which is current too.
I wrote this in response to the thread and questions re a feminist expert - apols for length. Will be better to just respond to individuals after getting this out of the way..!
I am not a feminist in the orthodox sense. For one, I am a Darwinian feminist, and as such represent everything orthodox feminism stands against - biological determinism, male superiority, female passivity - (I know that Darwinism doesn't stand for any of these things, but most feminists still do unfortunately.)
The first problem with defining feminism (which today means 2nd wave feminism – a very different movement from the 1st wave) is that any feminist will tell you that there is not one feminism – but many feminisms; Marxist feminism, socialist feminism, post-modern feminism, standpoint feminism, black feminism to name a few. The multiplicity of standpoints in feminism represents female intrasexual competition to me as a Darwinist, but feminists themselves struggle with this idea, as it appears to be at odds with a utopian sisterhood.
One thing they do seem to be able to agree on is that patriarchy is the enemy. Each has slightly different conceptions of what patriarchy is, but all agree that it is a socially constructed phenomena which is enforced by socially constructed notions of sex and gender which equate to male supremacy and female inferiority and that the dismantling of patriarchy is central to the metafeminist project.
The only feminist excpetion to this rule is liberal feminism (alla Betty Friedan - see Falaudi's Backlash for what radical feminists think of her) who do not advocate social revolution (the over throwing of a patriarchy for a matriarchy) but social improvements for all. To this end they are generally labelled conservative feminists – see critcs of Christina Hoff Sommers (the conservative meant to be a pejorative, especially in the UK) or just antifeminists. Evolutionary psychologist Anne Campbell is a feminist Darwinian, as is Sarah Blaffer Hrdy (though I think she prefers 'distaff darwinian'; evolutionary philosopher Helena Cronin is also a feminist darwinian. (See hopefully soon to be attached paper by Vandermassen re the distinction between feminist darwinians and darwinian feminists.) My phd is going to be in the evolutionary origins of patriarchy – I won a place at Durham this year but funding fell through so I'm back as an independent for the moment.
So, I am probably a specialist in Darwinian feminism and Darwinian gender studies, though I'm not PhD level. I have studied a lot of orthodox feminist theory along the way, but I am a rationalist not a construtivist and so would probably be labelled antifeminist by an orthadox feminist, even though my interests are in examining evolution via a female perspective and better understanding female dilemmas within the context of sexual selection, etc.
Nice to be here by the way.