Gender and Shame: “Women’s Language,” “Feelings of Inadequacy,” and Female Subjectivity

“Textbooks on the psychology of women tend to confirm the everyday observation that women are in general less assertive than men, have lower self-esteem, less overall confidence, and poorer self-concepts.[Note 24] Certainly, everyone understand how painful it is to have low-self-esteem or too little confidence. Let us pursue this: What, precisely, is the character of... Continue Reading →

Foucault, Femininity, and the Modernization of Patriarchal Power

“In the regime of institutionalized heterosexuality, woman must make herself “object and prey” for the man: it is for him that these eyes are limpid pools, this cheek body-smooth [Note 30; see bottom]. In contemporary patriarchal culture, a panoptical male connoisseur resides within the consciousness of most women: they stand perpetually before his gaze and... Continue Reading →

Sandra Lee Bartky

Sandra Bartky has died today. I have posted elsewhere (here and here) about one of her most famous works (or infamous, if you hate feminism, "post-structuralism", and/or Foucault), “Foucault, Femininity, and the Modernization of Patriarchal Power” (1988). I usually let the work and the author stand on their own, bur Bartky is famous for bridging... Continue Reading →

Patriarchal Internalization and Resistance to, or; ‘Why Isn’t Every Woman a Feminist?’

“As noted earlier, women punish themselves too for the failure to conform. The growing literature on women’s body size is filled with wrenching confessions of shame from the overweight: I felt clumsy and huge. I felt that I would knock over furniture, bump into things, tip over chairs, not fit into VW’s, especially when people... Continue Reading →

Patriarchy and the Panopticon

"The woman who checks her make-up half a dozen times a day to see if her foundation has caked or her mascara run, who worries that the wind or rain may spoil her hairdo, who looks frequently to see if her stockings have bagged at the ankle, or who, feeling fat, monitors everything she eats,... Continue Reading →

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