Blog Post #3: Undergraduate Research

In order to address the progress I have made so far in this work, I think it best to first list what I have read so far.

Books

  1. Transforming Feminism
  2. Transgender History
  3. Trans Bodies, Trans Selves

Sections of Feminist Theory: A Reader

First Wave

  1. Mary Wollstonecraft, Chapter 2,7, and 13 from A Vindication on the Rights of Women
  2. Elizabeth Cady Stanton, “Declaration of Sentiments”
  3. Sojourner Truth, “Ain’t I A Woman”
  4. Sojourner Truth, “Keeping the thing going while things are stirring”
  5. Susan B. Anthony, Speech after Arrest for Illegal Voting
  6. Friedrich Engels; from The Origin of the Family, Private Property, and the State
  7. Mary Church Terrell “The Progress of Colored Women”
  8. Alexandra Kollontai “Working Women and Mother”
  9. Margaret Sanger “Birth Control – A Parent’s Problem or Woman’s?”
  10. Joan Riviere “Womanliness as a Masquerade”
  11. Simone de Beauvoir  Introduction and Chapter 12 of The Second Sex

Second Wave

  1. National Organization of Women, “Statement of Purpose”
  2. Kate Millett, “Theories of Sexual Politics”
  3. Mary Ann Weathers, “An Argument for Black Women’s Liberation as a Revolutionary Force”
  4. Radical Lesbians, “The Woman Identified Woman”
  5. Charlotte Bunch, “Not For Lesbians Only”
  6. Combahee River Collective, “A Black Feminist Statement”
  7. Audre Lorde, “Age, Race, Class, and Sex: Women Redefining Difference”
  8. Heidi Hartmann, “The Unhappy Marriage of Marxism and Feminism”

Third Wave

  1. Donna Haraway, “A Cyborg Manifesto: Science Technology, and Socialist-Feminism in the Late Twentieth Century”
  2. Judith Butler from Gender Trouble : Feminism and the Subversion of Identity
  3. Rebecca Walker, “Becoming the Third Wave”
  4. Kimberle Crenshaw, “Intersectionality and Identity Politics: Learning from Violence against Women of Color”
  5. Anne Fausto-Sterling, “Should There Be Only Two Sexes?”
  6. Julia Serano, “Trans woman Manifesto”

Throughout this research project one problem I have run into is the abundance of feminist texts from each wave of feminism, this made parsing what was relevant difficult on several occasions. Not many feminist texts directly address transgender issues, and frequently when these issues were addressed they were done so without an inclusive framework, and worked to further marginalize trans women.

Because transgender issues are relatively new in discourse, there are times when I would skim longer works to decide if I needed to read them fully. This allows me to have a wider breadth of literature for the research project.

I have undergone more intense research sessions this semester. This has been a great experience for me, but it has been tiring!

Rachel Simon has helped me a lot by giving me access to two textbooks which have functioned as great sources for this work, and allowed me to do more actual research work than just trying to figure out what exactly I needed to search in online databases.

So far from doing this project, I have come to a number of conclusions which I will more fully develop in my final product:

  1. Trans issues have often been excluded from Feminist discourse
  2. In feminism, the needs of marginalized groups are often secondary to those of wealthy white women
  3. WOC often experience a disconnect with mainstream (usually liberal) feminism
  4. The notions of gender variance are central to many radical feminist works, BUT this does not always mean they encourage people to identify as genders different than their gender assigned at birth
  5. First wave liberal feminism was centered on voting rights (for women – mostly white and upper class)
    1. This is a similar pattern to a lot of contemporary feminist and LGBT movements
    2. Strict, single issue campaigns
  6. Marxist / Socialist feminism often began with the writings of  men, but eventually women would contribute to this ideology
  7. Just because members hold a specific identity, their work does not always contribute to the of liberation of their own identity group, therefore it is sometimes anti-feminist
  8. Intersectionality is a valuable concept when exploring the ideas of inclusive feminism, but often misused in feminist discourse
  9. Trans issues have always existed in the United States, but were not always part of feminist movements

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