patriarchy and antipatriarchy first paper, due may 9
Pick one question and answer it with a short essay
1. According to Catharine MacKinnon,
Consciousness raising can also affirm that although women are deprived of
power, within the necessity of their compliance is a form of power which
they possess but have not yet seized. Mostly, women comply. Women
learn they are defined in terms of subordinate roles; failing to challenge
these roles confirms male supremacy in a way it needs. Daily social
actions are seen to cooperate with and conform to a principle. They are not
random, natural, socially neutral, or without meaning beyond themselves.
They are not freely willed, but they are actions nonetheless. From seeing
that such actions have meaning for maintaining and constantly reaffirming
the structure of male supremacy at their expense, women can come to see
the possibility, even the necessity of acting differently. Women can act
because they have been acting all along. Although it is one thing to act to
preserve power relations and quite another to act to challenge them, once it
is seen that these relations require daily acquiescence, acting on different
principles, even in very snall ways, seems not quite so impossible.
Offer an interpretation of MacKinnon’s claims in this passage. A good
interpretation might include answers to the following questions.
(a) What does it come to that “Mostly, women comply”? Give an example