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Women Gender and Sexuality Studies [clear filter]
Tuesday, April 24

3:05pm PDT

“Man, I Feel Like A Woman”: A Feminist Literary Critic Of Mrs. Doubtfire
It is perhaps surprising that a story about a man who violates court orders, manipulates his family, and perpetuates stereotypical gender roles would ever have been considered fit for the big screen. In our society, however, if we add a ridiculously-costumed comedy actor to an already impressive cast, a film can make over $400 million at the box office, as Mrs. Doubtfire did. Using the lens of feminist literary criticism, I will take a deeper look into this film, which was and is still characterized as a remarkable tale of the lengths that a devoted father will go to be with his children. In this paper, I will argue that Daniel Hillard (played by Robin Williams) perpetuates both male and female gender stereotypes through his mannerisms, speech, and body language. I will also take a deeper look into the specifics of the female body which Hillard chose to inhabit. I write this critical examination of the portrayal of this man as father, “mother,” and husband in an effort to answer the question of why Hillard chose this particular body to accomplish his purposes, and how his perspective changed as he shifted from the father figure to the “mother”. I will also briefly discuss the problematic themes of the book Alias Madame Doubtfire by Anne Fine, which was the inspiration for the film. A presentation by Natalie Branson (under the advisement of Dr. Melissa Burchard) in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Degree of Bachelor of Arts in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies.

Tuesday April 24, 2018 3:05pm - 3:25pm PDT
236 Zageir Hall

3:45pm PDT

Illusions Of Choice: Reproductive Control And Violence Against Black Women In The United States
In the United States, pro-choice movements predominantly led by white women have been concerned with safe and legal access to abortion. The reality is that reproductive rights look radically different for Black women. Women of Color scholars such as Patricia Hill Collins, Dorothy Roberts, and Jael Silliman argue that Black women’s experience, and therefore, their issues surrounding reproductive rights must be understood in the historical and social contexts of coercion, sterilization, and sexual violence specific to Black women. This research argues that social control is a fluid system that is constructed by binaries of race, gender, sexuality, morality, and ability. In order to analyze patterns of social control, its production must be understood by examining how specific groups of people are targeted and controlled in specific times and locations. In the context of Black women and reproductive control, racialized, hyper-heterosexual controlling images rooted in chattel slavery have served as justification for violence. The purpose of this research is to develop a specific theoretical framework of social control to be applied to two case histories regarding Black women and their reproductive autonomy: eugenics and the coercive use of Norplant and Depo Provera. This framework of social control was developed through the theoretical analysis of scholarship on race, class, gender, sexuality, and disability to examine how three factors, namely, 1) controlling images, 2) erasure of resistance, and 3) structural racism, work to create illusions of choice regarding the reproductive control of Black women in the United States. This project proposes an intersectional method for analyzing a history of reproductive control.

Tuesday April 24, 2018 3:45pm - 4:05pm PDT
236 Zageir Hall