Monday, May 12, 2008
Mikkola, Mari. "Feminist Perspectives on Sex and Gender." STANFORD ENCYCLOPEDIA OF PHILOSOPHY May 12, 2008.
Feminism is said to be the movement to end women's oppression (hooks 2000, 26). One possible way to understand ‘woman’ in this claim is to take it as a sex term: ‘woman’ picks out human females and being a human female depends on various biological and anatomical features (like genitalia). Historically many feminists have understood ‘woman’ differently: not as a sex term, but as a gender term that depends on social and cultural factors (like social position). In so doing, they distinguished sex (being female or male) from gender (being a woman or a man), although most ordinary language users appear to treat the two interchangeably. More recently this distinction has come under sustained attack and many view it nowadays with (at least some) suspicion. This entry outlines and discusses distinctly feminist debates on sex and gender. . . . Read the rest here: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/feminism-gender/.