First, write a few paragraph response about politics and feminism using the questions below as guides.
- What does it mean to you to say that “the personal is the political?”
- What are some of the ways women can gain political power? Why is it important for women to have a voice in government and policy? Why is it important that women exercise their right to vote?
- What reasons does Susan B. Anthony give in “Constitutional Argument” for why women need to be acknowledged as citizens with equal rights (including the right to vote) under the constitution?
- Should women be considered as a voting group? What are the arguments for and against thinking about women as a single constituency?
- What do you think would be the most effective way to move more women into political office, particularly on the national level?
- How are gender roles and expectations connected to violence against women? What role do governments and political organizations have in finding solutions?
Second, write a few paragraphs about body politics using the following questions as guidelines
- Did this reading help you gain a different understanding of the term “body politics?” How are women’s bodies politicized?
- Why is reproductive choice such a controversial political issue? Do you think the fact that most issues of reproductive choice center on women and women’s bodies have contributed to the belief that government has a role to play in managing reproductive choice? Are there any aspects of male health or sexuality that are equally politicized? Should it be a political issue at all?
- Margaret Sanger’s campaign to legalize birth control was met with sometimes violent protest by those who objected that she was essentially promoting lewd behavior. Why do you think people were so strongly against her campaign? What were people worried would happen if women gained access to birth control?
- Like Margaret Sanger, feminism (and Women’s Studies) has traditionally supported a pro-choice position on abortion. Do you agree with this position? What would a pro-life feminist position look like?
- How are issues of birth control and abortion intersectional? Are there different perspectives on birth control that need to be considered in feminist movements?
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