The Gendered Body
1. Why does Bordo claim that female bodies have become docile bodies?
Answer: Because women are spending increasing amounts of time on making sure that their bodies conform to external standards of beauty or acceptable appearance. (p.123)
2. How does Bordo distinguish between female “disorders”, such as anorexia and agoraphobia, and normal feminine practices?
Answer: Bordo does not distinguish between them—she argues that there is no clear line dividing “normative” femininity from pathological disorders, they exist on a continuum. (p.124)
3. Why does Bordo say that anorexia and other eating disorders are tragic or counterproductive forms of protest?
Answer: Because these behaviors can be understood as bodily protests against the restrictive expectations for girls and women, but they also cost girls and women their health, mobility, and freedom. (p.127)
4. According to McGarry, how has Skate Canada sought to distance itself from the “homosexual” stigma around male figure skaters?
Answer: By de-emphasizing the roots of figure skating in ballet and emphasizing athletic abilities and strength, which are associated with heterosexuality. (p.135)
5. How is Wakewich’s notion of “bio-logies” different from the more familiar concept of biology?
Answer: “Bio-logies” bring into focus the practices through which people construct their bodies in their everyday lives, rather than treating bodies as fixed and unchanging entities. (p.139)
6. How did the women in Wakewich’s study define “health”?
Answer: They defined it as the ability to cope with their different roles and expectations (as distinct from the absence of disease or illness) (p.140)
7. How did definitions of health and being healthy vary across social class in Wakewich’s study?
Answer: Working class women were more likely to evaluate their health in terms of how well they were able to meet the needs of others—a relational approach to health—while middle-class women were more likely to think in terms of whether they measured up to standards of health and beauty in media and other external sources. (p.142)
8. Did the women in Wakewich’s study identify strongly with media representations of beauty and health in popular magazines and culture?
Answer: No, they had a critical stance towards the “unreality” of the images in these magazines. (p.143)
9. What problems does Atkinson identify in the current sociological study of masculinity?
Answer: Atkinson argues that most studies of masculinity assume very rigid and inflexible definitions of what it means to be masculine. (p.147)
10. Did the men in Atkinson’s study seek out cosmetic surgery in order to stand out from other men in terms of masculine beauty?
Answer: No, they were more likely to seek out cosmetic surgery in order to look “normal” or “average”. (p.149)
Multiple Choice Questions for Part IV
Instructions: For each question, click on the radio button beside your answer. When you have completed the entire quiz, click the Submit my answers button at the bottom of the page to receive your results.