INSIDE Chico State
0 January 31, 2002
Volume 32 Number 9
  A publication for the faculty, staff, administrators, and friends of California State University, Chico




From the President's Desk

Calendar of Events





  Up Front

Author of The Gender Knot and Privilege, Power, and Difference to Speak on Feb. 20

Allan Johnson, professor of sociology and women’s studies at the University of Hartford and the author of The Gender Knot: Unraveling Our Patriarchal Legacy and Privilege, Power, and Difference, will make two presentations at Chico State on Wednesday, Feb. 20. Sponsored by Building Bridges, Multicultural and Gender Studies, The Women’s Center, and the Department of Sociology, Johnson will present the findings of The Gender Knot from 9:00 to 11:30 am with time to consider how we incorporate gender issues into our General Education courses (as called for in GE) and in courses that focus on gender.

From 2:00 to 4:30 pm, he will address white privilege as an approach to multicultural studies, again with time to consider how we incorporate cultural diversity into courses designated as “ethnic” and other courses that focus on America’s diversity.

In The Gender Knot, Johnson states: “A lot of people hear ‘men’ whenever someone says ‘patriarchy,’ so that criticism of gender oppression is taken to mean that all men—each and every one of them—are oppressive people. Some of the time, men feel defensive because they identify with patriarchy and its values and don’t want to face the consequences these produce or the prospect of giving up male privilege. But defensiveness more often reflects a common confusion about the difference between patriarchy as a kind of society and the people who participate in it. If we are ever going to work toward real change, it’s a confusion we have to clear up.”

In Privilege, Power, and Difference, Johnson has this to say: “Individuals are the ones who experience privilege or the lack of it, but individuals aren’t what is actually privileged. Instead, privilege is defined in relation to a group or social category. In other words, race privilege is more about white people than about white people. I’m not race privileged because of who I am as a person. Whiteness is privileged in this society, and I have access to that privilege only when people identify me as being in the category ‘white.’

The workshops will be held in BMU 210 and are open to faculty, staff, and students. Johnson’s books are available in the Associated Students Bookstore. Additional material will be provided in preparation for the sessions for participants. Contact Carol Burr, x6763, for information.

Joe Wills

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