A critical discussion of the urban experience in relation to the issue of gender - Essay Example

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A critical discussion of the urban experience in relation to the issue of gender

‘Men and women’s conception, experience, and use of urban space is different’ (McDowell, 1983: 59). Bondi claims that ‘urban space creates, imposes, reflects and distinguishes divisions between men and women’s experiences, control and use of public and private spaces in urban environments’ (1998: 161). The study of gender and geography has, since the late 1970’s been interested in the differing experiences of men and women in the city. For example, feminist geographers including McDowell (1983) and Darke (1996) have investigated how land use in the city has impacted on the way men and women live their lives, and how the role of gender impacts on the day to day experiences of men and women within the urban environment. This essay aims to explore how gender roles are played out within urban spaces. ‘Women writing on cities have arrived at differing conclusions’ (Darke, 1996: 88). Wilson (2001) for example experiences cities as exciting and liberating public environments and an escape from patriarchal imposed identities. However, she also acknowledges that ‘in recent years feminist have argued that there could never be a female flanuer…urban scene was at all times represented from the point of view of the male gaze: in painting and photographs men voyeuristically stare, women are passively subjected to the gaze’ (Wilson, 1992: 56). The differing viewpoints between feminist geographers themselves highlight the complex nature relating to studying gender in the urban environment. ...Show more

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‘Men and women’s conception, experience, and use of urban space is different’.Bondi claims that ‘urban space creates, imposes, reflects and distinguishes divisions between men and women’s experiences, control and use of public and private spaces in urban environments’…
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