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4 The Creation of the Natural: Gender Imitation and Performance

4 The Creation of the Natural: Gender Imitation and Performance

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Performances of Pronouns: Using Feminist Post-structuralism to Explore…



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the ways in which we categorize and name these differences are socially constructed

and therefore non-essential (Butler 1999). These differences are first constituted as

differences, which then allows for categorizing and labeling.

Interrogating the arguably constructed nature of biological sex consequently

points to the tenuousness of gender and gender categories. Within Western discourses about sex and gender, it has been assumed that gender and gender categories have been founded upon binary sex categories that are based in essentialized,

biological differences. Butler points out that the instability of gender and gender

categories is a natural consequence of questioning the constitution of binary sex

categories. Once the innateness of binary sex categories is questioned, then gender

itself is understood as a highly unstable performance which “regularly conceals its

genesis” (Butler 1988, p. 903).

Because there is neither an ‘essence’ that gender expresses or externalizes nor an objective

ideal to which gender aspires; because gender is not a fact, the various acts of gender create

the idea of gender, and without those acts, there would be no gender at all. (Butler 1988,

p. 903)



Gender performance naturalizes sex and gender, although the use of the word ‘performance’ can be misleading. As Gilbert (2007) explains, Butler does not understand gender performances as being constituted by “singular deliberate act[s]”

(p. 130). Rather, gender identity is created and maintained by imitation and iteration

(Hey 2006). Certain gender performances are socially sanctioned and rewarded,

while others are not. The daily policing of gender performances lead to the naturalization of gender acts.

When students begin to understand gender as a verb rather than a noun predicated on the cultural construction of “biological” sex, as a series of actions, performances, or “achievements” (Nayak and Kehily 2008, p. 5), they are able to begin to

imagine how we could create/open up spaces of multiplicity, which would allow for

a wider variety of gendered identities and performances to be accepted and supported. After discussing Butler and our own ritualized performances of gender

(Happel 2013), I ask my students to give examples of the harm and violence which

comes from the production and maintenance of rigid sex and gender binaries.

Inevitably we discuss the every-day violences of bullying, homophobia, transphobia, domestic violence, and rape culture, sharing stories, ideas, and brainstorming

for ways to create a more inclusive and open culture which is supportive of all

gender performances.



3.5



Reconceptualizing Agency and Resisting Essentialism



Many feminists, wedded to more traditional notions of agency and power, have

criticized poststructuralism for undermining women’s recent attempts at recuperating power, agency, and resistance (Collins 2000; DiStephano 1990). How can those

of us oppressed by sex and gender binaries fight against oppression if we no longer



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have a traditional understanding of agency? St. Pierre (2000) encourages feminists

to reconsider agency by recognizing that there is no “outside” of discourse and

power relations; consequently, there is no classic feminist liberation or emancipation. In response to this recognition, she suggests that, “The aim of an oppositional

politics is therefore not liberation but resistance” (p. 492). She urges feminists to

think about the ways in which particular discourses might be resisted and consequently reconstituted, opening up spaces of multiplicity. Acts of resistance against

commonsensical ideas of naturalness or normalness inevitably require active, critical engagement with dominating discourses. In order for feminists to resist normative discourses, they must recognize and work within the construction of these

various discourses. Poststructural theories “allow us to understand how knowledge,

truth, and subjects are produced in language and cultural practice as well as how

they might be reconfigured” (St. Pierre 2000, p. 486). Poststructuralist pedagogy

points to the socially, historically, and politically constructed nature of reality

through discourse analyses, and it unveils the contingent and contested nature of

particular regimes of Truth. It consequently points to the constructed nature of subject formation. Feminist poststructuralists suggest that, since subjectivities are constantly being constituted and reconstituted through discourse, often in competing

and contradictory ways, there is space between reiterations for different ways of

being in the world. For example, an act of resistance might include interrupting

socially-sanctioned, “naturalized” gender performances, such as when my student

stopped dressing in socially accepted, traditionally feminine ways. She interrupted

the ongoing gender imitations upon which dominant discourses of gender rely, and

as such, she illustrated how gender is constructed and maintained through our

actions and performances. As she noted, she made many people uncomfortable with

her performances. But, she thought that this was an important disruption that pointed

to the socially constructed and performative nature of gender. As Butler and others

have suggested, if the subject is in constant formation and is constituted through the

reiteration of certain subject positions, there is a possibility for the disruption of

those same subject positions.2 “The agency of this subject lies precisely in its ongoing constitution” (St. Pierre and Pillow 2000 p. 7). Many believe that this “subjectin-process” (p. 8) is in the best interests of women because it opens up spaces of

multiplicity and possibility that are not available within other theoretical frameworks. Davies (2000) is worth quoting at length:

The power feminists have found in poststructuralist theorizing is precisely in its opening up

of possibilities for undermining the inevitability of particular oppressive forms of subjection. They have done this by making the constitutive force of discourse visible and thus

revisable. By making visible the ways in which power shifts dramatically, depending on

how subjects are positioned by and within the multiple and competing discourses they

encounter, they can begin to imagine how to reposition themselves, realign themselves, and

2



Of course, it is important to recognize that not all interruptions/disruptions are safe, and some

carry with them the threat and/or actuality of violence. For example, transwomen of color suffer

from extremely high rates of sexual, physical, and psychological violence within the United States.

The intersections of sexism, racism, classism, and heterosexism make for more and/or less dangerous consequences for those who dare to resist traditional gender norms and expectations.



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Performances of Pronouns: Using Feminist Post-structuralism to Explore…



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use the power of discourse they have to disrupt those of its effects they wish to resist.

(p. 180)



If subjects and discourse are mutually constitutive, this means subjects can influence discourse and discursive formations through their various actions, interruptions, or disruptions of expected performances. By exposing students to the socially

constructed nature of sex and gender via feminist poststructuralism, potential spaces

of multiplicity emerge as we begin to understand how gender is produced, and

therefore how it could be (re)produced differently.

I understand our discussions of poststructuralism as productive and provocative

when students begin to, without my prompt, deconstruct dominant discourses and

metanarratives which have functioned to frame their experiences and sense of identity. Students often begin to reconstitute themselves, in ways they never thought

possible. They are less tied to identity categories and more willing to push against

the boundaries of socially-sanctioned gender expectations. They begin to see and

inhabit spaces of multiplicity, letting go, in small ways, of normative and regulatory

understandings of traditional categories such as sex and gender. For example, students often tell me that poststructuralism has given them the language and understanding necessary to challenge and reconstitute their own performances of gender

within their personal and professional lives. Their reports of the deconstructive

work in their own lives illustrates that they are thinking, and living, with and through

theory. As St. Pierre states, when studying theory, “we begin to realize…that we

have been theorized, and that we and the world are products of theory as much as

practice, and that putting different theories to work can change the world” (2011,

p. 614). Students begin to make connections, deconstructing the dominant discourses which often unknowingly shape how we think, act, and feel. By initiating

critiques of essentialism and opening up conversations about performativity, students are given the space to begin thinking and living differently.



References

Bartky, S. L. (1988). Foucault, femininity, and the modernization of patriarchal power. In

I. Diamond & L. Quinby (Eds.), Feminism and Foucault: Reflections on resistance (pp. 61–86).

Boston: Northeastern University Press.

Britzman, D. (2000). “The question of belief”: Writing poststructural ethnography. In E. S. Pierre

& W. Pillow (Eds.), Working the ruins: Feminist poststructural theory and methods in education (pp. 27–40). New York: Routledge.

Butler, J. (1988). Performative acts and gender constitution: An essay in phenomenology and feminist theory. Theatre Journal, 40(4), 519–531.

Butler, J. (1990/1999). Gender trouble: Feminism and the subversion of identity. New York:

Routledge.

Collins, P. H. (2000). What’s going on? Black feminist thought and the politics of postmodernism.

In E. St. Pierre & W. Pillow (Eds.), Working the ruins: Feminist poststructural theory and

methods in education (pp. 27–40). New York: Routledge.



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Davies, B. (2000). Eclipsing the constitutive power of discourse: The writing of Janette Turner

Hospital. In E. St. Pierre & W. Pillow (Eds.), Working the ruins: Feminist poststructural theory

and methods in education (pp. 179–198). New York: Routledge.

DiStephano, C. (1990). Dilemmas of difference: Feminism, modern and postmodernism. In

L. Nicholson (Ed.), Feminism/postmodernism (pp. 63–82). New York: Routledge.

Foucault, M. (2000). Truth and power. In J. D. Faubion (Ed.), Essential works of Foucault

(1954–1984) (Power, Vol. 3, pp. 382–393). New York: The New Press.

Gannon, S., & Davies, B. (2012). Postmodern, poststructural, and critical theories. In S. N. HesseBiber (Ed.), The handbook of feminist research (2nd ed., pp. 65–91). Thousand Oaks: Sage

Publications.

Gilbert, E. (2007). Performing femininity: Young women’s gendered practice of cigarette smoking. Journal of Gender Studies, 16(2), 121–137.

Happel, A. (2013). Ritualized girling: School uniforms and the compulsory performance of gender.

Journal of Gender Studies, 22(1), 92–96.

Hey, V. (2006). The politics of performative resignification: Translating Judith Butler’s theoretical

discourse and its potential for a sociology of education. British Journal of Sociology of

Education, 27(4), 439–457.

Jackson, A. Y., & Mazzei, L. A. (2012). Thinking with theory in qualitative research: Viewing data

across multiple perspectives. New York: Routledge.

Lather, P. (2007). Getting lost: Feminist efforts toward a double(d) science. Albany: State

University of New York Press.

Mills, S. (2004). Discourse (2nd ed.). London: Routledge.

Nayak, A., & Kehily, M. J. (2008). Gender, youth and culture: Young masculinities and femininities. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Plumwood, V. (1993). Feminism and the mastery of nature. London: Routledge.

Plumwood, V. (2002). Environmental culture: The ecological crisis of reason. London: Routledge.

St. Pierre, E. A. (2000). Poststructural feminism in education: An overview. Qualitative Studies in

Education, 13(5), 477–515.

St. Pierre, E. A. (2011). Post qualitative research: The critique and the coming after. In N. K.

Denzin & Y. S. Lincoln (Eds.), The SAGE handbook of qualitative research (pp. 611–624).

Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.

St. Pierre, E. A., & Pillow, W. (2000). Introduction: Inquiry among the ruins. In E. A. St. Pierre &

W. Pillow (Eds.), Working the ruins: Feminist poststructural theory and methods in education

(pp. 1–26). New York: Routledge.

St. Pierre, E. A., & Roulston, K. (2006). The state of qualitative inquiry: A contested science.

International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 19(6), 673–684.



Chapter 4



Undoing Gender: Making the Invisible Visible

Lindsay Custer



4.1



Theoretical Foundations



West and Zimmerman’s (1987) notion of ‘doing gender’ is well-known to most

instructors of gender studies courses. However, instructors may be less familiar with

the earlier work of microsociologists Erving Goffman and Harold Garfinkel, who

paved the way for subsequent ideas of gender as a social process. The work of these

early scholars, as well as West and Zimmerman’s more recent notion of doing

gender, provides the theoretical foundation for the Undoing Gender Assignment.

This assignment can be used in a variety of gender studies courses to illustrate

concepts that are sometimes challenging for students to grasp.

In his influential work The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life (1959) Erving

Goffman compares social interaction to a dramatic performance on a stage. Social

interaction, much like a play, occurs within a given setting. This setting provides

cues as to how actors should behave. Similarly, like actors on a stage, social participants continually work to create a particular impression. Goffman argues that it is

through this constant process of interacting with others that individuals create a

sense of self, much in the way an actor creates a character through interaction with

the audience. Failure to perform accordingly can lead to social sanctioning, questioning of an individual’s authenticity, and stigma.

For Goffman, gender is merely another aspect of self that is created through

constant interaction with others. Individuals perform their gender with the intention

of managing the impressions of others. Similarly, cues from the social environment

help actors determine what is expected of males and females in any given situation.

Thus, gender is not a characteristic that an individual has or does not have, but is a

performance that occurs through social interaction.



L. Custer (*)

Cascadia College, Bothell, WA, USA

e-mail: lcuster@cascadia.edu

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

K. Haltinner, R. Pilgeram (eds.), Teaching Gender and Sex

in Contemporary America, DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-30364-2_4



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L. Custer



Like Goffman, Harold Garfinkle’s work focuses on everyday social interaction.

He also sees gender as an interactive process. Garfinkel (1967) clarifies his thinking

on this topic in Studies of Ethnomethodology (1967), in which he presents a case

study of Agnes, an intersexed person who is raised as a male and later adopts the sex

of female. Garfinkel suggests that an analysis of Agnes’ transition from male to

female makes visible the frequently invisible effort that individuals invest in presenting a gendered self in their daily lives. Garfinkel explains that while for most

people the performance of gender becomes so routine that it is regarded as a natural

expression of the self, Agnes must initially work to learn the socially accepted ways

of performing as a female in order to successfully pass as one.

In addition to his insights on gender as a performance, Garfinkel offers a clever

method for studying the social construction of reality. He suggests that by engaging

in violations of social expectations and assessing how others respond, social scientists can gain insight into the rules governing the social world. Today, based on

Garfinkel’s ideas, students in introductory sociology courses are frequently given an

assignment asking them to engage in a norm breaching experiment. This classic

assignment has been adapted for the Undoing Gender assignment described below.

Perhaps better known among gender scholars outside the field of Sociology are

West and Zimmerman,1 who build on the work of Goffman and Garfinkle in their

landmark essay Doing Gender (1987). Like other microsociologists before them,

West and Zimmerman maintain that gender is an accomplishment which is embedded in everyday interactions. They go further to suggest that gender organizes nearly

every social interaction. They also suggest that individuals are held accountable for

their gender performances; failure to perform according to social expectations can

result in being judged negatively.

West and Zimmerman’s concept of “doing gender” is frequently introduced in

undergraduate gender studies courses. The notion that gender is something that we

do, rather than have, is typically rather challenging for undergraduate students to

grasp. Like most people, students often take gender performances for granted. They

view gender as something that “just comes naturally” without considering their own

role in creating a gendered self. They also are typically unaware of the differing

social expectations governing the behavior of men and women. Students in many of

my courses frequently express the opinion that men and women are treated “pretty

much the same” nowadays, at least in the United States.

The Undoing Gender Assignment requires students to breach a gender norm and

to consider both the intra and interpersonal consequences. Through these activities,

invisible gender norms are made visible and students can gain a deeper understanding of their own participation in maintaining gender structures as well as insight into

the ways in which adherence to gender norms reinforce a patriarchal system.



1



Readers also may be familiar with similar ideas of gender and performativity through the works

of Judith Butler. However, these ideas are derived from a different theoretical strand and are therefore not discussed here.



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Undoing Gender: Making the Invisible Visible



4.2



39



Pre-assignment Activities



Prior to completing the Undoing Gender Assignment, students engage in a number

of preparatory activities. First, I assign students to read the Doing Gender article by

West and Zimmerman (1987). After students have read this, I give a short lecture on

the ‘doing gender’ perspective followed by an in-class discussion. During this

discussion I typically provide students with multiple examples of how I personally

do gender. For instance, I point out that I usually wear skirts and dresses, sit in a

“ladylike” fashion, and state my opinions in a qualified or softened way when

compared to my male colleagues. Next, students work in small groups to brainstorm

different ways in which they also do gender. The examples that students generate

typically consist of rather superficial performances such as clothing choices,

hairstyles, and body language. At this point I encourage students to think more

deeply about how they perform gender, such as the ways they interact with others

(e.g. being assertive versus being deferential) and the roles they perform inside and

outside the household (e.g. cleaning versus household repairs). During this discussion I also take care to point out the ways in which others encourage or pressure us

to do gender according to social expectations.

After a rich exploration of the ways in which we all perform gender regularly, I

begin to introduce the concept of “undoing gender”. I ask students to consider what

happens when one fails to perform according to gender role expectations. How are

we perceived by others? How do others treat us? How do we feel about ourselves?

To better illustrate the idea of “undoing gender” I provide some interesting public

examples. One example that students seem to find particularly thought-provoking is

a collection of images created by Rion Sabean called “men ups”. These images

show males in provocative, vulnerable, or sexy poses that were characteristic of

“Pin Up” calendars of the 1950s and are typically reserved for females.



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If time permits, the instructor may ask the students to engage in an in-class

activity that illustrates some of the intra and interpersonal consequences of undoing

gender. An exercise that is particularly effective requires students to move about the

room alternatively performing both masculine and feminine genders through the

use of body language. The instructor can also have students work in groups to

design simulated photo shoots that do and/or undo gender.

During the ensuing discussion of undoing gender I ask students to consider why

gender non-conformity often produces such negative, even hostile responses from

others. By this point in the course, students have already been introduced to the

notion of a binary gender system as well as the concept of patriarchy. This is a good

time to explore the relationship between the two. I remind students that in a binary

system, positive qualities are typically assigned to the dominant group and negative

qualities to subordinate groups. I point out that maintaining a binary gender system

requires keeping clear and distinct gender roles, and ensuring that expressions of

gender are consistent with assigned sex categories. Rigid adherence to a binary

gender system is necessary for maintaining patriarchy, which assigns masculinity

higher value and distributes power and privilege to males. Gender non-conformity

challenges the binary system and hence the patriarchal status quo. I also point out

that under a patriarchal system violations of masculine gender role expectations are

likely to be treated more seriously and are more heavily sanctioned than violations

of feminine gender role expectations. This is a good time to remind students about

potential dangers to their own personal safety when disrupting gender roles. Males

who publicly disrupt rules regarding intimacy with other males are at particular risk.

Following this large group discussion, I ask students to return to small groups

and brainstorm a list of possible ways they might undo gender for this assignment.

We then come back together in a large group to debrief and I provide them with

examples of undoing gender that previous students have carried out for this

assignment. I typically include the following examples for undoing femininity:





















Opening doors for men

Not shaving their legs or armpits

Refusing to defer to men in conversations

Taking up space in public settings

Offering to help men with a physical task, such as carrying something heavy

Participating in masculine leisure activities such as shooting pool

Taking a boyfriend on a traditional date

Buying a drink for a man at a bar

Displaying “unladylike” manners such as belching or spitting in public



I typically include the following examples of undoing masculinity:













Using feminine language such as “cute”, “sweet”, or “adorable”

Showing displays of sadness or emotional vulnerability

Initiating a conversation with other men in proscribed spaces such as urinals

Deferring to women

Adopting care-taking roles



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Undoing Gender: Making the Invisible Visible













Showing a lack of knowledge about masculine topics such as sports or alcohol

Indicating an interest in feminine topics such as fashion or home decor

Asking for help with a physical task, particularly from a woman

Showing an interest in one’s appearance/clothing (e.g. asking a friend if these

jeans make you look fat)



At the end of this discussion, I ask students to observe their own gendered patterns

of interaction over the upcoming week and to look for opportunities to “undo gender”.

I also encourage students to consider performing their gender norm violation in

multiple contexts to see if they get different reactions. For example, females who

choose to open doors for men might try opening the door for younger males as well

as older males to see if their reactions differ. After performing their norm breaching

experiment students write a brief report (See appendix for complete assignment).



4.3



Challenges



Some students are tempted to engage in exaggerated performances of gender norm

violations, such as cross-dressing, for this assignment. For instance, female students,

who often experience challenges coming up with ideas for norm violations due to

the relative flexibility of feminine gender roles in comparison to masculine gender

roles, are sometimes tempted to dress in baggy clothes and baseball caps, to visit a

predominantly masculine setting and proceed to portray themselves as men. Less

frequently, but on occasion, male students are tempted to dress in feminine clothing

and present themselves as a woman in public. I generally discourage these types of

norm violations for multiple reasons. First, oversimplified caricatures of the “other

gender” simply reinforce gender stereotypes by suggesting that masculinity and

femininity can be reduced to a few overt behaviors which are exhibited by all

members of a sex category. In addition, there is a long history of engaging in the

public performance of exaggerated or stereotyped gender performances for the purpose of amusement or entertainment. Students who engage in these types of gender

norm violations generally do not take them very seriously (nor does their audience)

and thus may not experience the desired psychological and social effects of more

subtle gender norm violations.

A second challenge with this assignment is how trans* or gender queer students

might approach it. Students who do not identify as cisgender often indicate that

violating a gender norm will be a challenge for them because they already engage

in gender norm violations on a daily basis. For instance, one trans* woman said:

Coming up with a gender norm to violate for this assignment was extremely difficult for me

because I violate many gender norms on a daily basis. I cross my legs when I sit, I occupy

the least amount of space that I can, I relate to others in a very feminine way. I also view

myself as more female than male, so there is a difference in the way that I perceive my

gender and the way that I present gender on a regular basis (trans* woman who decided to

carry a purse and walk in a more feminine way).



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L. Custer



Although trans* and gender queer students may violate gender norms on a daily

basis, there are still likely to be some gender norms that they consciously or

unconsciously do not violate (e.g. bathroom selection or clothing choices). It is also

possible that there are some contexts in which they still adhere to traditional gender

role expectations (e.g. at work or school). The instructor can brainstorm with these

students to see if there are additional ways (or places) in which they might feel safe

undoing gender. In some ways, this assignment may afford them an opportunity to

further extend a presentation of self that they are already transitioning towards. If

the student does not feel comfortable challenging a new gender norm, or extending

their chosen gender identity into a new context, they may simply choose to write

about one of the gender norms that they already violate regularly. As the above

quote illustrates, trans* and gender queer students are often already challenging

gender norms on a daily basis. There is no reason they have to come up with a

“new” gender norm violation to complete the assignment. It is essential that the

instructor let all students, but particularly trans* and gender queer students, determine which gender norms s/he feels comfortable violating. Let the students decide

which norms violations will benefit their learning experience the most and will

allow them to feel safest.

Some of the challenges described above might be averted by requiring students

to get approval for their gender norm violations before carrying them out. This

ensures that they are consistent with the instructor expectations and are appropriate

for the assignment. Instructors may also wish to meet with students, particularly

trans* or gender queer students, outside of class to discuss what type of norm violation

will provide them with the most beneficial (and safest) learning experience.



4.4



Student Feedback



Students generally find the Undoing Gender Assignment to be a powerful exercise

which enhances their learning in many ways. Reactions frequently include expressions of anxiety, liberation, and a deeper understanding of the ways in which gender

norms govern our daily interactions.

Students who express feeling anxious and uncomfortable undoing gender often

indicate that they felt as if their gender was being questioned by others.

• When first given this assignment I really didn’t think anything of violating a

gender norm. However, while at work, contemplating how I was going to incorporate this gender norm violation into my work environment I increasingly

became more anxious and nervous. Even though I knew this was a school experiment, I still felt embarrassed to ask a male coworker for help with a package that

I knew I could easily lift by myself. After the experiment, I felt a feeling of relief

and intrigue at the results that I witnessed (man who asked another man for help

with an easy physical task).



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Undoing Gender: Making the Invisible Visible



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• During the dinner, I personally felt very self-conscious about how much I was

eating, and was constantly wondering what others thought of me (woman who

ate large amounts of food without restraint in front of others).

In contrast, some students, particularly women, report a feeling of freedom,

empowerment or liberation upon performing their gender norm violations:

• All in all I thought this was a very eye opening experience. I really got the chance

to understand the male dominated area [of] a bar. And [I] got the rush of seeing

what it is like to switch the roles…(woman who bought men drinks in a bar)

• [A]fter following through with my norm violation, I found that I felt a sense of

freedom, rather than a feeling of guilt (woman who chose not to play a nurturing

role).

Several students have expressed how the norm violation assignment deepened

their understanding of the pervasiveness of gender norms. This includes a deeper

appreciation of the extent to which gender norms regulate their own lives, as well as

the lives of others.

• In this experiment, I realized how important doing gender is on a daily basis, for

the respect and acceptance of those around you. I now see each way that I do

gender every day, ranging from being submissive to my boyfriend to wearing

makeup and painting my nails (woman who lifted free weights at the gym).

• In conclusion, I learned more through this assignment than I would have with

just a book and a lecture. Society constructs gender and we just follow it and

conform to it. Since it is with us from day one we wouldn’t know what to do

without it. Gender is important [whether] we want it to be or not (woman who

offered assistance to men who were performing difficult physical tasks).

• As a white male from the South, in a patriarchal society, it is easier [for me] to

continue [to uphold gender norms] than to go against the flow. This assignment

leaves me with the thought of everyone who does not fit in society’s norm. The

amount of their days and the amount of energy that it takes to not just fight

against the norm, but to just stand up for what they want must be exhausting

(man who asked his wife’s advice on masculine topics in a public setting)

Some students are able to gain a deeper understanding of the relationship between

gender norms and power:

• I can conclude that through my experiment and reflection, that even the most

simple acts that no one pays attention to, have a reinforcement to patriarchy, and

can sufficiently state that the society we live in upholds its patriarchal structure

through not only media, but through social and gender norms that have become

a sense of tradition (man who wore his hair in a more feminine style).

In short, the Undoing Gender Assignment is a simple, but fun and powerful

exercise that illustrates challenging and important theoretical concepts for students

in a gender studies course.



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