The New York Times just published a couple of interesting pieces related to our discussions about gender and identity.
First is this column addressing the uncomfortable (and inappropriate?) experience for parents of very young children when people ask whether those kids have a boyfriend or girlfriend. The author notes something relevant to our class:
And yet every time this question is posed, I hear insidious rumblings. I hear heteronormative expectation: You’re a boy, so naturally, you’ll like girls. I hear the gender indoctrination: Girls aren’t like boys, so you should treat them differently. I hear the premature insertion of sexual politics: Girls aren’t your friends; they’re potential objects of desire.
The other piece, published yesterday, asks, "Why Do We Teach Girls That It's Cute to Be Scared?"
Participation! So, why do we? How could things be done differently?