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?
2/24/2016 09:49:12 am
Asking these questions enforces the "social norms" as understood by the asker. Perhaps if a heterosexual parent thinks another parent is heterosexual, they will also believe that that persons' children are heterosexual. If someone has been taught that girls are more fragile their entire life, they could believe that it is another social norm applied to all girls.
2/24/2016 03:23:49 pm
Regarding the inequalities between individuals, I believe that society is what creates the disparities and the "social norms" we are all exposed to.
2/27/2016 10:24:53 pm
I felt like this phenomenon is definitely related to the traditional thought that girls should be elegant, tender, and protected by men, and in many cases this thought makes sense. Girls should be ladylike in some occasions so boys can be gentlemen. If women become too mighty and tought they won't be respected then men. However, this is not saying that girls should be educated to be fragile. They also need to have the courage and tenacity in front of the hardships in lives. In this case, the education for girls are significant and parents should have a sensible way to balance between the development of these two qualities of girls.
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