aybala50's blog

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Moving forward, hoping for a dialogue

Plans for moving forward:

This is a part of a joint project that I am working on with amorphast, S. Yeager, COLLEEN AND MEREDITH

The topics we discussed include:


Housing
Bathrooms
DLT Training
Custom’s Week
Freshmen/New Students
Discomfort/break in communication/sense of discomfort

How do we open up the dialogue, ease the sense of discomfort, and fix the break in communication when discussion certain topics such as queer?

Last year’s Hall Adviser training schedule is attached if you'd like to look at what kind of activities are involved. 

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Final Teach-In

For our final teach-in my group decided to play a game of taboo. Unlike the regular version of taboo, our version did not have specific taboo words under the word that was meant to be described. Instead each card read "Do not use gendered words" while describing this word. After having discussions in class about a genderless world we were curious to see if we were able to describe words without the use of gender. Some of the words that were described included father, bitch, love, and bisexual. As seen, some are inherantly more gendered than others. 

I was curious to see if there would be confusion between biological sex words and gender words. It was interesting to see the initial panicky reaction of those who volunteered to describe a word, followed with some confusion, but in the end everyone was able to describe their word in a way that allowed the rest of the class to guess it. 

It was interesting to try and imagine a world without gender. While we were able to guess words, without gender, would we still be using the word mother and father to describe a parent? Would they adopt new meanings? I find myself wondering now if this was a true experiment without our ability to turn off the gendered brains in the audience. Would we have been able to guess father without automatically thinking parent=mother OR father? 

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Conservative Liberals

My first project this year was stepping back and looking at the changing definition of a "woman" at Bryn Mawr College requiring admission policies. I traced the change from the opening of the college to its recent definition of a woman. In my second webevent I played with language and its limitations using the game Taboo. I learned that it is because of the limitations of language we fail to fully express ourselves and it is this failure that leads to curiousity and learning.

What are the limitations of language at Bryn Mawr?
Bryn Mawr has taboo topics.
Topics that are not discussed will not change.
Change is necessary for the existing definition of women at Bryn Mawr.
If we discuss women, will it lead to change?
Is change what we need?

I talked to a few friends to try and figure out what topics are taboo at Bryn Mawr. I had several suggestions and chose some to use as examples:

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questions v. statements

I haven't been able to stop thinking about the significance of making a statement versus asking a question. Personally, I feel more comfortable questioning something rather than making a statement about it. I do feel that it is easier to question things because I never feel fully certain about what I am saying. Will I offend anyone? Do I really know what I'm talking about? Am I making a fool of myself? 

Besides these questions that roam my brain I feel that the biggest reason for my tendency to question is because it is much more interesting! If life consisted of statements and we didn't question even those things that we feel certain about, how would change come about? How would we learn? 

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Mantrafesto round 2

feminist Politics is necessarily radical 
feminists Are made not born
Language is limiting 
statements are oppressIve 
just say No

dear.abby, rayj and aybala50

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Feminist pornography

This is what Friggin sushi, bluebox and I came up with!

Feminist pornography is possible
Possible or maybe possibilities
Possibilities foster hope
Hope requires change
Change takes time
Time is money
Money is power
Power is evil
Evil is anti-feminist
Anti-feminist is anti-feminist
Anti-feminist degrades people
People watch porn
Porn is produced for pleasure
Pleasure… 

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How to be a man

This is another video sara.gladwin and I thought about setting the scene with. After choosing the "perfect gender" video to use instead, I saw no reason for also not sharing this one. Enjoy!

See video
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Perfect Gender- Setting the Scene

sara.gladwin and I felt that this would be a good discussion started for the "perfect gender"

See video
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children's material

Setting the scene using children's books was a great way to start the class last week. I just wanted to go back to the question of the "age appropriateness" of these books. In my personal opinion a child should be able to read what interests them. However, if I had a child who was interested in reading books about love, I would not want them to only read about heteronormative love. I think that a child would better understand that love can come in many forms and can be felt for any person regardless of their sex, gender, sexual orientation etc. at a younger age. Once we are exposed to thoughts of right and wrong in the world we close up little by little. Can open mindedness be achieved more easily if it begins at an earlier age? Should there be a work book like "My Gender Work Book" that is accessible to all ages? 

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Lesbian, man, woman...what?

I find myself stuck on the idea of trying to figure out Callie's/Cal's gender and sexual orientation. I've been having a hard time trying to figure out how to think about Cal without worrying so much about how he was raised as a girl and is now a man. Despite the fact that I knew that Cal was intersexed from the beginning of the book, I don't believe that I questioned Cal's gender until the moment that the book started to question it. Before this journey into Cal's sex and gender started taking place, I was under the impression that Callie was a young girl who might possibly be attracted to other women. Starting with her first kiss with the girl next door to her obsession to her best friend's body made me think that Callie could be a lesbian. 

I don't feel comfortable trying to 'figure out' Cal's sex, gender, or sexual orientation or his reasoning behind them. Cal was aware of his attraction to women before visiting the doctor, but did he question his gender? Does this matter? Why does this book that is about so much (history, Greek family, gender roles, immigration etc.) focus on Cal's intersexuality and why does it have to conclude with a definite gender. I feel that Cal was forced to decide on his gender. I think that Middlesex is a great example of the forcing of individuals into categories, whether it be gender, sex, sexual orientation etc. 

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