As I was thinking about activism in the context of some of the readings from last class, I thought about this idea of constantly bring "awareness" to an issue. If we look at our social landscape, we notice that there are so many issues that are being brought up and the sheer amount of them makes it difficult to fully engage with any because there is just so much information. Given that we are all entangled, shouldn't we be able to unify and thus, make what we are campaigning for a little bit more integrated?
A lot of the time, many campaigns and movements, in my own personal experience, have fallen on deaf ears because there are just so many issues. This is frustrating from the viewpoint of both the people attempting to spread the word as well the audience. Where do we focus? Who do we listen to?
Also, in terms of a global movement towards social justice, I would like to see something that really integrates both the sender of information regarding a more specific cause with the 'listener'. I personally feel that there is a hierarchy within social justice movements between these two categories. Given our entanglements with each other, I think that this would be better if equalised and thus, be more integrated.
Proposing a Lesson Plan For Sex Education in the Philippines
- Background Information:
This project looks towards creating a lesson plan for teachers of public high schools in the Philippines. The country, a bedrock of Catholicism, has previously prevented measures to implement sex education in the country because of religious concerns. (1) The main argument behind this resistance to sex education is the idea that this type of education will lead to pre-marital sex – an act that is frowned upon within the context of the church. Thus, the sex education lesson plan that I will propose will emphasize creating a middle ground between informing the students about the subject but will also take into consideration their religious backgrounds and values. I will aim my lesson plans towards 3rd year high school students who will, presumably, have only ever looked at the reproductive system in terms of biology.
Yes, I do realize that Kaye had mentioned in class that we were going to look at sex and gender in different regions but as I read this column (published in The Standard Hong Kong), I realized just how important it is for us, as students of gender and sexuality studies, to really look further into the intersections between race and gender.
When we make assumptions about genders in general, we tend to forget that not all societies comply with what our notions of what 'feminine' or 'masculine' are. In this article, Nury Vittachi, attempts to create a more complex way of classifying men. While I don't really agree with some of the things that he is saying (the column is supposed to be tongue in cheek afterall), I sort of see the point about the limitations of western concepts of masculinity and femininity. Thus, I think it is important to look more at gender constructs in different societies rather than to apply our "own" (or the American points of reference) to other societies.
I came across this article which I gives another lived experience of what it is like to be wheelchair-bound. The picture of the lady holding a sign that says "disabled women are not sexless! We want sex and relationships - not rape." is particularly powerful and I think drives home the idea of people with disabilities being sexless.
As I read Margaret Price's Introduction to Mad at School: Rhetorics of Mental Disability and Academic Life.
With regards to the norm, Price writes that the disclosure of mental illness (as well as queerness) is "apparitional" and that it is only disclosed when the environment in which it is present allows it to disappear and appear. I think that this is a point of discussion because as we have sort of discussed in class, this 'norm' is something that is not particularly well-defined and changes depending on the individual. If we cannot define the 'norm', then can we really define the 'other' or the 'deviant' as a society as a whole? How can these deviations "appear"?
But, as with physical disabilities, it is difficult to push past the binary of the well/unwell paradigm in terms of mental illness. However, if the "deviations" are not fixed (and as Price has pointed out, these so-called deviations can be anything from "coffee-guzzling, cigarette-puffing, vigorous human beings" to people who have been diagnosed with mental illnesses through the DSM) and neither is the "normal", then what is "ableism"? It is difficult to define this term if what its definition is based in is so rooted in other factors which themselves have no clear definition.
(and this post has just showed me how important it is to save your work... I just lost my entire post!)
I came across this art exhibition called unmakeablelove (www.unmakeablelove.org) over the summer which I find quite pertinent to our discussions about gender, disability and how society views us. The exhibition is based off Samuel Beckett's "The Lost Ones". The viewer walks into a darkened room and is immediately confronted with images of dark bodies just roaming around this cylinder. There are various flashlights placed outside of the space and the viewer has the opportunity to shine a light onto these moving figures to see what they are. None of the figures have very distinguishable traits - there might be a hint of genitalia on one of them but it is not so obvious.
I made me think about how important our bodies are to us. They are important because society bases so many things about us on just our outward appearance. They are also important because we seem to be defined by how we look like and many a time, we are placed into 'boxes' based on just this outside appearance. Unmakeablelove made me uncomfortable by forcing me to think of the disconnect between my physical body, prone to society's harsh judgements and categorizations, and my internal mind which, while still prone to judgement, is an entity that can no longer be categorized in the ways that we have discussed.
This is something that Aybala50 said as we popped outside English House for a quick breath of fresh air. We think of things in boxes, or categories. It's difficult to imagine a world without them.
But what is it about categorizing that provokes such negative responses? I feel that it's the connotations that we associate with the categories. I honestly don't believe that we can live in a world that has no categories - it takes away from who and what we are individually. If there is no way to describe in words what we are, then who are we?
However, is the category system flawed? Sure. We've seen various examples of this. Our modern day definitions of categories in terms of race, gender and religion have evolved over time. What may have been something at one point in history is now something else. Those that may "cross barriers" at this point in time may find a specific category to fill in the future.
But it categorization necessarily bad? I don't think so. I feel we dislike categorizing people because of the connotations that each category holds. To say that we should eradicate all categories for the sake of social justice and equality seems to be a little extreme. What we should be working on instead is to make these categories seem less negative.
Hey Everyone! I'm Mirella and I'm a sophomore at Bryn Mawr majoring (hopefully) in Comparative Media Studies as an independent major. I'm really interested in the creation of an identity in online, 'virtual' spaces and I feel like looking at gender is really interesting. I'm also really excited to be using Serendip again.
"Precarious, Performative, Playful, Potential"
To be honest, I had no idea how these terms really fitted into the theme of the class until I started really thinking them through and focusing on how I thought about what these four words meant. I looked them up on my Mac dictionary and found these definitions: