teaching children about gender variance

Anne Dalke's picture

When dchin and epeck read us And Tango Makes Three on Thursday, I mentioned a webevent, created by a student in the core course in gender studies last semester, which might interest you all: it's about Making Sense of the "Gay Penguin" Controversy, and it questions the wisdom of "anthropomorphising animals to contribute to a conversation about human" behavior.

If you are interested in thinking some more about (and creating new) texts to teach children about gender variance, you might find inspiration in a couple of other projects created for that class; see, for example,
Mommies, Daddies, Families,
A Rainbow of Sex Difference,
The Stories We Tell Ourselves and
A Handbook for the Boy Scouts of America....

Comments

bluebox's picture

Modes of media

This was meant to be a reply to michelle.lee but I guess I did it wrong. Sorry!

I think that a Kony 2012-style gender awareness campaign would be effective--if the movie were edited as perfectly as Kony 2012, and put together as well.  I have a lot of problems with Kony 2012, but I admit that it is an amazing piece of propaganda. I don't know if I'd want the gay rights movement supported this way.  One thing to think about is that this is an internet phenomenon, and people forget them quickly. If there were a way to make something like gay rights or transgender rights or anything similar as accessible as Kony 2012 was, that would be fantastic. I don't know anybody in this culture that would agree that children are best used as child soldiers and sex slaves, but it's not hard to imagine people believing that "the gays" don't deserve to live. (That's the worst thing I've heard, which is why it's my example.) Without that base belief, either that children shouldn't be soldiers or homosexuals are people too, I can't see the campaign working nearly as well.

Popular TV shows are great. I believe Glee is the most popular show now that supports homosexuality, and I think it's come a long way. It's the first time I can think of a famous (fictional) lesbian couple who everybody likes (because they're both attractive). I also have a lot of problems with Glee, mostly because some of the LGBT characters/plotlines started out as a joke.  I know the BBC has been branching out to non-heterosexual plots with shows like Sherlock and Merlin, so I've been told. Also, Torchwood, which is a spinoff of Doctor Who, is a great show and the main characters are all bi- or pansexual. I would love to see more LGBT-friendly shows in America.

michelle.lee's picture

http://www.afterellen.com/blo

http://www.afterellen.com/blog/stuntdouble/amy-poehler-marries-gay-penguins-on-parks-and-recreation

If anyone here watches Parks and Recreations (an NBC Comedy Show with Amy Poehler), there is an episode where Poehler's character, Leslie Knope, marries two male pengins. 

Spurring off of dchin and epeck's books brough in class as well as the use of media, is it possible to use these forms for gender variance to the general public?  From the tumblr and the serendip postings, I can see how that can spread awareness, but that is for those who choose to look at those postings.  This also goes for Middlesex.  I do believe more people have read it because of Oprah, but even so, it is still not a topic that is easily accessbile by everyone.  

I think about forms of media that have spread awarness very quickly such as the Kony 2012 movement through Invisible Children and wonder if .  While I personally am not comfortable with the consumerism edge IC put to their movement. I do think they did spread awareness about an issue very effectively.  

Would forms of media such as Kony 2012, or a popular television show or a story book be effective for spreading awareness?  Would it be taken well or not?  How would schools, public libraries or executive producers of television shows react?  Who is generally in charge of this?  Who is charge of banning books or television programs?

meowwalex's picture

Talking more about media and

Talking more about media and how that influences the way topics of gender are handled, I came across a recent conversation about Katy Perry and something she said in Rolling Stone magazine.

http://www.queerty.com/katy-perry-part-time-tranny-full-time-bimbo-20110706/

 

“You can’t be a full tranny every day of the week. That’s an exaggerated part of my personality.”

The uproar about this comment is that she completely disregards the fact that transgendered people do exist and live as "trannies" each and every day. While Perry has said that she is supportive of gay rights and causes for equality, this comment obviously makes her seem incredibly insensitive and indicating that she thinks being transgendered is more a costume that can be removed after your feet start to hurt or you get tired of it. The quote was printed in the magazine but removed from the online version.

meowwalex's picture

Talking more about media and

Talking more about media and how that influences the way topics of gender are handled, I came across a recent conversation about Katy Perry and something she said in Rolling Stone magazine.

http://www.queerty.com/katy-perry-part-time-tranny-full-time-bimbo-20110706/

 

“You can’t be a full tranny every day of the week. That’s an exaggerated part of my personality.”

The uproar about this comment is that she completely disregards the fact that transgendered people do exist and live as "trannies" each and every day. While Perry has said that she is supportive of gay rights and causes for equality, this comment obviously makes her seem incredibly insensitive and indicating that she thinks being transgendered is more a costume that can be removed after your feet start to hurt or you get tired of it. The quote was printed in the magazine but removed from the online version.

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