Although cheesy, the saying “a picture is worth a thousand words” rings true. To express the concept of “right relationships”, I have “curated” an online exhibit of photographs. Although all of the photographs are real, because I have borrowed them from other websites, I have created my own titles for them. Additionally, for some of the photographs, the captions below the titles are not accurate for that specific photograph, but rather are based on the content of the photograph.
Because I am not computer-savvy enough to create a virtual gallery space, I will use my words to help you imagine the exhibition space in which this exhibit would be on display. Imagine a large, open room with light, sandy-colored wood floors and high white walls. There is also an expansive wall of windows allowing for natural sunlight to flood the gallery. The photographs would be 24” by 18” framed inside of a 2” white mat and a 1.5” solid black frame. The titles and captions would be printed on cards and mounted on the wall next to the bottom right-hand corner of the frame.
Written on the wall, to be seen as the first thing when entering the exhibit:
Haverford's home page features an interview with Rich Espey, who teaches middle school science at the Park School in Baltimore, and recently received the GLSEN Educator of the Year award. (Rich, who is a gay man and an accomplished playwright, did his senior thesis research in my lab.) Rich was honored for his work in developing the program, "Putting Gay in a Positive Context," with other teachers at his K-12 school. They created a superb website of gay resources for teachers, which are organized by age of students, subject, advocacy, and support for teachers. I hope you will check it out!
The lecture last night was intense and, for me, different from other lectures I've attended at Bryn Mawr. Partly it was the sheer scale of it and the buildup beforehand: while I'm sure there were some audience members only there for a class, there was a collective excitement that you just don't usually feel in an academic setting. The only event I can think of that came close was the lecture by Angela Davis. So first, there was a difference in the audience.
Then there was the difference in the speaker. The biggest difference, and the one I talked about with some friends afterwards, was that Judith Butler was there as an academic and theorist but taking a strong political stance. How often have we seen that? I can tell you how often I've heard it: never. Not once. I've occasionally had a professor take up political issues in the classroom, but not often. And never in a way that tied them so thoroughly to theory. I'd never heard a lecture that was both very academic and intensely political-- they tend to be one or the other. I'd never seen theory and practice so thoroughly entangled (to borrow Barad's term, which I may or may not thoroughly understand. But it seems right here).
Then there were the ideas themselves. Other people have complained about how hard it was to take notes with hardly any light, but I did it anyway because I knew that otherwise there was no way I'd be able to remember even half of what was brought up. I can even read most of what I wrote.
“The sperm is inevitably characterized in a narrative of virility, aggression, and mobility. Eggs are… well, your basic egg is usually described as a combination of Sleeping Beauty and a sitting duck. Plump, round, and receptive, it waits—passive and helpless—for the sperm to throw itself upon her moist, quivering membranes. The sperm push furiously at [the] inert egg until one of them finally penetrates deep into the warm, defenseless tissue.”
-Richi Wilkins, Queer Theory Gender Theory
Gender and Sexuality in the High School Biology Classroom: Fostering Critical Thinking and Active Engagement
Gender and Sexuality in the High School Biology Classroom:
Fostering Critical Thinking and Active Engagement
Summary: This project was undertaken with the hope of changing the ways we think about teaching and engaging with science. This paper will discuss ways to help students recognize that science is interdisciplinary and can both affect and be affected by the social and/or political context it exists in.
By asking students to think about the way science is presented and conducted, and giving them the tools to think about science not as an isolated body of information, but as a dynamic and shifting discipline, we will not only be encouraging more engaged science scholarship, but will also help students begin to notice the ways science is used as evidence in different contexts and evaluate these uses.
The goals of this project are two-fold. I hope to suggest ways for biology teachers:
A response to “Miss Representation 8 min. trailer:” Changing gender stereotypes by increasing visibility of female athletes
The trailer for Miss Representation by filmmaker Jennifer Siebel Newsom describes the power of the media, acknowledging that people learn more from it than any other single source of information. The media is the primary force that shapes our society: “politics, national discourse, and children’s brains, lives, and emotions” (Jim Steyer, CEO, Common Sense Media). Upwards of one billion people use the Internet every day (Marissa Mayer, Vice President, Consumer Products, Google); images are widely available and accessible without restrictions.
The messages disseminated by the mainstream media are pervasive, and more often than not emphasize and perpetuate harmful gender stereotypes. According to Miss Representation, women hold only 3% of clout positions in telecommunications, entertainment, publishing and advertising and comprise just 16% of all writers, directors, producers, cinematographers and editors. Because women are generally not the ones deciding how they are represented in the media, they are often shown as sex objects, valued by their looks rather than their achievements. As a result, “girls are taught that their value is based on how they look, and boys are taught that that’s what’s important about women” (Jean Kilbourne, EdD, Filmmaker, Killing Us Softly).
Dear boys, girls, and those of you who just aren’t quite sure yet (because that is totally cool too),
For many of you, this is a confusing time. Things are growing in places where you aren’t sure if they are supposed to be growing, new places might develop novel smells, and you might start to feel differently. If any of these things apply to you, or if none of these things apply to you, you are still normal. Every body goes through different changes at different speeds and in completely different orders. So if your best friend is growing armpit hair, but you haven’t reached that point yet, don’t worry – we all catch up in the end! I am writing to you, middle-schoolers, because this time can be a bit scary; there are a lot of changes that you can expect in the next couple of years, and a lot of information out there, both true and false, so a quick guide to the next few years seems like a pretty good resource for you right about now. Read on to learn about what makes boys and girls different biologically, some of the changes that you can expect to your body during puberty, how babies are made, and a quick peek at the different categorizations of gender!
Let’s start from the very beginning. How did we get here and what exactly makes girls different from boys?