Home | Search Serendip
Serendip
Knowing the Body: Our First Panels Forum

Knowing the Body: Our First Panels Forum


Comments are posted in the order in which they are received, with earlier postings appearing first below on this page. To see the latest postings, click on "Go to last comment" below.

Go to last comment

panels and perversion
Name: Anne Dalke
Date: //2004-10-04 14:46:51 :
Link to this Comment: 11017

Welcome back, Colleagues--

this time to a forum for commentary on this week's paper-writing and panel-presenting activities. Please, by week's end, comment here on what you are learning, in the process of researching, or writing, or presenting, or listening--

or contributing to the researching, writing, presenting of others. Concrete suggestions which others might make use of in their own writing are more than welcome here.

While doing so (or, in taking a break from doing so) you might want also to take a look @ this Sunday's New York Times (October 3, 2004) article, Doctor Strangelove--Alfred Kinsey: Liberator or Pervert?

(Just the title puts me in mind of Delany's cautions re that category, "perversion....")


the panel schedule
Name: gus stadle
Date: //2004-10-04 18:49:39 :
Link to this Comment: 11020

Dear Everyone,

Below please find the topics around which we’ve organized this week’s panels, as well as the schedule. Tonight please email the other people in your group a summary of what you’ll be talking about; feel free to use the document you already sent to us. You might also want to think and confer about the order in which your presentations would work most effectively.

The rubrics vary in their breadth, but should give you at least a sense of a thread running through the presentations on the panel you’re on.

Remember that you’ll have five minutes, no more and no less. For each panel, we’ll follow the three presentations with ten minutes of group discussion: approximately half among the panelists, and half among the entire class. Anne and I, acting as moderators, will start off the discussion with some sort of prompt.

Tuesday October 4, 2004

Paris is Burning
Arielle (aabeyta@brynmawr.edu)
Claire (cpomeroy@haverford.edu)
Sara (sansell@haverford.edu)


Queerness
Jessie (jpayson@brynmawr.edu)
David (dlittle@haverford.edu)
Chelsea (clphilli@brynmawr.edu)


Language I
Beth (epiastra@haverford.edu)
Bree (bbeery@brynmawr.edu)
Deb (dsosower@brynmawr.edu)



Thursday October 6, 2004


Questions of Social Control
Marissa (mchickar@brynmawr.edu)
Mo (mconvery@brynmawr.edu)
LB (lgraham@brynmawr.edu)



Inside/Out
Rebecca (rmao@haverford.edu)
Gilda (grodrigu@brynmawr.edu)
Nancy (nevans@brynmawr.edu)


Language II
Sierra (sjorgens@brynmawr.edu)
Mar (mdoyle@brynmawr.edu)
Jana (jmcgowen@brynmawr.edu)


We’re also posting this information on the web page, in the forum.

Until tomorrow. . . .
G & A





Defining Feminism
Name: Gilda
Date: //2004-10-05 18:43:05 :
Link to this Comment: 11026

The discussion about the meaning of feminism that Deb sparked with her conversation got me thinking about the many times I've had that same conversation in my classes, with my friends, with my mother and sisters, and the unfulfilled need I have for a common understanding of the meaning of the word "feminism." I understand that it's impossible, given the limitations of language, but it would make communication so much easier.

I want to share with you an essay by Sarah Bunting, a New Jersey native who lives and writes in New York and whom I greatly admire. "Yes, You Are" is about finding a common meaning for feminism and she does it in the most practical way: using the dictionary. I don't necessarily agree with her way of imposing her (i.e., the dictionary's) definition on everyone else, but I do think it addresses the important topic of the polarizing nature of feminism due to people's lack of knowledge about it.

Yes, You Are


identities as performance
Name: Rebecca Ma
Date: //2004-10-07 20:27:11 :
Link to this Comment: 11052

We discussed in the panels about the various aspects of identity within the in/out context. If performance is identity, then what does it take to pull off a performance? In an anthropology class, I learned that to pull off a successful performance for a prostitute requires good work conditions and lack of stigmatization; but what does it require to pull off performance in other spheres? When does a lesbian mother pull off her maternal identity and when does she fail? How do people produce their own identities through performance instead of experiencing identity as entities being imposed upon them from external sources?


lesbian motherhood
Name: Jessie
Date: //2004-10-11 23:55:55 :
Link to this Comment: 11083

First off, I thought all of the presentations were insightful and thought-provoking! I only wish we’d had more time to prepare and then more time to discuss the topics the presenters brought up. Even so, I thought the “panels” were a great idea and very interesting.

I thought Nancy’s idea about the identity of “mother” overriding the identity of “lesbian” was particularly interesting. I think this idea about pulling the outside into the inside explains, too, why the state/society typically makes such a big deal about not letting gays get family status – for example, giving child custody to ex-con fathers rather than lesbian mothers, forming anti-gay adoption and anti-gay marriage laws. I think this huge effort to prevent gays and lesbians from becoming parents proves that gays gaining this identity is indeed a threat to an exclusively heterosexual social structure (this might relate to LB’s presentation, too, about why the state considers homosexuality such a threat).

I think it’s interesting, too, to compare this lesbian effort to enter into the family structure with (heterosexual) feminist goals. Within a feminist context, this effort to be integrated into the standard family unit might look like a sell-out – women have been historically oppressed by this very unit and its centrality to social structure. It's probably not uncommon for many feminist agendas to eradicate gender inequality by restructuring the traditional role of “mother” and/or by asserting that women are not obliged to take this role. In a feminist perspective, lesbians fighting for inclusion in the very gender system that feminists are fighting against may seem to reinforce women’s oppression. I’m not saying that either lesbians or heterosexual feminist women are more or less oppressed than another group or have better or worse tactics. I do think that this difference in activist approaches is interesting in that it shows a distinction between heterosexualist oppression and gender oppression -- mainly, the difference between raising one's status in society (feminist) and striving for any social status at all (lesbian).