Gendered World Views (section 10, Winter 2016)
About this class
Pink is for girls and blue is for boys, or at least that's what many of us were taught as children. But what are these stereotypes really telling us? Assumptions like these force men and women into specific roles, and from a very young age, we socialize boys to be aggressive and girls to be nice – we then assign an aesthetic to each group that reflects this. But how do real people deal with these expectations? What does it mean to see the world through gendered terms?
This course will introduce students to the patriarchal world view that created the gendered stereotypes we live with today and the ways in which gendered assumptions structure society. We will then focus on the challenges that have been raised by the feminist world view and explore how women deal with gender inequality. The second half of the course will be largely dedicated to masculinity studies and feminist observations regarding how the patriarchal world view hurts men as well. Finally, we will end with a brief look at what the queer theory has to say about gender. Students will be asked to reflect on their own world views and how gendered ideas have effected their lives.
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The topic of your paper is very interesting. Additionally, your summary of the viral video was not only informative but also very intriguing. The discussion surrounding the legality of prostitution is often debated using various ethical frameworks. Firstly, the idea of utilitarianism is concentrated around the premise of the benefit of the majority of the population. Using this framework, one can argue that prostitution should be legal since the benefits affect the majority of society. These benefits include tax revenue from this industry, safer environments for prostitutes and their clients and less STD transmission. These benefits to society outweigh the potential negatives to the minority of prostitutes. Virtue ethics evaluates actions based on the actor employing naturally good virtues and how virtuous people would act in these scenarios. Contrary to the previous argument, a virtue ethics approach would condemn prostitution since paying for a sexual favor, without any aspect of love involved, would not be considered virtuous. Key virtuous figures in society would not remove the prestigious intrinsic value of sex by paying for a random stranger to perform sexual acts for them. The entire aspect of love would be removed from the equation, making sex unethical. Similarly, deontology would also condemn prostitution since the action itself of paying for sex would not be considered good. Personally I believe that the utilitarianism approach is best since all of society would benefit, rather than judging an action based on the virtues embedded in it. In my opinion, ethical actions should be measured by positive benefits to society and not the root of the action.
It was hearing warming to read about the story you shared about the New Yorkers in that subway car getting together, and resisting an act of discrimination and hatred. The concept of “Trump’s America” is very frightening, and the fact that it is now an reality rather than a farfetched possibility is absolutely mind boggling. Virtue ethics would approach this issue by pointing out that virtuous people with good virtuous, such as tolerance, compassion, humility, fraternity, kindness would do the right thing and stand up against the violence and hatred in current day America. Utilitarianism argues that ultimate goal is to provide the greatest amount of happiness to the largest amount of people. However, in this case how can the “greatest amount of happiness” be determined? Would that happiness be equality and peace the New Yorkers in the subway car fought for? Or would that be the bigoted rhetorics of those who drew the Swastika on the windows? It is hard to agree on a common summon bonum, the end goal. In this case, I believe the best approach would be Rationalism. Sure, virtue ethics has good intentions, but I don't think it is strong enough. Rationalism believes that all human have the duty of following the laws. It is a deontological framework, therefore it is only concerned about duty and the importance of obeying rules. One has to obey the rules, there is no exception. It is the duty to fight again discrimination and it is against the law to commit hate crimes. For these reasons, Rationalism is the correct path when it come to fighting Trump’s America.
Alexandra, I would just like to start off by saying that I am in complete agreement with your stance on this topic. Your points are very well made and you have also clearly provided facts that show that this issue is not getting better. What I would like to do in this comment is explain the “why” of your stance, as I understand if from your article, through the information I have learned so far in my Media Ethics class.
It might seem like common sense to not carry out domestic violence, but that is only because society in America is made up on different rules than European countries. In our readings, we learned that practices and actions – in this case domestic violence – are considered moral if (among other things) the majority of the population agrees that they are moral. Conversely, it would follow that if the majority of the population disapproved of the actions, then they would be considered immoral and unethical. This is one of the defining features of moral relativism, the notion that there is no such thing as absolute morality, and that the same thing can be ethical in one culture but unethical in another. You may correct me if I am mistaken, But I believe that this is the cause of your disagreement on this issue.
thank you for the interesting article. In your argumentation on this Gucci ad, you could also add another perspective. For instance, the fact that the woman is standing above the man and the fact that she is the one who is pulling her pants down - not him - could be a sign of the dominance of the woman. It seems like she is the one who decides what the man is able to see and what not, kind of like she is playing with him. The man in his on his knees and indeed grabbing the woman's legs, which could also lead to the deduction that he is begging her to reveal her full body to him. He looks young, soft, and even has longer hair and wears make-up - quite different from the average display of masculinity in most commercials. There, men are often displayed as very muscular, tall, and often with beards. How could this be included in the discussion about gendered world views? Again, thank you for this article and I'm looking forward to your thoughts on these ideas.
Hi I found your text very well written and I really enjoyed reading it. We often talk of masculinity in North America so I really like how your text talked about masculinity in Japan since I rarely hear of it. We can see that Japanese people have different values needed to be seen as a men. Their society mostly values the job and social status of men. They look at how much money they make, their income. Therefore, some Japanese men that maybe were not as good academically, ending up with a lower paid job are being ridiculised by other people as they are not seen manly by the Japanese society. They live in a partriarchal world view where men are the ones that must support the whole family. Therefore whenever someone doesn't have a good job or is unemployed they are often picked on by the bigger alpha male and can get depressed and suicide. This once again links to the man box where people police others and bring others down in order to push themselves up and fit in the man box. By putting others down whether it is in a violent way or not, some men try to be seen as a hegemonic and powerful man. What they don't realize is that what they say or do is extremely mean and can really affect the other person. This often ends up with suicide and depression as they feel shame. Shame can lead may of them to violent acts such as suicide.
For more information on the man box, I recommend you this site: http://www.wgac.colostate.edu/men-and-masculinities
Your article was very interesting because it encompassed two topics that weren’t at all related: Donald Trump and video games. I really enjoyed that because I often get bored when I read in depth about one topic only. However, if you look at the article through a more optimistic lens, you may be able to further your analysis. Firstly, you begin your post by describing Trump as “provocative”. It is evidently ok to have an opinion, but the fact that you consider him provocative is irrelevant to the rest of your text. Secondly, I would explain the reason as to why you find what you consider “discrepancies in the article" actual discrepancies. Did it ever occur to you that the author didn’t include those ideas (that you think he left out) because they’re simply false? In addition, you mention that Trump undermines the other candidates. However, try naming one candidate from any country and any party that doesn’t do that. I also found that a few of your points lacked evidence, such as when you say: “what he hasn’t been focusing on, has been explaining how he will ameliorate the conditions of the United States”. It would be a different story had you backed up your thoughts. Nevertheless, “ameliorating the conditions of the United States” is actually the goal of his campaign… (Make America Great Again), and it worked for Ronald Reagan. Here is another tip for future writings: don’t refer to him as “Donald”, unless you know him personally. Regarding the portion on video games, you say that “many of these constraints are learned, and are not innate.” I suggest you read the book https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Men_Are_from_Mars,_Women_Are_from_Venus, just to get a feel of how different males are from females. Lastly, I definitely comprehend your dislike for this presidential candidate, but perhaps you should consider that he may have been born into a family with compulsive heterosexuality. You may want to read up on how his father brought him up.
I loved the post because it touched on an issue I was actually familiar with thanks to my Gendered World Views Class. However, it’s important not to ignore the very valid other side of this debate:
Because our society is so used to having two genders (female and male) since the beginning of civilizaiton, don’t you think it’s simply going to be a matter of time before we get used to having gender neutral bathrooms? I totally understand the “#WeJustNeedToPee” concept, since I definitely believe that the majority of cisgender people (“people whose gender identity reflects the genitalia that they were born with” Waurechen powerpoint) are essentially refusing to accept trans people as people. However, I think that the majority of the determined population, such as yourself, aren’t being patient enough and are just expecting change to happen overnight. The cause of the invented hashtag can’t be any reason other then the fact that people obviously need time to get used to new norms. For example, many girls (or boys) just haven’t gotten the opportunity to feel comfortable with another girl (or boy) in the bathroom that was biologically born a boy (or a girl). The integration of women in universities, the change from most single-sex to co-ed schools… it all took time. Therefore, there’s no need to get mad at someone (such as Senator Donald Plett) who just hasn’t had the proper exposure or understanding of this issue yet, as it’s a fairly new concept and it’s definitely not their fault that they’re used to seeing and being with people that look and act EXACTLY like them in public washrooms.
This link proves how people, at least for now, are still clearly uncomfortable with the concept. In 40 years or so, (thanks to #WeJustNeedToPee, and other hashtags), Ted Cruz probably won’t even be able to say what he said because trans people will finally have the right to choose the appropriate bathroom for their gender.
I really enjoyed reading your text. It is really well written and it flows really well. The various facts and examples you put really spiced up your text and made it extremely interesting. I like the topic you chose as we, students, can relate to it. Anxiety and stress are present in almost every school. I find that by adding a gender lens to that article, we can see another cause of stress. As we live in a patriarchal world view, where society values hegemonic masculinity, it can put a lot of stress on students. Many people police others on how they express their masculinity, forcing them to concord to the "man box". In the box, there are many words describing men that society values, such as strong, tough, in control, powerful and intimidating. And outside the box, there are words that certain men are called if they do not conform to the "man box". These words are often related to homosexuality. Many students then feel pressured to conform to it and are always on guard at school to make sure they stay masculine and strong, adding unnecessary stress. People that are called names and picked on for not conforming to the "man box" can feel excluded and it can lead to depression and suicide. Wanting to prove their masculinity, many men even turn to violence. The patriarchal also affects women negatively as they are seen as inferior than men. It can cause discouragement that once again can lead to suicide and depression. In brief, the patriarchal world view can bring a lot of stress to students already dealing with a lot of stress from school work. Therefore, the problem might not only be on our educational system, but also brought by the world view of our current society.
Here is a link if you want more information on the man box: http://www.wgac.colostate.edu/men-and-masculinities
After reading your post, I would like to say that you have done a great job at expressing your view on these types of advertisements! I highly agree with you on most of the points that you made, such as “a young woman in a swim suit style bodysuit with her legs wide, beside her the words “Now Open”, as if her body is a well conditioned store that allows consumers to come in and out.” This statement stood out to me because I never really thought about that photo in that way. I like how you dug up the small things such as the “stretch marks, uneven skin tone and glimpse of oil on their faces.” I never thought about how “natural” they kept the young girl’s body! When i saw this photo, I was quite shocked. What shocked me is the angle in which the picture was taken. One thing you failed to mention is that also some men on advertisements for companies such as Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, Ralph Lauren, etc… have interesting photo angles as well. In most big brands we see that the male model is treated like an object, and are usually photoshopped unlike the female in American Apparel’s advertisement. Looking at this photo and then applying two different gendered lenses would help you in order to further your understanding and depth in regards to this photo.
Hi Yacine, you bring some very interesting points to light. It is evident that Torrence was profoundly disliked by his peers and this can be attributed to the fact that he was perpetually harassed and assaulted. In addition, your personal anecdote of life in Canada is extremely relevant to Torrence’s situation. Thankfully, your experience was much more pleasant compared to his, even though you were exposed to a degree of racism and xenophobia. Nonetheless, there are a few instances where your article is lacking a few elements to make it more cohesive. While I do agree with you that some children do not have the full capacity to understand the differences in race, it is very ignorant to say that the racism Torrence is subjected to is not purposefully racist. Children can easily observe that their only counterpart that is different is Torrence; therefore they pick on him solely because the pigments of their skin differ. You mentioned that we don’t know the full story, so we do not know whom the true aggressor is, however, Torrence just wanted to integrate and make friends. White people are not inherently racist, and in Canada we generally pat ourselves on the back for being more progressive and accepting. This implores the question of why he is forced to use a separate bathroom to avoid being hurt. This child, who has not even experienced one fifth of his life, already desperately wants it to end. Boys can be cruel and even they can embody traits of the man box. They are subconsciously taught to defend their masculinity, even with violence. Another characteristic is to dominate over the weaker or ‘inferior’ people. To conclude, I do believe that parents play a crucial in the formation of their children’s beliefs, and up until 6 years old, the child’s main interaction will be with his parents. Therefore, the parents should be re-educated and throw away all their predispositions to educate their kids.
Man Box Definition:
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