Based on the learning resources for this week, what do you conclude determines a person’s gender? Did the reading change any of your thinking on gender? If so, which ones and why?
Next, answer one or more of the following questions using the learning resources for support:
- Is it useful to create additional categories for gender? What would we gain as a society? What might individuals gain? Would we lose anything? What if we were to do away with gender categories altogether?
- How do the words we use affect the way we understand the world around us? Can changes in language be an effective way to combat sexism and racism? Can you think of an especially useful example?
- How do the accepted gender norms for “femininity” and “masculinity” limit human potential? Who is most limited by these categories? In what ways?
- What are some of the issues or pressures faced by women regarding their sexuality that do not exist in the same way for men? Does race, class, or sexual orientation add to (or, perhaps, subtract from) any of those pressures?
- Why do you think that our culture is generally more comfortable with women taking on characteristics of masculinity than with men taking on characteristics of femininity? How has this comfort (or lack thereof) affected changes in social gender norms and expectations over time?
- Do our current societal structures present particular challenges to gender-fluid or gender non-binary people [people who do not identify themselves as either female or male] that are different from those experienced by cisgender or transgender people? Do you know of any ways those challenges are being addressed?
- What role do you think parents should play in the development of their children’s gender identity and/or their understanding of their sexuality?
, watch, or listen to all of the learning resources listed below.