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Lecture 10

SOCI 1F90 Lecture Notes - Lecture 10: Intersex, Binary Opposition, Antonio Gramsci

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Sara Cumming

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Sex and Gender
-Biologically rooted; describes our physical bodies whereby distinguish between male and
-catergorized based on binaries implying dismetrical opposites “opposite sex”
-Socially constructed characteristics associated with girls and boys, men and women
-masculinity and femininity
-also suggests binary opposition
Masculinity and Femininity
-Hegemonic Masculinity (Connell, 1987)
-Ideal of masculinity that men are supposed to strive to achieve
-Derives from Gramsci
-Requires men to be successful , capable, and reliable
-Irrevocably tied to heterosexuality
-Emphasized femininity (Connell, 1987)
-Based on women’s compliance with their subordination to men
-Requires women to be supportive, enthusiastic and sexually attractive
Problematizing sex/gender distinction
-Intersexed individuals
-Born with ambiguous genitalia
-How do we decide who is male and who is female
-Transvestite and Transsexual individuals
-Transgender - used as an umbrella term for those who do not fit into normative
constructions of sex and gender
-Transsexual - used to encompass those who undergo sex reassignment (realignment)
-Transvestite - are born into one sex however often dress as the other
Two spirit people
-First Nations
-Masculine and Feminine spirit within the same body is viewed as a gift
Problematizing Sex and Gender
-Thomas Beattie
-“the pregnant man”
Reproducing Gender: Families
-Gender expectations begin at birth
-Child-rearing practices are deeply gendered
-Parents spend more time talking to girls while leaving boys alone; punish their sons more
often than daughters
-Gendered divisions of household labour
Reproducing Gender: Media
-Gender divisions reflected in and reinforces by all forms of media
-Television shows
-eg. Desperate housewives, greys anatomy, lipstick jungle
-Black men tend to be portrayed as frightning scary characters
-Reality tv: glorifies competitive cutthroat behaviour
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