COST-2606EL Lecture Notes - Lecture 3: Sandro Botticelli, John Money, High-Heeled Footwear

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Week 3:
Gender
Where do we get ideas about gender from?
Parents and upbringing
Names
Media
Social activities, friends
Products (Bic for Women, Luna Bars for Women, perfume/cologne)
Talking Gender
"Muslim women must improve their English, or else, says Britain's prime minister"
"PEI sign called 'sexist' sparks social media furor"
Toys
Sears Wishbook 1966 vs Sears Wishbook 2012
Guns and uniforms for boys, ironing and dainty outfits for girls
Girls using vacuums, irons, kitchen sets, boys using ATM and tools
Gendered Language
Not gendered language, but still placing boys in tool workshops and girls in kitchens
Key Concepts
The Difference Between Sex and Gender
Sex refers to the biological and physiological characteristics that are used to differentiate
between what we would consider a man and what we would consider a woman
Gender refers to the socially constructed roles, behaviours, activities, and attributes that relate
to understandings of masculinity and femininity in any given society
Sex and Gender
The term "gender" is relatively recent - introduced in 1955 by psychologist John Money
Concepts of sex and gender are often confused as though they mean the same thing
Defining gender strictly in terms of masculinity or femininity suggests that only two, separate
and discrete, gender categories exist
Gender is often thought to exist upon a continuum:
Masculine - androgynous - feminine
Again, this doesn't allow for the intersecting experiences of gender
Masculinity and Femininity
"Gender difference, then, is largely culturally constructed, yet appears entirely natural"
Demello argues that "men are instrumental; women are ornamental"
Women are supposed to be decorations, men are supposed to get stuff done
High heels, fingernails
Gender
4 key points have been introduced about gender by social scientists
The meanings of gender differences vary from one society to another
Men and demonstrations of affection
The experiences of being masculine or feminine vary within any one culture over time
Birth of Venus
The Birth of Venus is a 1486 painting by Sandro Botticelli
Venus had two aspects: she was an earthly goddess who aroused humans to physical love or
she was a heavenly god who inspired intellectual love in them. Venus was considered the most
beautiful of goddesses.
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