Study Guide: Mid Term
What does it mean to say Gendering as a complex process that starts even before we are
Gender a social construction that is formed in several social institutions
Baby X was born male or female but parents raised him gender-less
“by the time sex matters, it won‟t be a secret anymore”
Schools full of rules for boys and girls
X had problems at school parents upset X influenced the other students
Toys gender specific, clothing gender specific
Sex/gender system: with this system comes the social investment in the assumed binary
relationship between boys/girls; ladies/gentlemen; man/woman
Less negative stigmatization for girls who cross the boundaries (tom boys) than for boys
who cross the boundaries (sissies)
What does it mean to say that femininity is a social construct?
Femininity is a social construct, young girls are taught to behave “feminine”
Often taught at home and in school
Those who are not “feminine: are seen as “tomboys” and different
Article “What a Girl Wants”
What does it mean to say that masculinity is a social construct?
Gender socially constructed, from when infants are born and throughout their whole lives
they are treated as such gender those who do not fit the gender norm are seen as different,
Author of Sissy boy article shows that from an early age a child can be treated separate
from the other gender by assigning different toys, colours…
He the author of sissy boy was not taught by his parents much like other children but he
had difficult time in school (social institution)
What does it mean to say that Woman is not a Universal Category?
how do other subject locations weave through the experiences of masculinity and femininity?
Ethnicity? Class? Racialization? Ability? Age? Geography? Etc.?
The story of Barbie and her “Other” sisters as meaningful to the non-universality of the category
Difference is sameness in different colors and costumes.[clothes don‟t only make the woman but
also mark racial and cultural difference]
White Barbie comes in an array of outfits, non-white Barbies come in costumes that perform
difference and also shape how we come to see and understand difference, often as performance
of what is not really us and that which does not have many options.
Difference reduced to skin color and costume
[black Jamaican Barbie dressed as peasant or maid]
white Barbie can be anything, can wear everything.
How does doing so entrench ideas about race and makes these other dolls always a relational
category to the white doll and not vice versa?Difference as a value rather than difference as a relationship
[the story of the doll]
What does it mean to say that Man is not a Universal Category?
Why might it be important to take history into consideration in relation to gender and
Men have a contradictory experience of power and privilege, explain.
Man‟s power is a paradox
Suppression leads to more emotional dependency on women for example, sometimes
“she” becomes the only one who really knows us, the only one we open up to
Pain and power shape‟s men sense of manhood
Alienation keeps men distant from women and other men
Contradiction: all boys promised power but it depends where these boys and men are
located, whether or not they get to exercise the power and privileges promised to them
But the contradiction is that by virtue by being men they also experience pain isolation
and alienation not just from women but especially men
This contradictory experience of power is really the experience of dominant masculinity
Age, biology, class, ability, sexual orientation, religion, location, ethnicity.
Weave through the experience of masculinity and shape how much power these men get
to wield in the social world
What role does violence play in the construction of masculinity?
The construction of Masculinity and the triad of men‟s violence
a) Men‟s violence against women
b) Men‟s violence against other men
c) Men‟s violence against themselves
Violence is an expression of the fragility of masculinity, the family a place to feel
Violence of men against men is an expression of relations of power
And the fear of losing that power
Movie Tough Guise:
Violence not seen as deviance but part of being a man, toughness: disguise, survival
Respect= ability to scare people
If not big, muscular= respect can come from holding a gun
Violence is also sexualized: women objectified by men (playboy), putting down women
Masculinity makes violence acceptable, used to solve problems
According to Richard Dyer stereotyping performs at least four functions identify and
explain them. What are some of the problems with Dyer’s notions of stereotyping?
Richard Dyer 4 functions:
1) an ordering process 2) a short cut
3) referring to the world
4) expressing our values and our beliefs
How does Stuart Hall define stereotypes? According to Hall what are the four functions of
stereotypes? Please explain each function. And offer examples of each function.
Stuart Hall defi