Houston Community College System Feminism and Gender Socialization Discussion

Instructions:

  1. Choose any TWO of the following terms or concepts from our course so far: feminism, gender socialization, gender policing, oppression, privilege, social constructionism, and the personal is political.
  2. For each of the two terms/concepts you choose, (a) define it and (b) provide a “real life” example. NOTE: If you copy the definition from our course materials or from an outside source, you must also add your own words explaining that definition. See the example below for a way to do that. The real life example might be from your own life, from our course materials (readings, documentaries, One Day at a Time), or a hypothetical. Whatever you choose, it should demonstrate that what we are studying in this course isn’t just in a textbook; it has implications for you and me in our everyday worlds.

Sample Submission:

Here is an example of a high-quality submission for one term/concept. Please remember that you need to have TWO terms/concepts.

Feminist stance can be defined as one that “understands gender as a system of privilege and oppression [and that] also assumes that gender is social constructed, and is deeply interested in mapping out how, where, and to what effect” (Threshold Concepts, p 31). In my own words, I think that this means that instead of assuming that that’s just the way the world is or that difference is natural or unavoidable, a feminist stance looks for the ways that we as a society have made the rules ourselves and looks at how the rules we’ve made affect different people in different ways. Most important is that a feminist stance is often looking at ways to change the system so that more people have privilege and access. A real life example of this is the way that I used to think about child care because my mother was a stay at home mom while my dad worked outside of the house for pay. I fell into the trap of assuming that women should “naturally” take care of children because I mistakenly believed that women were “naturally” nicer and more emotional. In this class I learned to think through a social constructionism lens, meaning that men and women are socialized to behave in certain ways. If little girls are given dolls and taught how to care for dolls while little boys are given building blocks and told not to play with dolls, don’t cry, etc, then of course those boys and girls are going to grow up with those behaviors feeling “natural” even though it has more to do with how we are raised. I didn’t think about how that assumption affect not only women but their families when it came to employment and income. We’ve learned in this class about how the US is behind other highly industrialized countries when it comes to quality child care and using a feminist stance I now see the issue as about more than just “moms taking care of their kids.” I can now see that the lack of child care support is based on gendered assumptions about children and about moms and dads and the end result means that families with children face hard challenges to pay for child care often meaning that the woman in the relationship must reduce her work hours or even quit/lose her job, thereby affecting the income of the family overall.

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