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Final Blog

Even before signing up/taking this course, I have been interested in gender/women/sexuality studies. I’ve been a Judith Butler fan before I knew who Judith Butler was. But I hadn’t really thought about the “everyday? in all of it. Luckily, this course helped me to see that aspect and, more importantly, helped me see the everyday of gender and power in my own life.

Since I am a Butler fan, the essays on gender as a performance were especially intriguing to me, especially because they were very much focused on the everyday. The Butler piece, along with a other readings, really got me thinking about 1.) how people do (perform) gender, 2.) what kind of performance society expects, and 3.) how the way gender is performed is tied to power. From all of this, I learned what I believe…that gender is performed in a million different ways, that it becomes something personal, but through all that society creates gender norms. Of course anyone going against social norms is looked at as different, queer, or indecent.

By reading Johnson’s essay on the +5 system, it is clear that there are people in society who are privileged and therefore, powerful, and in turn there are people (lower on the +5) who are oppressed. Oppression, a system within itself, creates more cycles…oppressed people are held down by the privileged that control all the means (government, money, etc.).

It was great to take this class with students who were first being introduced to some of the theories and topics we discussed. It made the course interesting and allowed ideas to be challenged and rethought. As for me, I’ll leave with the understanding that gender and sexuality are not as technical and scientific as they once were understood to be…they are raw and personal and can’t be defined by society.

Katie and Rebecca --Thanks for a great semester; I look forward to working with both of you in courses in the future.