September 12, 2008


My name is Chloe Moriarty and I am a freshman. I am majoring in Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies with a possible minor in Social Justice. I took a women's studies class when I did PSEO classes during my senior year in highschool.

Gender is the culturally created masculine and feminine. Everyone is always "doing" gender. I think the meaning of power in patriarchal society is domination; power over something. Inequalities of power function within everday encounters and transactions between classes of people.

September 8, 2008

gender, power, and everyday life: what are they?

My name is Katie Kubes and I am a sofomore. I am a Strategic Communications major in the Journalism School on the advertising track, and I am also minoring in Spanish. Though the term gender is a distinction between male and female, I have always considered gender to have a stereotypical connotation of the two sexes. For example, boys are associated with the color blue just as girls are with the color pink. Likewise, men are thought of as the breadwinners while women are the homemakers.

Power is any domination that one person has over another. In the example above of men as the family breadwinners and women as homemakers, they have power over women in a financial sense.

Traditionally, men have typically had domination over women. This power still holds true in many cultures. However, with the growth of feminism throughout many years, women are gaining power, not only in the workforce, but also in other aspects of everyday life as well.

September 7, 2008

Week One

Hey everyone! My name is Christina Jorgensen and I am a sophomore this year. I just transferred from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, so this will be my first year here in Minneapolis. My hometown is Sioux Falls, SD, though I have also lived in Missoula, MT. I’m majoring in global studies, and I’d like to pursue a minor in Spanish as well. So far I think the U is great, and I am especially excited for this class.

The relationship of gender and power is something I really started to think about in high school. I picked up The Feminine Mystique my senior year, and it gave me a really good perspective on what life was like for women just before the Women’s Liberation Movement versus women’s lives today. By life (or everyday life) I mean women’s roles at home, in society, and what their expectations were within those worlds. My own definition of power is a little more dynamic.

Power is subjective and, I believe, is based more on comparison. For example: Country X has more power than Country Y, or Candidate A’s influence is more powerful than Candidate B’s. I also think power is subject to change—it is fluid. In terms of women, there has been a definite shift in empowerment over the last 50 years in the US. It will be interesting to see how it continues to change within our lifetimes, and what that will mean for our “everyday lives.? I’m excited to see how this class will define and relate gender and power.

Week One

Greetings cyber-world,

My name is Emma Molls I am a second year English major here at the U. Last semester I took Women Write the World with Judith Katz and fell in love with the GWSS department. Within my own major, I am a huge fan of creative non-fiction and the development of the genre. Last semester I was also introduced to non-heteronormative writing/literature, (non-heteronormative being anything out of the realms of society’s “normal?, and in this case writing), and found a great interest in pushing the academic world to think outside of the box.

Gender is something I didn’t really think about much until I came to the U. As a freshman, I was part of numerous clubs where introducing yourself also meant introducing your preferred pronoun. That being said, I realized that gender, in everyday life, is something that has no common ground. Over the past few decades the thought of a gender binary has become more and more obsolete…which it should be. I firmly believe that power is self-given, and that once a person becomes comfortable with their gender (within or outside of the binary) the more power they will have. I'm looking forward to this course and some great discussions.

September 6, 2008

Week One

Hi everybody my name is Aremie Cosey and I am a freshman in CLA and my major is Journalism. I am not form Minnesota I am from Chicago and I really miss it there. My beliefs on gender and power is that of course it occurs in everyday life. My grandmother would call the women of today modern women because of what women are doing now and what they weren't doing back in her day. Back in her day the women used to stay home and raise the kids while the men were out working in the field or the steel mill. Not anymore. The women of today have more of a voice and they are not afraid to use it. Ever since the women burned their bras they decided that it was time for a change. Women are now competing for more male competitive jobs meaning that jobs that males usually do women are now taking over. If that's not power I don't know what is. For example i see more female construction workers than males sometimes. I also see a lot of female truck drivers and executives. Don't get me wrong the males are doing their own thing too. Most males are becoming stay home dads where they take care of the kids, the house, and work from home. Some men look down upon men like that, but I believe it's wonderful that some men are taking a stand and letting it be known that the women don't have to do it all. Sometimes a woman wants to come home from work and dinner would be ready for her. I know I would. So that's my belief on that.

Week One

Hi my name is Bau Nhia Thao, but you can just call me Bau.
My planned major is in Child Psychology but I'm sit not quite sure if I want to go into that anymore but it still interest me. If I do major in Child Psychology I might be a counselor for elementary students or I might just go further into Child Psychology to become a child psychologist and study how the child's mind works. I guess I became interested because of the amount of time I spend with my nieces and nephews and seeing how their mind works.
I guess one fact that will always be interesting and a shock to some is the amount of siblings I have. I have 11 siblings, seven sisters and four brothers. Our family has a pattern of girl, girl, boy, girl, girl, boy, etc. It has not changed ever.
I can't really think of any vague definitions of gender, power, and everyday life. The only definitions I can think of gender, power, and everyday life is the gender of both female and male, power that each of us have, and everyday life is what we deal with in our lives. I guess in all one definition that seems to match all three of these words are that they show us the difference; difference between women and men; differences between lower class men and higher class men. Power can also be the difference between men and women or older and younger people. Everyday life is some what like power because within each power that a person has they lead a different life from the others.

September 5, 2008


Hi! My name is Rebecca Galarowicz. I am a freshman in the pre-Graphic Design program through CDes. With my degree, I hope to work at a large magazine (in a big city of course) and be the art direct or something like that. Honestly at first, I didn't reallty know what this class entailed. I was a orientation and my adviser told me that I would be "double-dipping" and it would help toward my goal of studying abroad in the future. But now, after looking over the syllabus, I am excited to study the effects of gender in life. I've worked at a baseball stadium for the past four years and different treatment between the men and ladies who work there is quite evident. Sure, no one gets "cat calls" because they could be kicked out, but it is noticable in our tip cups at the end of each night. I'm sure that this doesn't sound huge, but every girl that works there gets hit on by the men, especially the drunk, old men. I guess that's my first-hand experience. But I'm excited and am looking forward to the rest of the class because I think it will open my eyes up even more to the world.

Week 1 Blog

Hi, My name is Violet Weston-Rose, I usually go by Violet Rose because it sounds better though. I am undecided about my major right now but I love to be creative so I was leaning towards marketing. I knowthat will be a very challenging major because it is related to business. I am also thinkin about kieneseology but I think i will have to do more research on both before I make my final decision, or if one of these will even be my decision.

What is Gender, Power and Everday Experience to Me?
These words mean a lot to me, one because I am a female and I feel like it is hard to be a female in a World like ours. Women seem to have more emotions and seem to be more sensitive in a sense. Sometimes that could be good and sometimes it can be bad. Power is a very strong word and a word that goes along with power to me is Leadership!! To have leadership then I believe you can have power. Power can be being ahead of someone like being a manager or president or it can just be saying what you mean when you want to and having someone listening to you. Power can have a list full of meaning because it can mean so much to different people at different times in their lives. Everyday this can be tricky.. this can mean what I am going through as a young female on a daily basis or it can mean what i am plan on doing on a daily basis. I think that all of these words can mean so many different things and that is why i am taking this course to learn more about everything int his catogory along with new perspetives and meaning for these words and how they affect different people. I am open to all types of thoughts and i am really looking forward to hearing everyones opions on certain topics we discuss in this course.

week one

my name is Britta. i am getting my bachelor of fine arts in ceramics, and finally got my own studio space. very exciting. the terms gender, power, and everyday life i feel are largely informed by the culture in which we as individuals live. using the words male and female to describe someone/-thing automatically places that within a limited space which has been created by the power hierarchy our culture has ascribed "male" and "female."

Week One Blog

My name is Rachel Palmer and I am a freshman here at the U. My intended major is environmental horticulture. I’m not really sure why, I just decided one day that horticulture sounded interesting and that I wanted to work with plants. As of now, I am planning on going into floriculture. Besides growing things, I like dancing, searching iTunes to find music that most people haven‘t heard, and doing crafty things like crocheting.

In my opinion, the terms “gender,? “power,? and “everyday life? are very strongly correlated. Although we aim for complete equality between genders, it is clear that this goal is simply impossible to achieve completely. There will always be natural differences between genders that allow males to be more suitable for certain things than females and vice versa. This gives varying types and amounts of power to each gender, but it is hard to say which gender is overall more powerful. For example, while males may have more authority in a workplace, females may have more influence over the family, as a general rule. These unavoidable discontinuities between genders make all the difference in our everyday lives. For example, personality differences between males and females account for things like male and female public restrooms. The more outgoing, nonchalant manner of males is shown by the fact that, unlike secretive, self-conscious females, they don’t always need to use private stalls. They are also shown in things as simple as children’s toys. There are natural reasons why a boy will be more excited to get a toy truck than a doll for his birthday, and the opposite for a girl. Overall, while we can do our best to equalize the genders, it is inevitable that each will always be powerful in its own way.

Hey everybody, my name's Andy and I'm one of those battery thieving electrical engineers from Baltimore. To me, power and everyday life are simply one's ability to affect change of influence people is ordinary settings; when no legal authority is involved. Obviously, any uniformed police officer, for instance, is going to have power over most other people for no other reason than being in uniform. Outside of such scenarios is everyday life, and your influence is certainly influenced by gender.
However, as to what gender is, I couldn't give a concrete answer. Of course there's the simple biological answer of having either that XX or XY genome, but even this fails to account for "in-between" genders, caused by genetic defects. In such cases, or even at large, could our gender defined by our genitalia and outward appearance, or is it defined more by behavior? Even so, what constitutes a particular gender behaviorly changes based on culture. In a matriarchal society, a woman would have more inherent leadership, while one acting with the same initiative in a more male-dominated society could be seen as more 'male'. Furthermore, what would one consider a well-defined biological man or woman who was convinced they were of the other gender and conformed to the traditional gender roles of the gender they thought they were? Although the connection between gender, power and everyday life is quite visible, it's hard for me, at least at this time, to define exactly how they fit and flow together.

Week One

My name is Corrie and I am a sociology major in my last semester at the U. I also am a GWSS minor. After 4 years at this university and 2 years in Gender Studies classes, I feel like I have a pretty good grasp on power, gender and their implications in everday life. Gender, in my opinion, represents a category that we have wrongly assumed to be innate, natural and unchanging throughout history. Gender, in reality, is nothing more than a performance, an act that we do to communicate to others our desired sex and is most definitely connected to sexuality and institutional structures of power. Gender and power are inextricably linked. Becacuse gender is a category, it is often used to create a binary: i.e. male, female which has been used to control social groups for years. Men as strong, logical, breadwinners and women as emotional caretakers. These binaries are enforced in everyday situations such as the clothes we wear, the bathrooms we use, and the division of labor at the workplace and at home. We further enforce or subvert these binaries in our daily interactions with eachother and institutions such as the U in which we can discuss them further. I look forward to doing that with all of you this semester!

Week 1

Hey everyone, my name is Shelby Hegy. I am currently a freshman here at the U and I am majoring in biomedical engineering. One day I hope to either teach doctors how to use new technology or just maybe go into the actual development side? I really haven’t thought about it that much. I’m from the city of La Crescent, Minnesota.
Coming into this class I didn’t really think it applied to me. It was a general class and it fit in my schedule; however, now that I think about it, Gender and power and everyday life is apparent here at the U for me. Being a girl in IT means that for every one of me, there are four guys. That is a big difference. It makes me think that when I graduate I will be working mostly with men- not that I’m complaining- but are employers going to look at my gender as a good thing? A thing of change? Or as less than average?
As for coming up with a definition for gender, women, and every day life it is extremely difficult. I guess to many people it seems that women have had the same rights as men for a long, long time, but are women really to the point of men? I think we are getting closer, and many may argue that women are just as equal as men. If they were just as equal as men, why has it taken so long for a female candidate to be taken seriously on the ballot? I believe that there are issues surrounding gender in everyday life, not just in politics but also in the workplace, in the family, and many other aspects of everyday life. I hope to learn more about the issues women face not only here in the US but all over the world.

Blog One Assignment

My name is Elissa Roessler. I am a junior, majoring in Communication Studies. I also have academic interest in psychology/ sociology, journalism and Spanish.
I think gender can be defined in a couple different ways, but I really don't know what the correct definition is, if there is one. At first, when I thought of gender, the sex of the person came to mind, but is gender really defined by our physical anatomy, our birth- given sex, or does it have more to do with the mental/emotional components of a person? But then, if that is how you define it, consider the following scenario. Society may view someone as a man, because he has the anatomy of a male, but may have a very feminine-type personality and he, himself feels more like a woman (as defined by our culture) than a man. What would you label him? It is hard to think about labeling him as anything but a man (for me at least), because I think it would feel really strange to say or even hear a man say he is of the female gender, when, if defined by physical characteristics, is not.
I think our culture, as well as the type of community we live in and especially the media, defines what should be deemed as appropriate or expected behavior for both sexes, so in turn the media really defines what gender is or at least defines how each gender should act and what is acceptable. What is appropriate for men and women in my or your culture may not be appropriate in a different culture. I think that our different cultures and the societies we live within as well as how we were raised, what type of family we were raised by and during what years we were raised have a great deal to do with how our views of gender and power are shaped.
Whether it is our own culture, or another, I think that gender and the way power is distributed have a strong correlation in every day life, whether we want to admit it or not. Yes, we have had many strives in the right direction for equality amongst both sexes, as well as races, but not in every culture around the world. We still fight against assumptions and stereotypes everyday (both men and women) and I think the media has a lot to do with defining the roles that men and women are supposed to fit into, whether it has to do with family life, careers, hobbies, clothing, etc. I would love to believe that our society can be color- blind and fair to men and women at all times, but I don’t think that is the 100% truth. Whether we admit it or not, I think at one point in time, we all have been or will be guilty of judging someone based off of their sex.

Week One Blog

Hi everyone! My name is Ariel Orcutt and I am a freshman majoring in math and chemistry. I hope to eventually earn at least a masters in both majors if not a PhD and then get a teaching degree and teach either in the high school or in college. I suppose once I decide exactly at what level I want to teach it will be easier for me to decide just how far I go in my major. I am an extremely 'rounded' person I guess as I am interested in pretty much everything and try to learn as much about everything that I possibly can. I am also extremely involved in 4-H which is something I hope to continue throughout my college career.

As far as what I think this course is about, I'm not really sure. I have my opinions of course dealing with gender, power, and everyday life as it is something I have thought a lot about, especially once I decided to be in a technical field which is dominated mostly by men. However I have always been interested in the relationship between gender, the power that is associated with it and the generalizations made because of it which is one of the reasons I thought this class sounded interesting. I also tend to find it extremely irritating how women in general don't seem to be treated as equally as men in society. Its not that I think women are better than men at all, I just wish that all men and women could be treated completely and utterly equally as if everyone could just turn a blind eye to a person's gender and judge a person just based on their personality and skill and such.

Nor do I think this course will just be talking about how being a man or woman can affect how much power he/she gets and what goes on in their everyday life. There is still the different races to consider that can affect how a person is treated and different sexual preferences as well. Either way, I am extremely interested in finding out what this class has to teach me and am hoping that maybe it will help me better understand why there are such differences in power just because of race, gender, etc. and I promise I will keep a very open mind about everything. And you know, the odd thing is, the reason the human race still exists today is equally thanks to both men and women so its kind of odd that a person's gender can affect so much when both are so equally essential to human kinds survival....just a thought.

Week one blog

Hello everybody! My name is Cheryl Richter and I'm from Amery Wisconsin. I'm majoring in architecture and I might possibly do some interior design. We'll see where this college stuff takes me. I am a freshman....
So in my tiny town of 3,000 people the most controversial thing we talk about is politics. I didn't really realize what this class was going to be about, but I think it will be really interesting for me. To me gender always meant you're a boy or you're a girl. I've never really thought about it in a different way. I really know nothing about feminist studies. I know some women fought really hard for the right to vote. Other women did noble deeds but because they were women weren't recognized. I guess I really have a lot to learn about this subject because I really don't know how to go about this question. What else can gender be? It can be by what you think you are mentally or by the reproductive organs you have. Is a woman who is a construction worker any more manly than a hair dresser? Probably not but that's the general assumption. I had a high school teacher who had this little saying that assuming makes an ass out of you and me. ASS-U-ME So I'm excited to learn about this subject and to get to meet some cool people. I even noticed there were some boys in the class. That surprised me, but maybe they're the smart ones who know where all the girls are going to be. I hope they have a genuine interest in the subject though. I know it's not what I was expecting but I think that makes it seem more interesting.

Week One Blog

Hi everyone!
My name is Alba Bilani and I am from Albania. Alba from Albania, easy to remember! I am a freshman and I am in College of Biological Scinces. My major at the moment is Biology. I want to be a cardiologist or some type of e surgeon. I hope I won't change my mind though! I also like cooking and eating.

To be honest, I am not very familiarized with gender and and all the issues that come with it. When I think of gender and power, I think of men and women. I really want to know more about gender, and how things are dealt with here in America becasue in my country it is a whole different story. My culture doesn't really allow men and women to be on equal levels. They expect women to cook and do the housework and they are treated differently. In America though, it seems like the releationship between the genders is far ahead, but is it where it should be? I don't think so, and that's what I want to learn more about. Everday life makes me think of all the issues that go on in our lives everyday and we are not aware of them such as body image, racism etc.
I am excited to learn more!

Blog Assigment #1

Hola! My name is Rachel Carmichael. I am a third-year student working on my Individualized Degree with emphasis in Communications, Sociology, and Family Social Sciences. I love the studying of gender and power within the world of gender. It has always interested me since I was a youngen'. Gender is a biological definition/description of a human. Power is the basis on which a person is classified depicted by a certain category.
Power and gender go together greatly. They interact daily and have a great influence on how people interact. I think power and gender are a lot like media and can be subliminal. We are influenced by media without even noticing it, which can be simlarily compared with gender and power. A few questions that I think about when I am comparing gender and power are: Does power create an inequality between genders? Why do genders exist? What categories first come to mind when thinking about power and gender? How many different levels and kinds of power is there?
It's hard to think about gender and power without thinking of personal experience I've had with these. Personally, I think of my parents when I think of power and gender since there is a lot of existence of power and gender within intimant relationships. I know that power and gender influences from media and outside sources have had an impact within my intimate relations. Power and gender is everywhere in everyday life and especially in my everyday life.

You do not to read anything prior to posting your blog entry; in fact, we’d prefer if you think through these terms without the help of the readings. If you’d like to push yourself, try to draw some connections between gender, power, and everyday life- i.e. How do power and gender work together to create everyday life? Do you have any personal examples of gender and power in your own life?

Blog One

Hello all! My name is Anna Wakefield. I'm a second year student hear at the University of Minnesota. My major is currently undeclared. My academic interests are varied. I have a history in performance and theatre. I am extremely interested in learning about the way women fit into the world. I took a Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies course last year and I really enjoyed it. From the topics we discussed in that course I would conclude that gender is a term referring to the social constructs surrounding the biological sexes. The idea that one sex should be one way and the other another way. Gender is the way we turn males into men and females into women. Sometimes, the sex we were born with does not necessarily reflect the gender we know we are or aspire to become. Power is still a bit tricky for me, but as it relates to gender I would say that power is represented in relationships. In the relationships we have with members of our sex, the opposite, and everyone in between, the balance of power can vary. We see these different relationships all the time in everyday life. This past year, for example, we have seen women represented in the presidential race more greatly than ever before. For a long time we saw the race dominated by men but now, we are starting to see a shift in the power relationship. If we can even seriously entertain the idea of a woman in the White House other than a First Lady, we have already begun to witness the shift towards a more balanced power relationship between men and women in this country.

Week One Blog

My name is Erin Bodeau. I am from Eau Claire, WI and intend on majoring in Sociology. I graduated from high school last January and attended UW-Eau Claire. There I took my first sociology class and fell in love with the subject although I am not sure what sort of career I would like to pursue.
At UW-Eau Claire I started out the semester in another gender studies class. However, the class didn’t fit into my schedule very nicely and the professor’s attitude bothered me quite a bit. She seemed to be of the feminist strain that believes men’s only use is to fertilize eggs; she was very bitter.
I believe that men and women do differ biologically in more than the obvious ways but that neither sex is better off than the other. I don’t like the negative connotation feminism holds for many people. I would like to find a way to change that if by doing nothing except showing people through my own actions that not all feminists are angry, bitter, and man-haters.
I think that gender plays a tremendous role in our lives, much of which we are so used to it goes unnoticed. Society is so deeply rooted in its beliefs and traditions that true equality will take a long time to achieve; this is no one’s fault. This topic fascinates me.


Hello, my name is Brittany Knoll. I am a sophomore at the University of Minnesota. First semester of my freshman year I was a student at University of Minnesota – Duluth. At Duluth I was a communications major but transferred to the twin cities campus in hopes of becoming and interior design student. I was accepted and am currently a pre-interior design student.
I honestly am very unfamiliar with gender and power. When power is in reference to gender (feminism in particular) I think of someone or group of people who are willing to stand up and express their opinions, beliefs, and rights. Also, when I thought of power with gender studies I thought of discrimination. I believe that people discriminate against different genders because they are in a powerful position and need to push their frustrations and hate on someone they think will not defend themselves.
I specifically do not have personal examples that deal with gender and power but my aunt has dealt with the issue. My aunt is a pharmacist and has been working with her company for many years a higher position to chief pharmacist opened at the pharmacy and a new inexperienced male pharmacist got the position. I know of course that there could be many factors to this promotion that do not involve gender but most likely if the resumes were put side by side without names I believe my aunt would have received the promotion.
I am really excited to learn more about gender, power, and everyday life because I have only noticed the specific instance of my aunt in relation to gender and power. I cannot wait to learn more about the rights that women and men have and the relationship of the two compared to power and everyday life.

Blog 1

My name is Steffanie Bezruki and I'm a freshman. I'm an undecided, but hope to attend medical school or go into public health. "Gender, Power, and Everyday Life": I believe gender has little to no correlation to these other two words.
My gender should not change my ability to gain power or exercise it. The amount of power allotted to one should not reflect their anatomy. Nor should my gender be the reason one in power should ever favor me or treat me more harshly. Having been employed in numerous co-ed working environments, many times have I heard the grumbles, "Of course, he'll (the supervisor) be easier on her because she's a girl." or "She (the supervisor) never makes us work as hard, you know how women are." I've also heard equally negative statements from women about their male coworkers; claiming female bosses favor them, etc.
On the second phrase, Everday Life. Of course, everyday when I wake up, I am a woman. But how much different does that make my daily experiences from a man's? Besides the fact I use a different restroom and differences involving my heterosexual preference. I still stand in line as long as any man at starbucks. I'm charged the same price for a small black coffee (too much!). I am allowed to sit anywhere I choose in a class room, I'm given the same choices as any man on seating. My professors give me the same assignments as every man in the class that I am to complete in an identical time frame. When I graduate, my degree will be, in theory, as meaningful and important as all of my fellow male graduates. My everyday is not too different from any man's. Too bad for many women this is not the case, they are given lesser paychecks or suffer predjudices in the workplace due to their sex. Some use it to any unfair advantage with sex appeal or to throw pity parties for themselves, claiming they lost out on the promotion because of their gender. Even in the classroom this occurs with young women, purposely preventing or not receiving equal treatment.
I see the correlation between the subjects of "Power and Everyday Life" but that sounds more like the title of a political science course. In an ideal world, gender should never need to associate with the other two. But see the words: IN AN IDEAL WORLD.

Week One Blog

Hi! My name is Stephanie Koch, and I am attending the U of M for an Animal Science major with a pre-vet emphasis. I am good at math and science type courses, and also enjoy the performing arts. I am a good listener, and am always willing to have a nice conversation with someone.
The name “Gender, Power, and Everyday Life? gives me the impression that, for the duration of this course, we will be discussing how gender can affect one’s amount of success in the business world, and how one can receive specific treatment in their everyday life just because of their gender. With this being a feminist studies type of class, I believe that most of our focus will be on how the business world is mostly controlled by men, and for a woman, it is much more difficult to obtain power. However, I also believe that due to that misconception, men are also made to feel mediocre just because it is thought to be easy for men.
I would like to think that men and women can be treated as equals, without any special treatment for one or the other, unless it is due to our obvious physical differences, such as men wearing athletic supporters and women needing pregnancy leaves. Such examples would seem to discriminate between sexes, but are only put into effect due to our different needs.
I would like to note that there is no such thing as not being sexist, and everybody is sexist at some level. While not many people are as extreme as believing a woman is only meant to take care of the house and children, some are merely sexist at a subconscious level; such as assuming a lost purse automatically belongs to a girl. That is my opinion.


Hello, my name is Noel and I'm a Chemical Engineer. I haven't calculated or designed anything for three months now... Just kidding;) A little bit about myself; I really am a Chemical Engineering undergrad, I am currently in my sophomore year, and as you can see from my post I like to keep things fairly casual and fun. I've never taken a GWSS class before so I don't have many strong opinions about Gender and life. I think that it is impossible to step outside your door without judging others or being judged yourself because of gender. It may be the unconscious decision to hold a door open a little longer or to give up your seat on the bus to a complete stranger on the bus. Humans constantly use visual clues to categorize and sort through the multitude of information in the world. I believe that gender is one of the key distinctions for humans (and most other animals for that fact), it is how we may refer to ourselves, someone down the street, or a class of students. With the English language it may not be as apparent as in other languages where there are certain words that are gendered. Although many things in the United States have become gender indiscriminate there are still artifacts of gender's effect like chivalry, clothing trends, and accepted ways to conduct oneself that have remained in our culture.

Blog 1

Hi! My name is Melissa. My last name is pronounced “cheetah?, like the cat. My major is Genetics, Cell Biology, and Development (in the College of Biological Sciences) and I am a sophomore here at the University. I am from Nebraska and am a huge Husker fan! I have never taken a gender studies class but I am very open minded to learning new ideas and different opinions.
As I understand, gender is not the sex that one is born, it is more the characteristics that the person portrays. One’s sex could be different than the gender that he or she may associate with themselves or what gender our society may associate with them. Gender incorporates many feelings, behaviors, and the personality of the person rather than just the anatomical structures that one is born with.
Power, to me, is the control one has over something, someone, or a group of people. It is one’s ability to persuade others to conform to their ideas or requests.
Gender and power are a part of our everyday life. Many times, people stereotype about the gender of a person and that may affect the amount of power that one is able to achieve. Although this is not legal, it is something that many do unintentionally every day. Some people even do it intentionally. I feel like everyday life implies something that is going to stay around for a long period of time. With that, I think that the struggle to equalize the power associated with gender is going to last for a long time.

Week One Entry

Hi, my name is Christopher Sixl. My family moved to the United States of America twelve years ago from Frankfurt, Germany. I'm a freshman this year at the Institute of Technology and my intended major is Mechanical Engineering.

My personal belief about gender is that it plays a very important role in how we perceive the world in which we live, the relationships we have with others, how we do things, how we think, what kinds stereotypes are drawn about us, and how we handle situations. From what I have seen and experienced, men and women interpret things differently, and seem to handle things on a more emotional basis. Men try to seem like they are neutral to things in a way that sometimes makes them seem cold and unemotional. It's kind of like how guys don't cry in movies. Women are more in touch with their emotions and are more comfortable handling them than men are. That's why when I have a problem with a friend or something I go to a girl rather than a guy. Guys are problem solvers and this approach usually doesn't work well with situations that require more emotional intelligence.

Gender can also affect power in relationships in families, between employees, and between friends. In some families men dominate their wives because society has taught them that they are dominant simply because they are men. The same thing can happen in the workplace.

I also think that society's view on gender has changed significantly in the recent past. A couple hundred years ago it would have been considered crazy for a woman to leave her family, get an education, and find a job. That was what society expected guys to do. I believe that although it isn't perfect, the opportunities that were once only available for men are open to both men and women. Things could always get better though.

September 4, 2008

Blog One

Hi, my name is Alex Hoss and I'm a sophomore here at the University of Minnesota. My major is Aerospace Engineering. I enjoy playing guitar and working out in my free time. I also like to follow politics through its twists and turns and am looking forward to voting in the election in November. As for how I am involved in the university, I am a member of the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity.

I took the course to satisfy my humanities requirement, cause even engineers need to know how to interact. I've never taken taken a gender studies class in my life, so this class will be a first for me. Unfortunately this leaves me with little experience in the field of gender, power, and everyday life.

Nevertheless, the gender aspect seems to involve the role differences between male and female in a recently diversified world. As the rights women have achieved in the United States is less than a century old, there is still a lot of activity strife in the movement. This especially applies to areas of the world where women do not have equal rights compared to men. I'm guessing the power aspect relates to the male to female distribution of leadership in the economic and political world and elsewhere. Obviously everyday life refers to how this has an effect daily.

Though I may not know much about gender studies, I will try my best to contribute my views as I see things and learn from others as well.

Week One Blog

I'm Emily Endert and I'm an Ecology, Evolution and Behavior major (in the Department of Biolgical Sciences). I transferred last January after doing a little over two years at Luther College. I think gender is a part of everything that happens to us everyday, whether it is screaming it's prescence or whether it is shown unconcsiously in our thoughts and actions. Someone's gender is a part of their identity and heavily influences the choices they make, and whether they stick to specific gender roles, or choose to go another way. With our society historically being a partiarchal dominated society it's definately been interesting watching politics in the last year, as women (especially Hilary Clinton and Sarah Paulin) are choosing alternate gender roles by running for office to lead the country.
I work in a bar (well, actually it's a British Pub) and it is very interesting to see gender issues at work there. There are usually more men then women that will choose to come to the pub alone, and I think a lot of it is the social stigma that if a woman is seen drinking by herself, she is seen as being out of bounds. It is also a law that one woman cannot close a bar by herself, for safety reasons. I appreciate this rule, but at the same time, you can make the most in tips late at night, but the girls can never stay alone to make all the money at the end of the night, whereas the guys can. It's very interesting to be aware of all these things in my everyday life.

Week One Blog

Greetings, all. My name is Kayla Scheitlin, and I'm a freshman in the University's Institute of Technology. Right now, I’m starting with studying biomedical engineering - I don't really know what it is I want to do. But I’m interested in that, maybe genetics, and I’d like to continue to take Spanish as well. I'm from the suburbs of the Twin Cities. My hobbies include playing violin and soccer, though I’m not doing either of those things at the moment. Currently, I'm living in Centennial with my awesome betta fish named Igor.

This is the first gender studies class that I've ever taken, but I think that gender is related to one's sex and how one defines his or her identity by this and also how society creates an identity for him or her. Power and roles are prescribed according to these shaped identities, and they affect everyone in their everyday lives. Growing up in these identities creates expectations for both one’s gender and the opposite gender, and the cycle continues. These expectations are strong and play a large role in our modern world, even if subtle.

A current personal example of this for me is being in the Institute of Technology. There are lots of jokes concerning women in this college becoming engineers. While to me they are not offensive – I actually think some of them are funny – they are examples of expectations of the female gender. Women, typically, have not held as many positions in science and math as men, and therefore, the jokes point out the surprise of finding women in IT.

These assumptions of mine could easily be wrong. Hopefully, I’ll learn a lot from this course and be able to correct them.

Week 1 Blog

Hello there! My name is Danielle Kellner, and I am a freshman here at the U! As of right now, I have an interest in majoring in Architecture and minoring in German. In my free time, I love hanging out with my family and friends, traveling the world, and relaxing with a few naps here and there, reading, and watching movies.

When I hear the word "gender," instantly I think of men and women being treated differently, but not necessarily in a negative sense. In today's society, I believe that males and females are becoming more equal in the sense that more education and job opportunities are being offered to us and more individuals seem to care what we have to say about a specific issue. People are starting to realize that just because we are female, does not mean that we cannot create something extraordinary and be comparable to men. That is where I believe power comes in. Women have taken more of a stand for their beliefs and place in society, and I think that is why we have come so far. Men are realizing that women can perform just as good of work, if not better, than they can. I hope to learn the roles that we have taken to come this far with men and women being treated equally and what we have to do in order to stay there.

The expression "everyday life" sends many things running through my brain. What am I going to do today? What classes do I need to go to and what homework needs to be completed? In this case, I would imagine that "everyday life" has to do with men and women. Again, I believe that women have come so far in order to be treated equally and have obtained more education and job opportunities. Most importantly, we have gained respect. This is always changing in our everyday lives. I would not say it is a struggle, but one has to always prove that they can perform to the best of their ability, and I believe this is one of the issues between men and women today. Someone is always "one-up." Is there such a thing as ever being treated equally?

I am not really quite sure what to expect out of this class. Honestly, when I was signing up for my fall classes as being a freshman, for some reason, this sounded very intriguing to me. I hope that I can take as much as possible from this class and apply it to my life. I am excited to jump into this material and see what everyone else has to say about these issues.

See you on Monday!

week one blog

Hi, my name is Abby Jacobson, and I'm from Green Bay Wisconsin. After a couple changes I've decided on being a history major, and decided to take this course since I've always been interested in historical gender study and I thought understanding modern gender study might be helpful.

When I think of gender and power, the first thing that comes to my mind are the inequalities of everyday life, like when a man and a woman do the same job yet the woman is usually paid less, or even just occasionally not being addressed with the same courtesy and respect that my boyfriend is when we’re at a computer store or a restaurant. Things are changing for the better, but while I hope that balance will be reached I also doubt that it will happen anytime soon, if at all.

Blog One

Hi everyone,

My name is Rachel Butenhoff. I am a senior. My major is Family Social Science and my minor is Family Violence Prevention. I am planning on minoring in GWSS as well. In addition to my major and two minors, I plan on going through the Certified Family Life Education program.

Interesting facts: I have a cat named Zeke and a Betta fish named Fire Engine. I moved into StoneArch Apartments(near the StoneArch Bridge) 3 days ago, so I've been busy unpacking.

Definitions/Insights on Gender, Power and Everyday Life:
To me, gender has to do with sex/identities, attitudes, and most importantly roles/expectations. When I think of power, I think of strength (mental, physical, financial), ambition/drive, control, and leadership.

I strongly feel that our roles and expectations about gender and power have the greatest impact on the way everyday life is created. I think that people want to fit in and the only way people can fit in is by following this way of life that has been created through the gender roles and expectations. For example, babies typically wear pink if they're girls and blue if they're boys. I personally know many people who are not okay with their children wearing colors that are not typical of the child's gender. The same is true for toys that children play with or activities that children(or adults) participate in.

Historically, men have been the bread-winners, decision-makers, disciplinarians, political figures and so on. To this day, men make more money than women (doing equal jobs). The male gender has always dominated and been more powerful than the female gender. We have obviously improved upon this since the women's rights movement, but there is still much to be done. I think it is a very slow process and will continue to be.


Hello again to everyone. Like I said, my name is Brittany Stolzmann and I just figured out how this site works!! So I now plan to elaborate a little, and maybe complete the assignment to my full potential! My major is Family Social Science and i want to eventually become a Family Counselor and work with teen pregnancy and domestic violence cases. So, as you can see, this is the perfect class for me to take. I am very passionate about womens rights, and i never back down. for the past year i have been volunteering at the local battered women and children's shelter. this has really opened my eyes to power struggles, and the distance people will go to to maintain power and control.
This is my first gender studies class and i am excited to elaborate on my knowledge and learn more about daily strugglesI

Blog #1


I'm Pat Southorn, just switched from linguistics to a GWSS major this semester. I'm enrolled in GWSS 1001 as a requirement for the major, but I hope to take much more out of class than just the three credits! I'm excited to see what kinds of knowledge and ideas I and others will share throughout the semester. I am still interested in linguistics and language in general, but gender studies appeals so much more to me...

Outside of school I try not to work too much at my retail job and do try to read as much as I can (usually books dealing with feminism, queer things in general, other radical-type literature, maybe Spanish poetry...) & I guess it's an interesting fact that I'm vegan, which incidentally became an important part of my life right around the same time as gender/feminism/sexuality issues!

As much as I have delved into ideas about gender, power, and everyday life, I still have some difficulty organizing my thoughts... (Not very academic of me.) Anyway, coming from where I am-- being a young white male, living in a "nice part" of a "nice" suburb, son of upwardly-mobile parents, and other identifying factors-- I have a considerable amount of power in everyday life, even if I don't acknowledge it or actively use it, solely because of my perceived gender and my skin color and class background, etc. I didn't do anything to "earn" this privilege; nor do I want this kind of power in our society/culture/world because it is unjust and very often oppressive. But that's where I'm at, and I want to find a way to keep working towards a different reality of gender, power, and everyday life.

September 3, 2008

Week One Blog!

Hi everyone! My name is Justine, and I am a sophomore this year. I went to the U last year, and I think my major will be specified mass communications. I also want to go to law school someday. I am kind of a TV junkie, but I really like going out with friends and doing activities like dancing or swimming.
When I think of gender, power, and everyday life I firstly think of men and women and how they define themselves and how society defines genders. I personally believe that gender is the first thing most individuals use to judge a person, and then they start looking at other aspects of the person. Although what I think most people focus on is gender and race. When I think of power and everyday life I generally think of race and ethnicities and how they affect people. Sadly I think people are judged mostly upon race and gender. Some individuals will base a person worth or creditability off of unfair stereotypes. For instance a person might think an average white male is more intelligent than a woman from a minority group based solely upon race. People often make decisions based upon general stereotypes rather than finding out the facts of a person. I think this class will teach us how to avoid stereotypes and see the strength in every person no matter what their gender or race may be.
I also think a lot about stereotypes when I hear the terms gender, power, and everyday life because the stereotypes that people and society have accumulated over time are how people define gender or race. I have always wished that people would not stereotype other because it is completely unfair yet I find it hard myself to avoid stereotypes. In my everyday life I find it easy to get mad at someone and blame it on their race or gender, but then I remember how angry I get when I feel like I am being defined by a stereotype. Usually the stereotype I deal with is being over sexualized by my male peers. I don’t like the pressure of being gawked at by men for my body, or when I boy I thought was my friend turns out only to want me for less than innocent reasons. I constantly question whether a boy likes me for me or just for my looks.
I hope to learn a lot from this class about how gender and power affect everyday life. I think gender and power are concepts that have infinite definitions, opinions, and ideas circling around them. There really is no way to put these terms in black and white definitions, but I think learning about their connections and the gray areas around gender and power is the only fair way to use these terms when describing other people.

This class = my favorite so far.

Hi everyone! My name is Kelsey Hippen and I'm a junior at the U, majoring in psychology with a (soon-to-be-declared) minor in Italian. I love interacting with people and balancing that out with quality Kelsey-time. Currently I'm reading a lot of Nietzsche, but lately it's been giving me a headache so I think it needs to warm the bench for awhile.

Gender and power are two cultural constructs to which I’ve never given much thought. I think they each play a large role in my life, but I’m not entirely sure how. Every time I meet a woman who seems strong and secure in herself, I seem to remember the instance for years. Why is that? Why does a “strong woman? – or a “strong man?, for that matter, have such an impact on me—and what is the impact? I’m not sure yet.

I think when we’re presented with individuals who are centered in themselves, we notice their power. I don’t mean “power? as control, but more as energy. Maybe gender is just one facet of our humanity from which we tend to anchor and pivot. Perhaps with certainty of gender comes increased energy, and from that energy is derived an essence that we term “power?. Ultimately, I know that gender can be confusing for some. But is there something more to it than that? Well of course there is!

I’m thrilled to be taking this class, and I hope I will learn just as much from you guys as I will from the coursework (Note: no gender is intended in “you guys?). ;)

Week One Blog

Hi everyone! My name is Kelsey Orr. I am a freshman from Blaine, MN. I attended high school at Spring Lake Park though if any of you know where or what that is. I am currently undecided as to what I will be majoring in. I am thinking something with animals such as Zoology, Animal Science, or Marine Biology, but am also interested in Forensic Science. I am currently in CLA, but will probably transfer next year. Outside of school I love being outdoors, playing sports, and eating!

As for my insights on gender, power, and everyday life, I believe that as much as it has changed throughout history and still is changing, it will always be there in the back of our minds. Being a female, I am extremely happy to see the change in how women are treated in and out of the workplace, but I know that even I use gender as a judging factor. I find myself still saying, "oh, she's just good for being a girl," when talking about sports. I know that people will always use gender as a basis for jobs, sports, and all sorts of activities and that it will probably never be equal. Sometimes now it is even a reverse sexism against males because places are required to have some many women to fill a quota or because it looks better for them to hire more women. I am just interested in all the new information and insights I will recieve in this class. Also, interested in what the future holds for the battle of the sexes.

Week One Blog

Hi everyone! My name is Kelsey Orr. I am a freshman from Blaine, MN. I attended high school at Spring Lake Park though if any of you know where or what that is. I am currently undecided as to what I will be majoring in. I am thinking something with animals such as Zoology, Animal Science, or Marine Biology, but am also interested in Forensic Science. I am currently in CLA, but will probably transfer next year. Outside of school I love being outdoors, playing sports, and eating!

As for my insights on gender, power, and everyday life, I believe that as much as it has changed throughout history and still is changing, it will always be there in the back of our minds. Being a female, I am extremely happy to see the change in how women are treated in and out of the workplace, but I know that even I use gender as a judging factor. I find myself still saying, "oh, she's just good for being a girl," when talking about sports. I know that people will always use gender as a basis for jobs, sports, and all sorts of activities and that it will probably never be equal. Sometimes now it is even a reverse sexism against males because places are required to have some many women to fill a quota or because it looks better for them to hire more women. I am just interested in all the new information and insights I will recieve in this class. Also, interested in what the future holds for the battle of the sexes.

week one blog assignment for chole005

Name: Stephanie
Major: Biochemistry
Year: Junior
Education: Associate of Science

I have been at the university for a few years, since not a lot of my credits ended up transferring from Colorado. I work at the University for the DEHS as well, and I live in the west bank. I didn’t go to high school, which has made college more difficult.

I don’t have much to say about gender, power and everyday life. In fact, I’m not sure exactly what the class is going to be about. I think that judging someone based on gender was wrong, just as it would be to judge them on their color or religion. I befriended the editor of a feminist publication when I spoke with her about women and health care at Wayne State a few years ago. Since then she has asked me to write a few articles for her, and although I have a lot of writing experience, particularly on political issues, I didn’t know and still don’t know all that much about feminism. I hope to gain some understanding of what exactly feminism is and how gender issues apply to our lives on a daily basis.

That’s all I have to say… I could ramble about random things that have a very slight resemblance to this subject in order to fill my 250 word requirement, but I respect your time enough not to. If this is not acceptable please let me know.

Week One Blog

Hello, my name is Brian Berzins. I'm into my fifth year of classes here at UMN pursuing two B.S. degrees in Mathematics and Computer Science in addition to a minor in Japanese. I have worked as a computer programmer over that last couple years in order to help pay for school. I consider myself an avid gamer, but also regularly enjoy outdoor activities such as soccer and biking.

I think that gender and power (sociological status) play an interesting role in how people perceive themselves, others, and the world around them. Different perspectives often lead to very different views of the world, whether that perspective be applied to a world changing event or the routine weekday. I suspect that studying these perspectives can better our understanding of the world, and specifically help in regards to communicating across these different perspectives.

Week One Blog

Hello! I'm Naomi Ko and I'm from Rosemount, Minnesota. My intended major is a double major in English and History, and a double minor in Journalism and Art History. I love to read and love to watch Grey's Anatomy and Sex in the City.

When I think about gender, power, and everyday life, I think of how men and women are defined in our society today, how they were defined in the past, and how our roles may be defined in the future. I also think of the trends of our roles, for example, since the dawn the time females are typically the caregiver for the family. But the newest trend, thanks to Manny, is men are becoming more of the caregiver, the "mother" of the family.

Also, I believe our sexes, male or female, contributes the amount of power we are to achieve in everyday life. Even though the balance of power is evening out, in today's society, the amount of power one receives is depended upon our sex. Hilary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, Sarah Palin, all women of extraordinary power, sadly, do not have the same power as men in our government.