Sedgwick Diablog Wrap-Up/Summary

Our diablog group focussed on Eve Sedwick's article, "How to Bring Your Kids Up Gay: The War on Effeminate Boys" from Friday, 10/29 until we lead our in-class discussion the following Thursday, 11/4. Our diablog mainly took the form of an open thread posted to the class blog site. We also created a handout that we brought to class for students to use as reference during our discussion. After all members of the group posted their initial engagements with the article, we began interacting on the open thread through comments, responding to each other's entries and proposing further discussions on some of Sedgwick's key points.

@Jo began by encouraging @Davvy and @Nosecage to examine and share our experiences with effeminacy as children and the social pressure that coincided with our gender-nonconformity. Both of them were able to identify examples from their childhoods that supported Sedgwick's theories about the negative impacts of revisionist psychoanalysis. @Nosecage went as far as to say that he most certainly fits the criteria for gender identity disorder of childhood from the DSM-III. @Davvy outlined the ways in which he was teased by his peers and he also provided an example of the way in which gender-nonconformity is politicized in Malaysia.

Another important aspect of our discussion became defining and contextualizing a mother's involvement in the lives of effeminate boys. Sedgwick touches on this briefly but @Nosecage first brought it up in his initial engagement and @Jo included it in her response. Both @Davvy and @Nosecage discussed their own experiences being supported by their mother and @Davvy mentioned his relationship with his father as well. We continued to use parental influence as a point of critical analysis throughout our discussions.

We then moved to a relatively short discussion of the idea presented by Sedgwick in reference to Green of 'peer therapy.' @Jo initially decided that peer therapy (defined by the forces society uses to normalize its citizens) is not effective in the traditional sense of the purpose of therapy. @Nosecage brought up that while peer therapy does not prove to be a supportive force in the lives of proto-gay or gender-nonconforming kids, it is often successful in its goal of silencing their expressions of different (which is perhaps its true definition of success).

Overall, our diablog went really well and flowed very smoothly. This type of forum for group work is exceptionally conducive for busy students. It was so much easier to be able to engage in our readings solo and then engage with each other on our own time. There was no need to figure out meeting times outside of the classroom, which would have been a challenge for all of us. The open thread on the blog site was a fantastic way for each of us to engage with each other, which allowed for a richer and more in depth understanding of our reading.

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