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September 26, 2007

What I learned

There had never been a significant difference between sex and gender as far I thought. I learned how different each were in regards to social assignment. Plus, it is always eye opening to compare American beliefs to that of other cultures. I was interested to see how closely both Chinese and American assignments of gender and sex relate.

September 25, 2007

What I learned Wed.

1. The difference between sex and gender. I always associated the two terms together, but I learned that there is a difference in our sex and how we view our sex compared to our gender. It was also very interesting to me to learn about the difference between transgender people and transvestites.
2. Another term I learned about was binary thinking. I never heard of that term before and once we started talking about it I realized that that is an ignorant way to view things.

More Discussion Questions for Thinking Sex

1. Do you feel like the sexual repressions (of homosexuals, transvestites, transsexuals, prostitutes, etc.) discussed by Rubin still exist in our society today? To what extent?
2. Are sex laws necessary? If not, how can society work to get rid of them? If so, where should the line be drawn (which laws are acceptable, which laws are unacceptable)?

September 24, 2007

Thinking Sex - discussion questions

1. How have you been raised to think about sex and gender? How is this different from the way your children will be brought up to think about these issues? What about their children?
2. Do you think it will ever be possible for American culture to view gender in a broader sense than either being male or female?

what I learned on Wednesday

one thing that i learned is the different nomencalture that are used to designate a person with different sexualities. i was surprised at some of them and they are a liitle confusing.
another thing that i learned was there is a different defintiion for sex and gender. i was surprised because all my life i never knew that there was a diference.

September 23, 2007

What I learned

I learned that gender is described as woman and man and that sex is described by female and male. I also learned that binary thinking makes it harder for people to understand transexuals and transgenders.

September 22, 2007

What I Learned

I learned the differences between gender, sex, and sexuality. I also learned chinese symbols for gender and how they relate to their culture.

September 21, 2007

Two important points in "A Black Feminist Statement"

1) Oprressions on black women are "manifold" (racism, sexism, heterosexism, classism, and so on) and "simutaneous".
2) Black feminist politics is antiracist and antisexist but not separatist.

September 20, 2007

What I Learned

In Wednesday's class it was very interesting to learn what terms were appropriate to use when talking about sex and gender respectively. Many people use the words man and male and woman and female interchangeably, but it was helpful to know that the terms male and female are used for sex, and man and woman for gender.

What I learned in class on Wednesday

I thought our discussion of the differences between terms such as sex, gender, male, female, man, woman etc. was very interesting. The differences between the biological differences and the social constructs were fascinating.

What I learned.

I learned that you can identify your own gender by what your respective culture defines as gender. For example, if your culture is simliar to that of the American 1950's culture, where men work and bring home the money and women take care of the family and home; if you are a female by sex and you work the farm and wear the slacks you can identify as male gendered of omnigendered if you fill both roles of fieldworker and homemaker. Concluding from this, gender can be nothing other than a role.

What I learned in class

Yesterday in our discussion I learned that feminism has its own language, or better looked at as the correct definitions for the words we use in our everyday life. These words were gender, sex, and sexuality. I agree with the definitions we gave to these words, and I believe that clearing up the confusion to these words will help facilitate our future discussions.

What I have learned today...

What I have learned today is how to define yourself as a person not just based on your "sex".
I found very interesting how xu mei analyzed gender and sex in Chinese. Not just because I know how to read Chinese alphabet, but because that's how we would write in Korea also, and that really made sence to me. The Sex is just male, and female. The Gender is how you become "Person".

September 19, 2007

What I Learned Today

Before, the word "GENDER" was just a word that described two different sexes. But I guess it was more than a word, it was more of a priviledge...a meaning of your own background/culture..."social assignment". What I'm trying to say is, I don't think of "GENDER" as a label"ing" concept anymore but instead it is a powerful statement of who you are...Female or Male: a priviledge of a "state of being".

What I learned today!

Something I learned today was about the binary thinking. I never really thought about the binary thinking and when you think of it, it can cause discrimination and inferior. If you are only given two chioces sometimes your chioce and cause a prpoblem.

What I learned today

Today I learned the difference between a transexual and a transvestite. I think this is important because often people do not know the specific differences or even that there are differences and catagorize these people together.

What I learned in class?

Today that I learned that the gender norms are really what you think of them, it can be society's idea of them, but not necessarily. Everyone has their own perceptions of what the norms for male and female are. I also learned that people are forced to identify themselves as a male or a female, like on applications, even though they are transgender.

Today's discussion

I learned that gender is truly how you define yourself as a person. It can have nothing to do with sex, but binary thinking makes this difficult to comprehend and accept.

What I learned today

I learned that in today's society restrictions have been placed on gender,sex, and sexuality that places men and women into 2 categories (male&female). This restricts people from fully expressing themselves.

What I learned in today's discussion

Today I learned the Chinese equivalent of sex, gender and sexuality. Learning these terms in another language was something I didn't think I would take out of this course, but it was very interesting to learn about how these terms are represented in the Chinese language and culture.

What I Learned Today!!

Today in class I was caught off guard by the short discussion we had of the differences between the following terms; transgender, transexual, and transvestite. Although this topic was not one of the main points in today's discussion, I was very interested and frustrated in the fact that I was not entirely aware of the different meanings.

September 17, 2007

Ranges of Medically Acceptable Infant Clitoral and Penile Lengths

In Suzanne Kessler's research of the intersexed, she finds that physicians use size to determine sex assignment of intersexed infants. Clitorises with the length of 0.2-0.9cm and penises with the length of 2.5-4.5cm are considered medically acceptable. Genitals within the range of 0.9-2.5 are considered unacceptable. Boys with penises smaller than 2.5 cm may be reassigned as girls.

--from The Five Sexes, Revisited

Moving Beyond Five Sexes

A few years later, in response to Suzanne J. Kessler's critique of the "five sexes" Anne Fausto-Sterling wrote another essay, titled "The Five Sexes, Revisited".

Kessler argues:

The limitation with Fausto-Sterling's proposal is that...[it] still gives genitals...primary signifying status and ignores the fact that in the everyday world gender attributions are made without access to genital inspection....What has primacy in everyday life is the gender that is performed, regardless of the flesh's configuration under the clothes. (13)

Fausto-Sterling responds:

"I now agree with Kessler's assessment. It would be better for intersexuals and their supporters to turn everyone's focus away from genitals. Instead, as she suggests, one should acknowledge that people come in an even wider assortment of sexual identities and characteristics than mere genitals can distinguish." (13)

The Five Sexes

In 1993, Anne Fausto-Sterling wrote an essay for The Sciences, titled "The Five Sexes". In this essay, she argues that the two-sex system is not adequate to show the full spectrum of human sexualities. Instead, she suggests a five-sex system: males, females, "herms" , "merms", and "ferms".

According to Anne Fausto-Sterling, "herms" are named after hermaphrodites, people who are born with both a testis and an ovary, "merms" are male pseudo-hermaphrodites who are born with testes and some aspect of female genitalia, and "ferms" are female pseudo-hermaphrodites who are born with ovaries combined with some aspect of male genitalia.

September 14, 2007

practice blog

my second one

Discussion Questions for Week 3

Question Set 1
Do you have any questions about terms, ideas in the articles we have read so far?
Please post them under the subcategory, "Questions," to Week 3.

Question Set 2
How would you define gender?
How would you describe yourself in terms of gender?
Where do you see gender in our everyday life?
What are the most often seen gender categories on official documents?
What are the other options of gender categories which you have known of?

Question Set 3
What is binary thinking? Can you give some examples which you often see in your everyday life? (for example, binary thinking in terms of gender, race, class, and sexuality)?
How can we question those binaries?

Question Set 4
How to understand white privilege?
How to understand white privilege in terms of gender?
What can we do to unpack it in our everyday life?

September 9, 2007

Self Portrait

Please tell us about yourself.

Portrait 1
Why did you choose this course? Where do you come from? What do you think your gender is? Your race? Your sexuality? Do you have any skin-stories?

What is your favorite pastime? What is your plan for the future? One thing about you which other people do not know of......

Portrait 2
Let's suppose you are going to a cultural exchange program in China to share ideas of gender, sexuality, race, class. You meet with your paired friend, Xiumei, who was born in China, grew up in China, has never heard of the United States (That's impossible, but let's suppose. :-) ) How would you introduce yourself to her in terms of gender, sexuality, race, and class and make yourself understood by her?


Welcome to the class of Gender, Power, and Everyday Life, a place for self discovery, friends-making, critical thinking, and social activism.