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Group Presentations

Good job on the group presentations. You've all definitely set the bar of expectations for the rest of us. I wanted to comment on several things from each presentation that I had in response to them or things being said.

Group 1: Sexual Violence
I found it interesting that the rape rates were the highest (was it 88%?) among whites, while women of color were the most involved in prostitution. The reason for it being interesting is because the rapes that tend to occur in the U. S. are most often pursued by white men. Even on television on the program Law & Order: Special Victims Unit their pedophile and most serious rape cases have the white man being the perpetuator. Why is it this way? Is it a societal thing? Do white men have the desire to have more control over their women? Perhaps this could be one possible suggestion, given the fact that white men are the ones that govern our country and are the positions holding the highest power. Or could it be because their self-esteem might be lower of a man of color when it comes to attracting women? Because white women are the leading women in bi-racial relationships and are not as concerned with being with white men, has this caused problems for white men?

The idea of women of color having the highest rates of involvement with prostitution does not surprise me. Women of color are continually perceived as exotic and sexually-driven “animals�, particularly black women. Because many people of color are from a lower-class than the average white person, it makes sense that they would end up doing the more “dirty and self-degrading� jobs that the upper-high class does not involve themselves with.

One of my questions that I had asked in class was about the campus escort service. The reason being is because we were talking about rapes and sexual predators, most often who are men. It’s interesting that in order to be protected from your possible predators, you need to be escorted by one who is of the same gender. I am not saying that the male escorts are also sexual predators or anything like that. However, I just think it’s interesting how society’s “mind� works. This idea goes back to our discussions about women always needing a man because women cannot be on their own. They are not physically strong as men and need someone to help protect them. This shows that women are still consistently seen as the lesser of the two genders.

Group 2: Gender Discrimination in the Workplace
I had an issue with one of the quotes in the presentation:

“I think the first step to erasing males being the majority in this field is awareness.�

More specifically: “erasing�. I think a better term or just a better and more positive sentence could’ve been used instead of the one given. I don’t think it’s going to spark people so much if we keep using negative terms to motivate women to become more involved. I think if the presenter had used a sentence like this:

“ I think the first step in advocating and motivating more women to join a field that is dominated by men is by awareness.�

By using a term such as “erasing�, we are also beating down men just as they are supposedly beating women down. You do not beat the other when you act and behave in the same manner of the other.

I also thought about how the number of women in the veterinarian field has increased. It’s a very good thing. The only problem was that I know that most people generally think of a veterinarian field as not being on the same level of a medical doctor because it’s with animals. The funny thing is that we discussed how vets need to have the same level of knowledge, go through the same number of exams, and do everything that a medical doctor does. It’s a common stereotype that I often see and hear from others. Because it is a more dominated field by women, perhaps this ongoing stereotype will evolve into something like “women can only go to vet school because it’s a female’s job. Vet school is the closest thing they’ll get to in becoming anywhere near to being a medical doctor.�

Group 3: Deconstructing Gender & Sexuality

This was the only group that had me disagree with one of the quotes that was mentioned by an author:

“Socialization determines the sex of a person�

Because I am of a somewhat Christian background, I have to say that I don’t necessarily believe that it in fact does determine the sex of a person. I don’t think that we can continue to make all these subcategories for gender because it will keep continuing to the point where every single person is in their own category, and no commonalities can be shared by a group of people. Everything becomes less and less until you have no more. Since socialization determines the sex of a person, it determines the names of objects that we use everyday as well. It determines everything. The problem is convenience. We call food “food� because it is a general category that unites everything in it because they all have a shared commonality: their purpose is to be eaten. We have categories for people as well: Asian American, African American, White, etc. As unfortunate as it is that our society couldn’t do a less ignorant job of classifying groups, the system has continued to work. A group of white students walking down the street see an African American person (who may be Ethiopian or Kenyan) but they classify them as African American. The same thing goes for people who want to be seen as a different gender than they are. But the problem is society continues and wants to place them in a category for convenience.

I’m not sure if this paragraph made any sense at all, maybe it’s just random thoughts I had about that particular phrase. I hope it makes somewhat sense, even if you may or may not agree with it. Just an opinion.

The point of the group presentations was to inform the audience and to spark responses, so I know that it did that for me so thank you for doing such a wonderful job. :)

Comments

The point of that quote has a medical background. 1 out of every 100 births are intersexed, meaning that they are born with ambiguous genitalia. Socialization determines the sex of these individuals, through medical methods, or hopefully later in life due to the individuals own experiences. What I believe our group was questioning was why these individuals are forced to choose between two groups that do not correctly represent their biology. This is a question that we did not answer in hopes that others would ponder it which it seems is exactly what you've done.
It seems as if you were disagreeing, but you in fact began to explain exactly why it is that socialization is at work in the sex and gender binaries- convenience!
Personally, however, I think that if speaking from a Christian stance it sounds like what you call convenience, I call fear. God never declared Earth's convenience. He declared all sorts of sex boundaries, however, so if someone is born who does not quite match up with what "God" declared, unclear space is created in the Christian ideals. Fear, I personally believe, works through socialization and convenience. After all, as we've seen in clips in class and in the texts, other people in different times, places, and cultures have conveniently acknowledged intersexed individuals and transgendered individuals.

I love it when people come together and share opinions, great blog, keep it up.