Thinking About Gender

As you read and respond to The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan, I encourage you to think about gender roles and what you have learned about “doing gender”. Last term, you learned that “gender” is not just about the genitalia you are born with; rather it is socially constructed, supported by family, education, and mass media. You explored the complexities of gender by “doing gender” and observing the reactions of those around you when you did not fit their definition of how a woman should dress and behave. Further, you read many things that informed you about gender discrimination. I want you to remember those lessons now as we read our second novel of the term, and apply what you’ve learned to analyze and understand The Joy Luck Club.

Testing the idea of what it means to be "man" and "woman"

Re-enacting a crucial scene from the play A Doll's House

Another scene from A Doll's House, this time exploring gender discrimination

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About Ms. Fatema
Faculty at the Asian University for Women Access Academy.

2 Responses to Thinking About Gender

  1. fmoriam says:

    Last term we read a lot about gender. Although, at a point I was bored with all those gender related term, I liked it. Mostly, I liked to know about different illogic stereotypes. After that term, I don’t know why, whenever I see any movie or read any book, “the stereotype” things come in front of my eyes first. Most of them are used negatively, such as- women are meant to be at home, girls are liable to study easier subjects ets. I feel happy and disappointed at the same time. Happy because I am able to sort out those things and disappointed because I hate to know those stereotypes. I am waiting for that day when there will be no such stereotypes…

    Thanks ma’am for the post! šŸ™‚

    • Ms. Fatema says:

      You’re not alone in noticing the stereotypes. Once your eyes open up to something new, it’s hard to “unsee”. I still struggle with the feelings of frustration that arise from noticing such details. You can’t enjoy something “simple”, not even a film that you used to love. You just see it everywhere! What I’ve found is that it helps if you accept that things shouldn’t be this way, these stereotypes should not be a part of our daily media consumption. We deserve media that doesn’t reinforce negative stereotypes. And if there isn’t any, you should look at it as an opportunity. Perhaps you can create it (or at least change it by talking about it and making others aware of it)!

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