Tagged: Gender

Teaching Gender and Feminism as a Male-Identified Instructor

My colleague Cliff Leek elsewhere has recently talked about the tension, struggles and challenges of being an ally. Those of us located on the ‘privilege’ side of different axes of inequality and oppression (like race, class and gender) face the challenge of how to become (and stay) active and effective allies without reinforcing the very inequalities we are trying to fight, and trying to speak truth to power without claiming to speak for the movements we are aligned with. As...

Men's Less-Than-Super Contributions to Housework

How do women and men divide housework?  That question has become a matter of intrigue in US media in recent years.  In fact, in the last week alone two major newspapers, The New York Times and The Atlantic, carried opinion pieces on the gendered division of housework in America.  A plethora of research indicates that in the last 30 years men have begun to increase the amount of time that they spend on housework but the fact remains that women...

Riot Grrrl and the Rejection of Resonating Frames

A few weeks ago, I went to see The Punk Singer, a new documentary about Kathleen Hanna – a force within the Riot Grrrl movement. I was mentally and emotionally transported back to the 1990s, reflecting on my late-teens-and-early-20s self. I became nostalgic for that raw anger at injustice channeled into high energy and creative expression, carried along by a sense of excitement and hope, and the supportive feeling of community that, at times, largely consisted of the feminist music...

Heavy Metal Music and Sociological Imagination Duex: Just Add Religion and Stir?

This weekend I drove from Chicago to New York.  By hour six I couldn’t stand my playlists and begin scanning through local radio stations.  I was startled by the number of times I’d find a really great hard rock or heavy metal song and realize 15 to 60 seconds into the song that I was listening to a Christian radio station.  Once again, I began thinking of heavy metal as tool for examining intersecting social issues – religion, popular culture,...

“Jock Culture” or Sex-Segregated Socialization?

High-profile cases of rape and sexual assault perpetrated by athletes in the US have become far too common.  In a recent column for The Nation, Dave Zirin illustrated the ever more obvious connection between “jock culture” and the perpetration of sexual violence.  Jock culture and rape culture, Zirin argues, are intrinsically linked.  Young women are seen as “the spoils of being a jock” according to Zirin. In many ways Zirin could not be more right.  Clearly young male athletes are...

Heavy Metal Music and Sociological Imagination

As a kid I loved heavy metal.  The overly bright, distorted anthem-like electric guitar solo.  The accompanying rhythmic pulse was reminiscent of a battle snare drum, a hallucination of a military march.  The drum roll and the introduction of the power chord, a series of musical intervals of a perfect fourth repeated over and over again.  When the vocalist entered the picture, singing at the lower end of his range and producing clear tones that were such a deep contrast...

Man Up: NFL Hazing and Jonathan Martin’s “Man Card”

On October 28th, Miami Dolphins offensive lineman Jonathan Martin left the National Football League citing emotional distress as a result of abuse at the hands of his teammate Richie Incognito.  Incognito admits to having sent Martin racist, homophobic, and threatening text messages and voicemails but argues that rather than hazing or bullying, this was merely an instance of miscommunication between the two men.  While a great deal of media attention has questioned the behavior of Richie Incognito, a disproportionate amount...

Want to Help Marginalized Students Improve in Schools? Stop “Stop and Frisk” (and other punitive practices, too).

Last week, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals threw out a previous ruling that had determined that New York City’s controversial “Stop and Frisk” practice constituted a civil rights violation, thereby placing any reforms (or the outright abolition of “Stop and Frisk”) on hold. In addition to being a highly ineffective police strategy, extremely questionable from a civil liberties perspective and undeniably a case of racial profiling, this policy might also impact marginalized students’ educational outcomes. Sociological research suggests that...

Art, Identification, and Labels: Understandings of “Feminist Art” Among Female Artists

  Full Disclosure:  I am a feminist.  It never crossed my mind that there might be anything problematic about labeling myself this way since I have openly articulated my interests in gender issues and social, political, and economic equality since my early undergraduate days.  Of course, I knew that researchers had shown women today often reject the term “feminist” (McRobbie 2004; Rowe-Finkbeiner 2004; Levy 2006). However, I somehow had convinced myself that these individuals were just not informed.  I truly...

Gendering the Prevention of Bullying

Did you know that October is National Bullying Prevention Awareness Month?  As such, the month of October is full of bullying prevention and awareness events.  The National Bullying Prevention Center advertises many of these events and hosts a great deal of information about bullying.  But, a major piece of the bullying puzzle is missing, both from their website and much of the national (and international) discourse on bullying.  That missing piece is gender.

Anti-Feminists to Women: To prevent rape, just shoot men. Constructing 'rapists' vs. 'normal men' in public discourse on sexual violence

Our colleague Cliff Leek convincingly wrote about the importance of involving men in rape prevention work. Today I want to go back to a ‘debate’ on Fox News earlier this year, in which feminist writer Zerlina Maxwell raised this issue by arguing that rape can be prevented if men learn not to rape – an idea that was shot down (no pun intended) by Fox News host Sean Hannity as an unrealistic liberal pipe dream. Rather, Hannity and Gayle Trotter...

Autocompletes of Sexism and Inequality

Yesterday, I read a disturbing article in Adweek. “Powerful Ads Use Real Google Searches to Show the Scope of Sexism Worldwide Simple: Visual For Inequality” by David Griner explores a new campaign idea from UN Women, which used real suggested search terms from Google’s autocomplete feature. The ads, which were designed by art director and graphic designer Christopher Hunt, were designed to illustrate how gender inequality continues to be so problematic that even Google has come to expect it. Being...

Masculinity and Disney’s Gender Problem

Disney has a gender problem. A long line of feminist scholars and activists has used Disney princesses as examples of exactly what is wrong with the representation of women in mainstream media.  The classical Disney princesses (Cinderella, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Ariel, Jasmine, etc.) have been lambasted for having story lines in which they are helpless damsels in distress whose lives revolve around male characters.  Even the more modern princesses such as Tiana from Princess and the Frog and Rapunzel...

Masculinity Breaking Bad: Walter White and the Fallouts from Complicit Masculinity

  [Warning: Spoilers for the series finale of Breaking Bad ahead] AMC’s award-winning and groundbreaking drama Breaking Bad is, although complemented by a number of highly intriguing and well-played characters, primarily the story of its lead protagonist Walter White, a disillusioned high school chemistry teacher diagnosed with terminal cancer, who turns to cooking crystal meth in order to provide for his family’s financial security after he will have passed away. Thus, Breaking Bad is a reflection on the destructive potential...

What can Harvard Business School tell us about gender in schools and business?

  In a recent Sociology Lens post, my colleague Markus Gerke discussed the so called ‘Boys-Crisis’ in Education, and provides an excellent critique of anti-feminist stances that point to boys apparent underachievement in education. As he argues, these stances so often fail to account for gendered practices that occur in schooling and education, and by utilising feminist education studies and masculinity studies, the differences between boys and girls achievement can be explained much more accurately. Rather than inherent ‘qualities’ existing...

Title IX v. The Boy Crisis: Toward Single-Sex Education?

A few weeks ago I posted some thoughts on the impact of Title IX beyond collegiate athletics and last week my colleague, Markus Gerke, wrote brilliantly about the myth of the boy crisis in education.  In this post I will illustrate how Title IX proponents and believers in the boy crisis myth have come to clash over the topic of single-sex education. The movement to single-sex education in the US has been framed as a solution to both girls’ absence...