Gender Expectations

Fitting into the societal expectations of what is masculine and feminine is something that many people are constantly trying to do. In some point or another in someone’s life, some type of interest, hobby, or activity will challenge someones perception of masculine or feminine and have to question if a particular gendered practice is accepted by society.

Countless examples exist whereas men should’t dance, and women can’t have any interest in cars. Halberstein’s work, Female Masculinity addresses the fact that masculinity and femininity are not so black and white. A girl which possesses or acts on masculine traits is considered to be employing Female Masculinity. For example, an interesting analysis on tomboys is made in this work. Any masculine traits that pass beyond the stages of puberty for girls pushes into the territory of Tomboys. Personally, I didn’t encounter too many tomboys, but I did know boys that would be more effeminate as we aged. I’m not sure if there’s really a name for these types of boys that is similar to Tomboy, but I feel like this is a prime example of how society is more accepting of masculinity. A Tomboy is a pretty well-regarded term, that doesn’t have too much of a negative implication, but when female traits are shown in a young boy, it’s more common for offensive and crude words to be used (I’m sure many example can come to mind.) I remember growing up, singing karaoke was a big family activity. Some of my favorite songs were Aladdin‘s “A Whole New World” and the classic “Dancing Queen” by ABBA. When I was maybe 7 or 8 I was singing one of these songs when one of my uncles taunted me about how girly the act was. I remember being upset and not wanting to sing around my family much thereafter. So it makes me wonder about the flip side of Female Masculinity, where a young boy could be more feminine than society expects. Fitting into the expectations of masculinity and femininity is fairly hindering.

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Prompt for Group 2 post due Friday, March 17

For the blog post due this week, use this space to think about the readings we have done so far– all the readings in this class from day 1 to now. Use your blog post to think about which reading connected most with you and why. Draw from class conversations, recent current events, personal events, etc. to discuss which reading either made you think about something differently, connected with you personally, or helped you think through a concept. Be sure to only pick one, even if you have several in mind, and define why it is that the one you chose stands out to you.

In the comments, groups 1 and 3 should find either posts that talk about a reading they also connected with, or posts that talk about a reading that they didn’t find as useful. For the former, draw connections between the post’s author’s experiences and your own, and for the latter, try to think through the differences between the author’s interpretation and your own.