cultural markers of gender
For your first assignment you will keep a diary for a 48-hour period in which record every acts or situations that gender you. You will also note ways that you make choices (consciously or unconsciously) about how you present your own gender. This could be anywhere from what you choose to wear that day, what film you see, or your gym work-out. As you create your record, consider the following questions:
ñ What acts do you perform (if any) that American culture might define in gender binary terms, such as male/female or masculine/feminine?
ñ What do others do or say that assign you a gender? Similarly, how do others assume something about your sexuality by your appearance, behavior, or the social context?
ñ Are there situations in which you find yourself resisting the cultural markers of gender?
ñ Are there situations in which you find yourself embracing the cultural markers of gender?
ñ Are there instances when you find yourself outside the norm of gender and sexuality in a given context? ñ If you are unsure whether an act or situation genders you, record those events and try to figure out why they are confusing.
Part 2 ñ Analyze
Using your gender diary, write a 1-page reflection piece. Reflection pieces should combine your experiences with analysis. They should be written in a concise and analytical manner. Each paragraph should have a clear topic sentence. Be sure to provide examples from your diary. You should draw upon the questions from Part 1 and your diary to answer the following questions:
1. What is gender? What are masculinity and femininity?
2. What gender(s) are you? Why?
3. Do you construct your gender or is your gender constructed for you? Why?
Note: You are not required to divulge anything that you feel is too personal. We honor and respect your privacy and confidentiality.
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