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Wrapping up with my gender--or not?

Celeste's picture

I was laying in bed the other night, thinking about whether I'm a very effective student.  My most recent example that says otherwise is my reaction to the Bornstein's Gender Workbook.  I am not sure if gullible is the right word to describe myself--easy to trick, easy to please--or if I simply err on the less critical side as I read.  I watched many of my classmates make effective, concise arguments against the many issues with Bornstein's method of judging how we view gender and identity, mainly through the use of multiple choice quizzes.  It's been repeatedly noted that the quizzes featured a certain bias.  Although I was able to see that I was being herded like an intellectual sheep, I could still find value in the perspectives that were presented by the featured replies.  For me, this provided an interesting, albeit directed opening perspective to the idea of gender fluidity.  As Anne said in class, it is often as good an opportunity to read with an open mind as it is to read with a critical one.  Like the glass of water metaphor, I found a fair amount of information to reflect upon after picking out the "dirt" in the glass of water. I found myself questioning what I consider to be male and female traits--something that truly hadn't crossed my mind before opening the book.  It also became clear to me that my perceptions of gender rely heavily on the exterior, such as appearance and clothes and the way a person speaks of themselves.  I intend to ork on expanding my perspective of others to be less empirical and more emphatetic, so that I can better understand others and myself!


pialamode314's picture

Picking out the "dirt"

I also thought what Anne said about reading with an open mind as well as a critical one was very important. I know sometimes, and in the case of the Gender Workbook as well, I tend to form an early opinion in a book, and in a way it is like closing off my mind while I read the rest of it. After our critical discussion of the Gender Workbook in class on Tuesday, I went back to reading the rest of the book with those opinions echoing strongly in my mind as I read. I think it is very true that there were many issues with the Gender Workbook in the way the author presented the information and spoke to her audience, but I also agree that there was some important information in there that, when you extract the "dirt", could be really useful. For example, I thought her discussion of the difference between sex and gender and how sex is often seen as a "biological binary" was a very important one and one that I really appreciated. Also, I found that before reading this book, I had never really thought of gender as including more than how you identify as male, female, neutral, or something else entirely. In that respect, reading this book really opened up my mind to the idea of someone's gender being an intersection of all these different parts of a person's identity.