Serendip is an independent site partnering with faculty at multiple colleges and universities around the world. Happy exploring!

Final Teach-In

aybala50's picture

For our final teach-in my group decided to play a game of taboo. Unlike the regular version of taboo, our version did not have specific taboo words under the word that was meant to be described. Instead each card read "Do not use gendered words" while describing this word. After having discussions in class about a genderless world we were curious to see if we were able to describe words without the use of gender. Some of the words that were described included father, bitch, love, and bisexual. As seen, some are inherantly more gendered than others. 

I was curious to see if there would be confusion between biological sex words and gender words. It was interesting to see the initial panicky reaction of those who volunteered to describe a word, followed with some confusion, but in the end everyone was able to describe their word in a way that allowed the rest of the class to guess it. 

It was interesting to try and imagine a world without gender. While we were able to guess words, without gender, would we still be using the word mother and father to describe a parent? Would they adopt new meanings? I find myself wondering now if this was a true experiment without our ability to turn off the gendered brains in the audience. Would we have been able to guess father without automatically thinking parent=mother OR father?