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Chelsea's Introduction Borrowing Gavi's Account

Gavi's picture

This is Chelsea borrowing Gavi's account. Mine is freaking out!

Hi Everyone! My name is Chelsea. I’m a sophomore at Haverford and have not declared a major – though it will probably wind up being Political Science. I'm excited to take this class because I love thinking about the ways gender and sexuality influence and interact with different pieces of society. I'm hoping that throughout the semester I will begin to not only see connections between Gen/Sex studies and other disciplines, but also consider their implications more deeply.

 It was really interesting to see the variety of majors that are present in this class. During the "Wagon Wheel," it became clear that people are interested in this topic for a variety of reasons, but almost every one can draw connections between their main area of study and Gender and Sexuality studies. This observation made it clear that gender and sexuality are in some way connected to almost every part of our culture. It will be interesting to flesh out these connections as the semester goes on. I also really enjoyed discussing the timeline and reading that we looked at in class. I was struck by the point that much of the Women's Rights Movement was about showing that women could partake in "masculine" activities without losing their femininity, instead of establishing women's right to be masculine (Wilchins, 8). The beginning chapters of the Wilchins book suggest that while issues of gender and sexuality are often intertwined, activists have often been tempted to tackle them separately in an attempt to simplify complex issues. 

The terms Precarious, Performative, Playful and Potential all seem both alliterative and appropriate for this class. I think that our definitions of gender and sexuality or any binaries that we attempt to maintain are generally precarious as people rarely fit neatly within them. The word Performative makes me think about gender as performance and the ways in which we choose how to express our gender as well as the way these choices can be interpreted. I couldn’t really put a finger on how I thought playful fit with the course until reading the definition of “play” posted on the serendip page. Play. To dance, leap for joy, rejoice, be glad. It was pointed out in Wilchins that sexuality especially has taken on very serious connotations and it is easy to forget that sexuality is really something worthy of celebration and has light hearted elements as well as heavier pieces. Potential seems to be a good word for any class, but for this one in particular because gender and sexual identities are rarely static. Potential suggests a continuous change or fluidity that seems appropriate here.
I’m looking forward to a great semester with all of you!


chelseam's picture

Making this appear in my portfolio!

Hi! I wrote this!