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Precarious and Performative Play Web Paper 4

Shlomo's picture

Male Athletes and Rape Culture: Structural Violence in the World and at Haverford (TRIGGER WARNING)



Dear friends,

As has become my custom, I would like to introduce this web event with a short description of my motives and hopes.  I want to tell you how this web event came to be (a long story in this case), what I hope to communicate through this web event, and what future directions are possible.

            Allow me to start at the beginning.  In the past few weeks, I have found myself increasingly aggravated, confused, and above all inspired.  My aggravation stems largely from Haverford’s policies regarding rape and sexual assault, which seem to become more and more inadequate the more that I learn about them (for anyone who hasn’t already done so, I strongly recommend reading AmyMay’s web event Biological Discourse and Rape Culture at Haverford College and jmorgant’s web event “Consent is Sexy” at Haverford: Not Yet).  While my belief that the Haverford policies are insufficient was immediately strong and clear, I grew confused about how to effect change.  I pondered a variety of questions, including:

Kim K's picture

un-conventional learning



I originally went into this paper with the intent to write about the discrepancies between our sex saturated culture, and the lack of in-depth sex education in schools. I initially believed that our country was lacking in the area of sexual education. I had based this belief upon (among other things) the fact that many, if not all, schools seem hesitant to push the boundaries and actually educate children on sex and sexuality. The lack of a formal unified sexual education curriculum in our country seemed (to me) like a major failure, especially in light of the serious problems that sexual ignorance can cause.

However, after doing some initial research on the topic, I realized that there is much more to a sexual education than what a child learns in school. Which led me to eventually realize that we are all getting a massive amount of sexual education in unexpected places (whether we want to or not). And sexual education can (and does) take place at any age. It is through the media, in all its various forms, that Americans are getting the bulk of their sexual education from.


lgleysteen's picture

Disruption in the Interpretation of Embodied Symbols

Disruption in the Interpretation of Embodied Symbols

Final Web Event

Assumptions are made about individuals through the expression and interpretation of embodied acts and body language is the conduit for social meaning.  The social meaning behind bodily acts are disrupted when the movement itself is not completely controlled by the individual.  Disability, gender, and communication are all entangled in a web of perception, symbolism, and agency.  This web of entanglement causes people to not see an action for as it was intended and make assumptions about a person on their limited controls on bodily action.  Interpretations of bodily actions are often misunderstood when an individual is not completely able bodied.

aybala50's picture

At Bryn Mawr: Exploring Transgender Further

In my second web event I questioned Bryn Mawr Colleges admission policy regarding transgender students. I wrote a mock scenario in which a prospective transwoman has a discussion with her mother about wanting to attend Bryn Mawr. In preparation for this project I talked to a few people in administrative positions at the College and was faced with requests at remaining anonymous in their answers. Because of the lack of receiving answers to my questions, I posed my web event as a question. Are transwoman allowed to apply to and attend Bryn Mawr College?

In my third web event, I traced the history of the College in regards to its mission and history of transgender topics. There have been several web events posted by Bryn Mawr students on Serendip, which were very informative and useful in my own movement towards gaining more knowledge of how to build a right relationship between Bryn Mawr College and transgender students. In this web event my focus switched from not only transwomen, but also transmen. I also used information on the Transgender Task Force, which was created in 2007. I noted that President McAuliffe approved the recommendations made by the task force in 2009.

Now, where do I go next? I’ve noted what I believe is Bryn Mawr’s role in the 21st century regarding transgender students. However, I don’t have enough facts. I lack informationknowledge

rachelr's picture

Identifying Similarities and Differences

One thing that really stuck with me all semester is my memory of out class discussion about testosterone and estradiol; how similar their chemical formulas are, how they can be converted back and forth between each other, and how men and women have both of these sex hormones in their bodies. In our culture however, we tend to categorize testosterone with men and estrogen with females, and never the twain shall meet. I decided to get to know these two molecules by building models using different sized styrofoam balls, wire, and hot glue. My organic chemistry training and model kit helped me get the stereochemistry down (although I must admit not all of my bond angles are completely true to form). This process was fairly straight forward after I drew myself a few copies of the structures. What surprised me about this process was how I began to see the differences between estradiol and testosterone. Estradiol, with the double bonded oxygen to the benzene ring was much more linear than testosterone, composed of cyclohexanes that have more 3D characteristics. At first I was worried that I was building estradiol wrong (I did testosterone first) or that I had built testosterone incorrectly, but examining the structures I saw where the differences began.

chelseam's picture

Mapping Entanglement: Witnessing and Acting in our Built and Natural Environments

            When I began to formulate this fourth and final webevent, my intention was to continue searching for connections that could be formed between environmental health organizations and food justice groups. My plan was to think “group to group,” make official organizations talk to each other. But, then I began thinking about the individuals for who these organizations act and thinking about ways to connect individuals rather than exclusively the entities that seek to represent them. Kaye reminded me of Witnesses to Hunger, a project by Drexel Univiersity’s Center for Hunger-Free Communities.  Witnesses to Hunger began in Philadelphia in 2008 and asks women caring for young children who have experienced hunger and poverty, witnesses, to document their experiences. The project was created because “too often, policies and programs are created without the participation of the people who are most affected,” Witnesses to Hunger seeks to include the voices of those women who’s lives are directly affected by welfare related policies in the dialogue surrounding these issues. Here is a video from the project website:




Gavi's picture

The Groundings of a Commonwealth: Workshop on Forging Environmental Ethics Through Reading and Telling Stories

I created my third web event with every intention of deriving from it a workshop meant to bring together Israeli and Palestinian young adults over shared literatures. Literature was a medium through which, I had argued, right relationships had the space and time to emerge, and was a form particularly suited toward broader socio-political change. While I was excited about this final web event and its possibilities, I was also somewhat daunted by my own distance from the site of relationship building. I was also concerned by the spatial impracticalities of actually translating this workshop into action. I have become, through the course of the semester, very interested in how academic conversation can be used as groundwork for activity and doing; it seemed duplicitous to consider in my postings how “a group of listeners becomes a group of actors,” and even create frameworks for such a transition, but have no intention of taking this kind of action myself.

Kammy's picture

Sex and Gender Flowchart

The following is a satirical piece assembled for an audience of youth and peers. It is meant to illustrate the importance of biology and scientific studies with regards to their influence upon dominant discourse within our culture – regardless of whether those findings are conceptually relevant, methodologically rigid, or statistically significant. Scientific studies are often grasped and cited in the process of forming policy and promoting social agendas. Such use of scientific data is theoretically ideal, so that policies might be informed by factual understanding and thus work towards aiding populations to which they apply. Unfortunately however, data is often misinterpreted and reinterpreted. The practice of drawing upon “scientific studies” in order to bolster an argument is common and widespread. This practice hinges upon a Western epistemology that privileges science and rationality, thereby conflating it with authoritative power. It is therefore no surprise when a politician throws in a statistical figure, or when a scientific study is cited by legislators. The use of such scientific data is a means by which authority is gained, as it (authority) is conferred upon the subject by an unquestioned body of knowledge that is called upon.

jfwright's picture

The Stories We Tell Ourselves: A Continuation of Web Event #2

This webpaper expands on the children's book I started for web event #2. While this book isn't finished - and isn't meant to be - I sincerely hope you enjoy the work I've put into it! I certainly have been.

Katie Randall's picture

Shifting Standards of Care and Right Relationships

 Back in October I posted a paper on this site exploring the relation between the medicalization of disability (as seen in Eli Claire's Exile & Pride) and the pathologization of transsexuality (as seen in Rachel Ann Heath’s The Praeger Handbook of Transsexuality: Changing Gender to Match Mindset.

(read the full paper here: /exchange/node/11075 )

In The Praeger Handbook of Transsexuality: Changing Gender to Match Mindset a lot of Heath's discussion of the medicalization of disability revolved around the standards of care (SOC), standards written by the World Professional Association for Transgender Health to guide doctors with transsexual patients. The Praeger Handbook was published in 2006 and critiqued the 6th edition of the SOC, published in 2001. It was this critique that I incorporated into my own work.

But right around the same time that I posted my thoughts, something happened that I didn’t know about until later. A new and revised SOC was published.

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