8 thoughts on “GENDER & SEXUALITY”

  1. The topic alone speaks volumes to me because of an organization that I founded on campus with six other students. It is called Shades of Pride. It is a student organization that is tailored in helping LTBQ* students of color. Although I am not a part of the community, I am a huge ally and advocate, which is why I sometimes take offense to the ignorance that people spread. I think the main purpose of my post is for people to realize that their is a different between sex and gender, and also between gender and sexuality. Sex is what you were born into, gender is how you identify yourself, regards of what society labels. Sexuality is who you are attracted to. A transgender woman (male transitioned to female) who dates a man is considered a heterosexual woman (regards of who she used to be). What’s important is who she identifies as, and how she feels about herself. Another issue that bothers me is that people place Caitlyn (formerly Bruce) Jenner as the face of transgender people. Their issues were around long before her transition, and they are more aware of their issues, than she is. I do believe that it is nice for her to want to be an advocate, but I think she must first learn the issues, the ugly truths, and the sad deaths and lives that plagued their community.

    1. I think that having programs available to the LGBT community is beneficial because it gives them the opportunity to express themselves. I also agree with Caitlyn Jenner being the face of transgender people. I watched her show I AM CAIT which documented her new life as Cait. On one episode she met with members of the LGBT community and they expressed their concerns about her being the face of transgender people. Many of them weren’t pleased because they felt that her transition was not realistic and it was only accepted because of her fame and socioeconomic status. I agree with them because since the beginning she was accepted so easily and didn’t experience the ugly truths that many of these people go through by coming out to people.

  2. The first thing that comes to my mind with this social issue is the gender pay gap. A couple months ago Jennifer Lawrence was speaking out against the gender pay gap after she found out she was being paid significantly less than her male costars. She admits that part of that is a negotiation issue on her part as explained here http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/jennifer-lawrence-explains-gender-pay-837200. This doesn’t mean that the pay gap is nonexistent. It is a real and relevant issue to America and several other counties. In 2013 (two years ago), the average full-time working woman was only making $0.78 for every dollar the average full-time working man was earning. In addition to the pay gap, women also suffer a compensation gap which is generally geared more towards women with lower income. They are less likely to be offered health insurance and have a retirement plan than their male counter parts. Even though women’s human capital has greatly increased over the past several decades to match men’s human capital, these issues are still present. There needs to be more policies created to ensure women are receiving the same treatment as men in the workforce so that they get what they work for. We need to put the pay gap in the past.
    https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/docs/equal_pay_issue_brief_final.pdf

  3. Jessica Thornsberry—EDC 601

    I was really distraught to hear during my Ed Policy class this semester that a male graduate student claimed that “all of the barriers for women have been eradicated”. He claimed that we no longer have to face gender discrimination in education or the workforce, and that women intrinsically made the decision not to choose careers like engineering because they were intrinsically different from men.

    I think what my peer misunderstood is that women have years and years of preconceived ideas built in their heads around careers choices. I think that young girls enter into college making decisions based on what they have already experienced in their lives, and things that have already led them to believe in what careers are right for women. I don’t think that women and men are intrinsically different on an emotional and intellectual level, I think that the social construction of gender roles works in subtle, almost unobservable ways against men and women.

    For example, a young boy growing up in the schools system might notice that most of his teachers are female. This may lead him to believe that education is a feminine field, leading him to pick a different field of interest. I think the best way to ensure equity is to teach students to constantly be aware of how the social construction of gender is constantly, inadvertently influencing their thoughts, actions, and choices. Being aware of the problem is the first step to combatting the problem.

  4. Victoria Johnson – EDC 601

    Gender equity is a sensitive topic across the middle east. Religion and deep rooted cultural beliefs led to gender inequality in the workplace.

    The article below focuses on how Emirati women are beginning to have more of a presence in the work force. The article states that Emirati women make up 10% of legislative, managerial and senior official roles in the country. Although this percentage is low, the article continues by adding the fact that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has the highest percentage of women in those official roles compared to any other country in the region. The government is implementing policies to ensure that women are treated equally in the workforce. Although the UAE, and the middle east as a whole, has a long road ahead of them, it is good to see that a level of progress is being made.

    http://www.kippreport.com/fcs/more-gender-equality-on-its-way-to-the-uae/

    The public schools in the UAE, as well as in many of the countries in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) , separate students, based on gender. There are all boys schools and all girls schools. Many female students, after high school graduation, are not allowed to leave the country, and often time their city, to attend universities, although males are allowed to study abroad.

    What steps must the government implement in the public school system to help facilitate the growth of females? If majority of Emirati women do not leave the country for university, what should higher education institutions in the country do to better prepare these students for leadership roles within the country? What steps should the UAE take to eliminate gender inequality?

  5. This is article is about Harvard University, and their decision to allow students to pick their preferred gender pronoun from options other than just ‘him’ or ‘her’. The director of the bisexual, gay, lesbian, transgender, and queer student life office at Harvard stated: “We hope this creates classroom spaces that foster inclusion and equity for all students.” The article discusses how sexuality is a source of discrimination in education, but gender is different because it comes up in conversation and in the classroom all the time. Calling someone ‘him’ or ‘her’ when that is not their preferred pronoun is “an unintended act of discrimination.” Harvard hopes to create a more inclusive and nurturing environment for students, where they will not be discriminated against for not identifying as a mainstream pronoun. I like how the article celebrates the victory of Harvard, but also makes it clear that this is a necessary move that should be happening in more places. In fact, the University of Vermont has been allowing students to pick their preferred pronoun since 2009. I think that the University of Kentucky should adopt a similar policy, and spread awareness about this topic on campus. It is a topic that I don’t see talked about often at UK, but I am sure there are students that identify as other pronouns. I think it is time for UK, along with other universities and colleges, to be a more supportive academic environment.

    https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2015/09/02/harvard-allows-students-pick-new-gender-pronouns/C0EXpZHw09zwCzo4hVhjdJ/story.html

  6. This article offers a discussion on how schools can protect students from sexual harassment. More specifically, the article focuses on protecting LGBT students from being harassed or bullied by peers in the classroom. In today’s schools, students are dropping out at alarming rates, and
    both boys and girls report that they drop out in part because they do not feel safe at school. This article encourages schools that want to reduce their dropout rates to protect students from sexual harassment and bullying and ensure that students know to whom and how they should report sexual discrimination. Furthermore, the article offers a discussion on how sexual harassment and bullying threaten students’ safety in the classroom and inhibit their learning development and educational experience. What can educators do to eliminate bullying and harassment in the classroom, particularly as it pertains to those students with diverse sexualities?
    http://www.nwlc.org/sites/default/files/pdfs/Final%20SH%20Fact%20Sheet-Schools.pdf

    1. I think this article is great at pointing out more of the technical roles that schools and administrators need to play when it comes to sexual harassment. This is a big topic, especially when it comes to our students in middle and high schools. I do think that there are also many options that schools can take that take a more social and non methodical approach to reach out to students, especially the LBGT students. I think one of the best things that a school can do is to set up support groups for students. One of the biggest issues when dealing with harassment is knowing that there is a support group that one can turn to. Setting these up for students in the school setting will give them more confidence about reaching out for help when they need it. Because all students will know that this support group is in place and that other students are more likely to utilize it and receive help from harassment, this could be a starting way to decreasing the number of harassment cases within the school system. Students will know that there is more of a chance of them getting in trouble because the student that they are harassing will have somewhere to turn to for help.

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