March 27, 2013
- Difficult Conversation 4: The Gender Box - Pressures to Be "Male" and "Female" Continue
- Time: 3:30 PM - 5:00 PM
- Location: Lamoine Room, University Union
- Description: “The Gender Box” the fourth 2012-2013 Difficult Conversation, is part of a series of informal discussions that offer the campus community an opportunity to talk about issues that arise when people unfamiliar with others’ backgrounds, values, or experiences are asked to work and live side by side.
While much has changed over the last four decades in the United States in terms of assumptions about women’s and men’s roles, it seems expectations die hard. Role modeling starts with the toys we play with and the messages we get from adults that reinforce traditional expectations about behaviors and attitudes (“boys will be boys,” “pretty girls”). Media is often a force in creating and perpetuating these ideas about gender as they reinforce unrealistic expectations of behavior and appearance.
Can individuals resist the pressures to fit into particular gender roles? Can we choose the role that will identify who we are? Do we internalize attitudes about attractiveness and worth based on films, ads and television shows, or are those just background noises that really don’t play into our perceptions of what being a male or a female is? Do we connect the gender values of important people in our lives and the external influences around us? How do we negotiate the gender choices we have and help others to do the same?
Difficult Conversations are open to all faculty, staff, and students. One of their most effective features is the the small group discussions central to each.
The Difficult Conversations Series is sponsored by Western's Expanding Cultural Diversity Project, the Center for Innovation in Teaching and Research, the University Diversity Council, the Office of Student Activities, and the University Professionals of Illinois Local 4100.
- Contact Information:
- Source: Multicultural