Have a conversation with a partner in which both of you answer and discuss the following questions. Write down both your answers and those of your partner as your journal response.
- Describe in detail a specific experience you’ve had, or a woman in your life has had, that demonstrates the double-bind of femininity as discussed in class (you will need to explain this concept to your conversation partner).
Describe what impact that double-bind had on that person’s identity, on how they felt about themselves.
- Describe an experience when you or a man you know followed one or more hegemonic rules of masculinity even though it clearly harmed a relationship and/or his physical/emotional health (you will need to share the 7 rules of hegemonic masculinity with your partner).
Which alternative discourses could have helped him position himself differently?
- Describe a personal experience in which you “othered” another person’s body (do not pick “girls need to be thin & pretty,” “boys need to be big and strong” as your example). You will need to explain the concept of “othering” to your conversation partner.
a. What was the impact of your “othering” on the other person? Did it leave you feeling differently about them? Did they get teased/ostracized by you or others?
b. Which discourses about bodies contributed to your “othering” them?
c. Which alternative discourses suggested by the readings or in lecture could have helped you not to have “othered” them?
4. What was it like to talk with someone else about the connections between these ideas (femininity/masculinity/bodies and their connection to our/others’ identities) and your own life experiences?