“ECS 110 Storying the Learning Journey”

This course has made me understand the normative narratives of society, and begin to unravel them. I am changed by this class. I don’t see things the same way anymore. All interactions with the outside world make me question what is really being said, and what is being left out. I’ve never thought this way before.

Thank you.

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Reading Response 4 “Sexism and the Gender Binary Myth”

Andrea Rubenstein defines sexism as “both discrimination based on gender and the attitudes, stereotypes, and the cultural elements that promote this discrimination… Men as a class are privileged over women as a class, an important, but often overlooked, part of the term is that sexism is prejudice plus power.” Men use this power to control and manipulate women who they perceive to be weak, and should be “protected, supported, and adored … to make a man complete” (Rubenstein). This gender binary gives men the power, as Sensoy and DiAngelo suggest, their masculinity is strengthened through violence and ensures subservient, passive, and eager to please women (2012, p. 83). This gender binary must be disrupted, as no one should live in fear, be manipulated and controlled.

The only way to stop sexism is for us to challenge our society. Sexism is such an insidious disease it has managed to “adapt and change over time, while still maintaining inequitable outcomes” (Sensoy, & DiAngelo, 2012, p. 80). Sexism effects all women no-matter where they are from, their class, or their sexuality. Women make up 50% of the world’s population and are all subjected to sexism. We need to challenge and disrupt the normative narratives on how men and women perceive themselves, and how society perceives them, at every turn.

While we are challenging these normative narratives, we should also consider the different sexual orientations within each group. Colonization has constructed the gender binary of man and woman, but in reality, sexuality is much more complex. In Dr. Alex Wilson’s presentation, she explained that in the LGBTQ community 56% of transgender people attempted suicide; 21% of two spirited men committed suicide, and 39% of two spirited women committed suicide. These numbers are staggering. We need to break down the gender binary wall, and claim “sovereignty over our own bodies” (Wilson). The gifts and talents we all have, are gifts for ourselves, families, communities, and society, we need to accept and treasure these gifts rather than be imprisoned within colonial walls of unfounded idealism.

References

Rubenstein, Andrea.  (2007). “What is “sexism”?”  https://finallyfeminism101.wordpress.com/2007/10/19/sexism-definition/

Sensoy, Ozlem. & DiAngelo, Robin. (2012). “Is everyone really equal?” An introduction to key concepts in Social Justice Education. Columbia University, New York.

Wilson, Alex. “Our coming in stores: Cree identity, body sovereignty and gender self determination”.  https://ro.uow.edu.au/jgi/vol1/iss1/4/

 

 

 

 

Reading Response 3: “The Myth of the Level Playing Field”

In Chelsea Vole’s article “The Myth of the Level Playing Field” she says “recognizing that Indigenous peoples’ legitimate grievances stemming from awful things that were done in the past, but that the advent of a modern democracy means that we are all now equals and we have an obligation to behave as such”, demonstrates how the white normative narrative is not really acknowledging the past. Words are being said to pacify the Indigenous people but understanding and true comprehension is lacking. This hegemony, demonstrates how the dominant white majority is trying to force its group ideology onto everyone in society to ensure conformity. If we believe as Vole sarcastically suggests, “we are all now equals”, we are accepting these governmental myths; the truth is Indigenous people are not treated equally within Canada.

Indigenous people are one of the poorest groups in Canada, with health, education, social, and economic issues. The government of Canada through many studies has identified areas that can improve the plight of Aboriginal communities, but is slow to implement help. Keeping the Indigenous community week and dependent on the government ensures dominance over this group. The government has always wanted to assimilate the Indigenous people into white society, and suggesting that “we are all now equals” is one way of doing this. Our Canadian history shows that Indigenous people have been thought of and treated as inferior which is racism; the white dominant society has always seen itself as superior. This racist normative narrative is prevalent in our society today. Attitudes need to change, and the normative narrative needs to shift before the Indigenous people can be accepted, and warmly welcomed into Canadian society where they truly belong.

References

Vowel, Chelsea. “The Myth of the Level Playing Fieldhttp://apihtawikosisan.com/2014/07/the-level-playing-field-myth/