Friday, April 18, 2014

WMST Brown Bag: Inverting the Dominant Discourses: Queering Education

Have you notice how many of advertisements, TV shows, and books are hetero-normative? In addition, they often lack visible racial diversity. Today at the Women's Studies Brown Bag, students from Queering Education( EDUC 242)  presented their poster projects that sought to invert dominant narratives such as the "ideal woman," and  heterosexual coupling.

Many projects challenged  the norm of what the ideal woman looks like and how she is represented. When many people imagine the ideal woman, they unconsciously think of blonde hair, blue eyes, thin waist, very feminine, white, and cisgendered. Many presenters challenged that norm by pointing out that women can be racially diverse and still be women as well as pointing out that oftentimes the "ideal woman" is only ideal in the context of being appealing within a heterosexual man's gaze.

Another norm that was challenged by multiple projects was the idea of what is socially acceptable positions or actions for women. The dominate narrative dictates that women and girls not only be cisgendered and heterosexual, but also submissive, domestic, small, and silent. Denying this narrative sometimes automatically makes girls "tomboys." The project challenged the audience to expand their ideas of femininity as well as what constitutes womanhood/girlhood.

In addition, some projects challenged society's idea and construction of masculinity.

In what ways have you been socialized to believe gender stereotypes?

How do you perhaps perpetuate gender stereotypes and heteronormativity?

- Aidan Davis

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