Thoughts on gender this week:
Laura Bush and Katie Holmes are considered modern day Stepford wives.
Professionally women have different expectations from men when faced with the same job or career choice. Why are there so few women business leaders, tenured Professors, and Heads of State? Are women leaders perceived as being weak in comparison to men? Judged too harshly on their looks? Not as accepted by other women or society? How can this be changed?
In last week’s class Professor Jo Chen spoke of hierarchies in academia and compared this to the limits of the glass ceiling. Professor Chen questioned why such hierarchies were created and asked if another more inclusive system could exist. Professor Chen wondered if gender or social structures are in place as a way to organize people within society. Our class further considered how the notion of gender is institutionalized and arranged.
We discussed the idea of a Stepford wife, where a woman is dominated by her husband. Class mobility can be achieved through education but for many women “marrying well” is the preferred route of social mobility.
Nicole Kidman happy gets her groceries in a scene from the 2004 film Stepford Wives. An image of fancy pretty dish washing gloves!
This week I enjoyed reading Stephanie Springgay’s article Body As Fragment: Art-Making, Researching, and Teaching As a Boundary Shift as it questions ideas of identity and the relationship between teaching and self. Moreover, I also really appreciated Springgay’s art-works and feel she is a formidable young scholar who will have a great impact on the field.
Springgay touches on the concept of the body as fragment. Indeed as women our bodies are compartmentalized through notions of self, identity, media influence, family history, socioeconomic status, and relationship to our mothers/mothering. In education there is a strong boundary between our professional body and our personal one. As Springgay suggests this perception of self can become fragmented changing with evolving teaching pedagogy, curriculum, and personal values.