Why it’s always a white guy: The roots of modern, violent rage



Gender and Domestic Abuse

Hello, everybody! Missing every single one of you. Just thought I should post this amazing video I watched on Buzzfeed regarding domestic abuse and the way gender plays a role in it.


Luis Ramos

Research Paper Topics

Cassie Walter: My paper is titled “Body Dissatisfaction in US College Women” and it looks at the causes of body dissatisfaction in US college women (as I’m sure you could guess from the title) and how it effects them, as well as possible solutions to it.

Gracie Hall: I looked at how the globalization of care-work has lead to (seemingly) elastic constructions of motherhood, masculinity, and family–but in actuality has deeply engrained traditional versions of these constructions and reproduced patterns of global inequality.

Olivia Rabbitt: My paper explores the gendered expectations in regards to infidelity and explores several case studies of  “Media Representations of Infidelity in Public Couples” and how media responses perpetuate these norms.

Haris Kuljancic: My essay is titled “Gendered Toy Commercials” and it discuses the gender stereotypes that are portrayed in toy commercials that target children. The aim of the paper is to use previous studies in order to figure out how commercials promote gender stereotyping.

Jihmmy N. Sanchez: I looked at how the media has scripted a masculine ideal that promotes manhood and masculinity as violent and aggressive. I focused on the effect of media representation of manhood on Latino and Black youth, I talked about the Cool Pose and Machismo phenomenons in Latino and African American cultures and how they have reinforced a masculine ideal that is destructive and is preventing Latino and black males from decreasing their high school dropout and incarceration rates.

Emma Houser: My paper looks at the portrayal of female athletes in the media and the effect that the objectification and sexualization of their bodies has on young girls and women’s, as well as men’s perceptions of female bodies.

Emma Weisberg: The title of my paper is “Gender in the Film Industry: Women as Directors versus ‘Women Directors.'”  I am examining the complexities of gender politics within the film industry, such as general underrepresentation of women directors, lack of encouragement and access to professional training, pressure to deal with the term “feminist,” issues with distribution and funding, and ultimately how many women are trying to combat these issues with feminist organizations/specific film techniques and aesthetics/so on.

Luis Ramos: The title of my paper is “Homosociality vs. Homoeroticism (Bromances within the Media).” I am examining an emerging culture that has become slightly popular in today’s American society. Male friendships and bonding, which are often termed as “bromances” have become this new widespread sociocultural phenomenon that has shaped certain American masculinity ideals.  I want to see how this phenomenon is depicted within popular media and popular culture, and by doing so, I will be looking into research that has been done on Superbad and I Love You, Man, to verify whether “bromances” are generally portrayed as homosocial or homoerotic at times.

Carly Ozarowski: My paper is title “Perception of Female Athletes”. My paper examines how female athletics have changed over the past 40 years since Title IX was passed. It also looks at the different way females athletes are viewed, stereotyped and portrayed in everyday life and the media.

Sophie Sharps: My paper is called “Feminist Barbie: A Possibility or an Oxymoron?” and in it, I examine the tensions between academic scholars who have critically examined the negative impacts of Barbie dolls on young girls and the role of nonacademic groups such as the Mattel company, the media and Barbie consumers who view Barbie dolls as positive role models for young girls. I look at controversies over Barbie’s body image, career opportunities, reproductions of racial and other stereotypes, and finally, whether Mattel has the right to be “#unapologetic” as they suggest in their 2014 campaign.

Brittany Juliano: My essay is entitled The Excuse for Gender Workplace Inequity. In it, I discuss “The Opt-Out Revolution” of educated women leaving the workforce and how media has perpetuated the concept as an excuse for workplace inequity. I also analyze the reality behind opting-out: the social pressures of motherhood that force women to leave. *Also, Luis, your topics sounds so cool!*

Patrick Gallagher Landes: My essay is entitled “Hyper-masculine and Feminine Behaviors and Alcohol Consumption”. It details the ways in which men who consume alcohol are have scripts set up for them which reinforce their hegemonic masculinity. Because the consumption of of alcohol has been constructed as masculine, women who consume alcohol are seen to be unfeminine but also a lesser version of masculinity. This essay looks at power dynamics in social spaces in which alcohol is consumed.

Karen Cardona: The title of my essay is “Masculinity and Body Image in Gangsta Rap and Hip-Hop”.  The aim of this paper is to examine the representations of both gender and race in hip-hop and rap, it focuses on the use of African American masculinity and the portrayal of women bodies in music videos  .  It details how rap music videos and lyrics have become an outlet for women bodies to be hyper-sexualized as a way for  African American male artists to prove their masculinity through a violent, drug using, and women bashing character embodiment

Zoe Halpert: I’m looking at cookbooks and domestic advice in 20th century  America, and the enforcement of the private sphere as purely feminine.

Gina Pol: My paper discusses the circumstances that contribute to male prostitution, the stigma associated with male prostitution, and how male prostitutes present masculinity in the work place across different countries.

Alex Apkin: I wrote my paper on women in the film industry. Women are generally seen in less prominent roles in movies than men, but this paper focused on women in leading roles. I discussed the various ways in which women are represented in these films.

Reflection on Sex, Gender, and Society

Alex Apkin:

Sex, Gender, and Society gave me insights, and new perspectives regarding many issues in our society that relate to gender. But these issues ended up going further than just sex and gender. We were able to see further complexities as we explored each issue deeper. As we did this we found elements of race, the problematic media influence, and various other factors.

This class really opened my eyes to issues regarding gender that I never noticed before. One of the first alarming and intense experiences I had was in my viewing of Tough Guise 2. While I knew that the film industry was violent and at the same time influential the extent of this influence was stunning. Things such as movies are typically taken for granted and always considered to only be entertainment. But when they are consumed at such a high rate viewed in a certain way their role in our society becomes crucial. While our society seems to focus on any gender problem from the women’s perspective, while there are so many issues with men that are simply ignored. The idea of the Gentleman and Beast was absolutely true and yet has seemingly gone unnoticed. Society’s expectations for men and women are set into place and it seems a near impossible task to create change to these norms. The role of film was also seen in our discussion of Disney movies. These kind of films seemed so enjoyable and harmless for so long. Yet this class opened me to the now clear theme of heteronormative romanticism. Many of the patterns of messages these films present to generally younger children and us reflect the same societal problems in association with gender.

One of my favorite sections of the class was the family. The idea of the roles for each gender is an incredibly important take away. We saw at the beginning of the class the roles put in place for children of each gender at a young age, which included girls wearing dresses, and boys being allowed to run around more than them. These ideas were simple yet still awakening to things that have been present for many years. Then later on the roles continued in the home as mothers stayed home and fathers went to work. While I knew that mothers stayed at home more than the fathers, reading further into this pattern gave me more information that showed me the extent of the pressure mothers feel compared to the fathers.

The group project was a huge part of this class. It allowed us to expand on our class readings and use creativity, explore our interests and find results within the school. The project forced us to think about what we had learned in a different light and create something that further examined these ideas. Seeing the answers and overall results of our survey about the hookup culture at Conn was another enlightening part of the course because these were results that our group collected from our fellow students.

By taking this class I have become much more aware of these problematic restraints and expectations heaped on both men and women. There are many concerning aspects to our society that so few are aware of today. This class was enlightening on many of these issues, but also delved deeper into their core and discovered the source. Understanding the issues at hand is the first step to creating more substantial change in the environment that we live in.

Thanks professor Jafar for a great semester.


– Karen Cardona

When I decided to take Sex, Gender and Society I had thought of it as it GWS requirement but nothing much. As my first sociology class I didn’t think it would challenge me the way it did, I though much of the stuff that we would cover I would of already seen. I was wrong, this class showed me so many interesting topics that I had never seen in my life. It opened my eyes and it allowed me to within myself, speak up. A huge example of this was when we spoke about the Hook-Up culture, I had taken the time to speak about this with friends but I had never taken the time to discuss this in a classroom setting. I had always seen or pictured the hookup scene as something that was acceptable to speak in a classroom setting; I thought I simply had to deal with it. This when I learned that much of the rape culture at Connecticut College takes place during Saturday night Cro dances, I thought that most people simply welcomed this hook up culture so I felt unsafe ever discussing these topics.

This class has provided me with the opportunity to speak about these issues with individuals that feel passionate about ending unhealthy hookup culture at Connecticut College. The other part of the class that I found extremely rewarding was the blogs the we posted weekly, I loved the fact that we got to comment on each others because this truly allowed us to understand our classmates points of view and for those who often times become shy to speak in public (myself) to be able to express their opinions. I love that the blog post allowed us to connect the readings to our personal lives, this not only allowed me to learn from the reading but to over all learn about myself. It allowed me to build connections with classmates, to be able to find things in common with one another from our childhood to our everyday lived today as college students.

I really liked the fact that we really discussed the issues and problems that man go through, I feel like at times we see discrimination against women but completely forget about the issues that men experience and the large expectations that they endure throughout life. Overall I loved our group projects, it allowed me to work together with classmates I had never spoken to and overall combine our ideas to create a project. The group projects were amazing; so many people on campus were talking about them and constantly kept asking us more and more about the course. Our class became well known campus wide meaning that people on our campus were FINALLY talking about important issues and looking for ways to get involved. Overall our group projects became a representation of our campus culture, the way our campus community decided to help us out was truly amazing.


Overall I want to thank you Professor Jafar for being such an outstanding and amazing professor. Your passion for gender based issues and sociology truly kept me interested throughout the semester. It is so hard to find such excellent professors as yourself, professors who care about the knowledge that students obtain instead of how well they can take a test. It has been an absolute privilege to learn from you and I cannot wait to take another class with you.

Thank you so much J


(P.S you are not a mean screamer like that evaluation accused you, you are great!)


Sarah Wills

I have thoroughly enjoyed taking the class Sex, Gender, and Society. The information covered in this class is not only informative, but also relevant to our lives. The topics covered in class allowed for interesting class discussions where most people were able to participate. Due the to nature of the class, I feel that most people felt comfortable speaking up in class because of the laid back atmosphere that Professor Jafar created. Students felt comfortable agreeing and disagreeing with one another without offending others or making others feel uncomfortable. I really liked how the readings in class generated such thoughtful and different perspectives about the topics. Since we all come from different backgrounds and upbringings, everyone had something unique to contribute. Also, Professor Jafar allowed for appropriate “tangents” that related to our readings. Although sometimes these tangents took over most of class, they always related to sociological concepts.

I learned a lot from our final group project. I like how this project was introduced at the beginning of the semester because it allowed for us to put significant thought into the final product. The openness of the project allowed for unique, high quality products. Since it was so open ended, there were a wide variety of final products. They included presentations, movies, blogs, and surveys. This made the final presentation of the projects very interesting to listen to because they were all unique. Also, I think that each group chose a topic that is very relatable to college students. The topics included hook ups, drinking, sexism, micro-aggressions etc. I found it very interesting to hear what Conn students had to say about these topics.

My group was interested in researching how sensitive the Connecticut College campus is to sexism in advertising. So, we set up two posters around campus along with a blank poster and asked the students to describe the ad in one to three words. After several days, we took the posters down and recorded the responses. We then organized the responses into three categories: positive feedback, negative feedback, and neutral/other. This made it easier to analyze the data. We concluded that the Connecticut College campus is more sensitive to sexism than we had originally thought. Despite the fact there were some joking or sexist comments, we were still impressed with the fact that some students picked up on subtle sexism in ads.

I found this project very rewarding and informative. First off I was very surprised and impressed with how much feedback we received from the posters. I had no idea how many people were going to comment and how many people gave thoughtful responses. I thought were going to just get a few serious responses and the rest were going to be joking or irrelevant. I find it very impressive how interested and concerned students are with social issues. Also, I found it interesting what people picked up on in the ads. Some responses were just descriptive or joking. However, some people picked up on the subtleties of the aerie ad.

Class Reflection

Gina Pol

My favorite part of the class has to be the discussions that we have in class! I love how the discussion we have are not only limited to the readings we are assigned, but articles, clips, news, and even personal experiences that we feel can contribute to the topic. The blog post was also a wonderful way to begin a discussion online and gave us the ability to go in depth on the topic in class. I know many friends who have done Moodle posts and dread it very much, but I do not feel that way about the blog post at all. Since the structure of the blog post is more informal, it puts us at ease with our posts and gives us opportunities to share other information that relates to the topic. I enjoyed all the readings we had and the blog posts are always fun to read as well.

After taking this class, I go through my life thinking about gender much more than I have had in the past. Most of the readings we had have given me a great deal of knowledge on the prevalence of sex and gender in our society. I also liked how some of readings consisted of the intersectionality of race and gender. Although it becomes more complex with these intersections, it was great that they were incorporated in our readings. I honestly am unable to choose my favorite section in the class because I loved all the topics we discussed.

Another part of the class that I liked was our group project assignments. I like how we were given the chance to go into detail on a topic we found interesting. I have not taken many sociology classes that have given me the opportunity to conduct a mini study, so I was fascinated that we were able to do that for this class. For those who incorporated the college community in their project, it was great to bring in Conn students into our projects and let them learn more about the class and our projects. I also liked the idea you proposed in regards to a year long course with the combination of Sex, Gender, Society (or possibly another subject) and Research Methodology. I think it is an absolutely brilliant idea because it would allow students to learn about research methodology by being involved in research themselves. I really hope that would be possible!

Lastly, I am very glad that I took this class because it grew into being one of my favorite classes this semester. I look forward to taking a class in the future with Professor Jafar because I know I will not be disappointed. Thank you Professor Jafar and my wonderful classmates for an amazing class!

Sex, Gender and Society

Similar to Zoe, I decided to take two sociology classes this semester in hopes of cementing my love for Sociology. Halfway through Sex, Gender and Society I knew that I wanted to major in Sociology. I am a type of person that needs answers to everything. Something can’t simply happen just because it happens, there have to be reasons behind it. Sociology provides that outlet for me and I truly appreciate it. This particular class focused on sex and gender, two fields that I am very interested in. Along with this class I took His 242, History of Women. Together, these classes helped me understand why current situations are what they are and the past history that led us to the current predicaments. Of course, it helped that Jafar was teaching the course because her enthusiasm made it a pleasure to come to class each Wednesday and Friday morning.


I specifically enjoyed participating in the group project because each group was able to contribute a unique set of data that can be studied and learned from. It is important to have such studies, more frequently, in an enclosed college campus in order for everyone to learn about their surroundings. Aside from that, I learned a great deal about conducting an experiment and controlling the variables within it. I know it was a very basic survey, however I would love to learn how to take the data from each study and ultimately create an empirical article that includes an abstract, methods, results, etc.


The class itself required us to read a set of articles prior to the first meeting of each week and either post a blog post or comment on a couple. I loved the layout of the class because it forced me to get ahead of my work on the weekends and it gave me time to absorb all of the topics that we touch on during the week. Almost every class was a discussion topic during lunch or dinner. I appreciated the articles that were picked for the class because I was able to apply each one, however I am interested in reading more Kimmel and similar author’s. Maybe it would be nice to have the class purchase the entire book; I know it’s one I would keep for future analysis.


Finally, I want to thank professor Jafar as well as everyone who participated in each discussion during the semester. Through your thoughts I was able to learn more than any textbook could teach me alone. I look forward to more similar classes in the near future! Have a great summer break everyone!

Haris Kuljancic

Final Reflection

Honestly speaking, Sex, Gender and Society has been one of my ALL-TIME-FAVORITE sociology courses thus far. I definitely learned a lot about myself, while also learning about societal norms related to sensitive topics that our society is too embarrassed to talk about. First off, I never truly realized how interested I was in gender issues or the fact that I could potentially be a so-called feminist until taking this class. EVERYTHING about this course was beyond phenomenal. The professor, the students, the structure… EVERYTHING! If all my courses were structured identically to this one, college learning would be so much better, fun, and worthwhile.

Like Gracie, I really enjoyed the open ended assignments as well. You gave us the chance to take control of our learning, whether it was through a blog, our own research papers, our group project, or off each other during class discussions.

Above all that, I really, really, really enjoyed the group project component of the course. I’m really glad it all worked out well because I honestly believe each group produced amazing projects, despite the shortcomings some of us experienced throughout the way. I really had a fun time working with Alia, Olivia and Grace. Our group cooperation and teamwork was impressive. I’m glad I can call y’all my friends, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for all of us, especially you, Alia. I wish you the best! I can’t wait to start hearing your name everywhere I go.

Jafar, I honestly don’t think you’re as bad as that one student claimed you to be on that evaluation form. You’re not bad at all. I wish to be as great of a sociologist like you. I appreciate your passion for sociology. I appreciate your passion for gender issues. You allowed me to see beyond what others define as “ordinary.” I can’t wait to take a couple of more courses with you. You’re one of the many reasons why I’m glad to be a Sociology major. You sure know how to inspire your students. Thank you for everything. It was a pleasure to learn from you and the rest of my classmates.


Luis Ramos