I have personally grown up around sports during my entire life. I played Soccer, Basketball, Volleyball, and threw javelin in Track and Field. I listened to countless speeches about taking care of your body and making sure you are healthy throughout the season. However, one lecture that stood out to me was during track season. My coach, who was also an amazing science teacher at the school, talked about women and men athletes. He was referring to the long distance runners when he said something along the lines of, “Men’s bodies allow them to grow and improve at a steady incline, while women’s bodies hit a plateau at a certain point where it doesn’t matter how hard a girl trains, she will be getting the same result”. He gave us this speech to make sure that the girls didn’t get discouraged because they didn’t see improvement for a season or lengthy period of time. I thought that Judith Lorber’s article, “Believing is Seeing”, was very interesting because of the many comparisons that were made between men and women. I thought it was very interesting that she brought up how a man and a woman was defined, “men are not always sperm-producers, and in fact, not all sperm-producers are men” (570). However, I feel like Women and Men can’t ever be compared or put in the same category because of the immense biological differences each have. Nobody can ever truly say, “If Michael Jordan was a women he would average x number of points, rebounds, and assists; And nobody can ever really say, if Mia Hamm was a man she would have scored this many number of goals, had this many assists and would have won this many trophies. The genetic make up of a man and a woman is completely different. Men are capable of building bulky muscle, while women tend to get toned while doing the same amount of work. Overall, the biological make up of a male and female would make it very difficult to compare the athletes. I also think that it is very unfair in regards to the amount of testing that is being done to females in the Olympics. This however, would bring up the issue of defining a male and female once again. I think it’s very unfair that society allows men to shower for fifteen minutes after a hard workout and then hit the door, while a women has to spend another 30 minutes getting ready because of the amount of make-up and different outfits she has to try on.
Karin Martin’s article is a perfect transition because she talks about the early stages of development and how society, even in a protected preschool can effect the actions and behaviors of males and females. Martin provided examples of teachers enforcing gendered stereotypes by promoting the color pink for girls, advising girls to wear dresses, and allowing boys to rough house while minimizing the physical activities for girls. I spoke with someone about this while I was reading it and emphasized how much I would hate to send my son or daughter to a preschool or daycare like this. Why should a three or four year old girl be scrutinized if she wasn’t “sitting like a lady”, or be reprimanded for being too loud? I would make sure adult’s didn’t focus on what a student wore, or what their hair looked like. Rather, I would hope that the people that were in charge of taking care of my 3 year old for 8 hours of the day would focus on my child’s health and well-being. That includes their state of mind and their freedom as a three year old. It is very important not to forget that young boys should be held to the same expectations as young girls. Although people say it might be easier to raise boys I feel like it is just as challenging if not even more challenging. Kimmel’s “Guyland”, discussed the culture of guys in college life. When a student was asked what it meant to be a guy, his answer was, “not to have any feelings”. That was one of many answers that guys gave. However, these ideals weren’t built just in a day.
Edward Morris conducted a study in a middle school in Texas where Latinos, Blacks made up the majority of the student population. Over the two years in which he conducted his study, Morris interviewed faculty as well as observed students from random backgrounds. I thought it was very important to note the distinction between dressing poorly and not caring about school. Morris writes, “Carla’s dress, while normative in her neighborhood, acquired the connotation of opposition within the school’s walls, causing educators there to assume she did not care about school” (Morris 27). This brought up a very important and reoccurring theme in the school. The school had enforced uniforms, but students were opposing them involuntarily because of their social backgrounds and the definition of priorities. The students’ homes were primarily in poor communities and their parents were (hopefully) working as hard as they could in order to get out of these difficult situations; Sometimes working two or more jobs. However, it is very difficult for these individual families to do so because of their surrounding society. Even though they work two or more jobs, these parents make minimum wage and can barely pay the bills. After coming home, they are too tired to cook and spend quality time with their families, so they grab fast food. This triggers more unhealthy customs. The children don’t have the most promising opportunities at home. They are required to the strenuous chores or even take care of other loved ones. While student’s are at school, why should they be ridiculed and reprimanded for the way they dress? School is the one part of their day where they can express creativity. Like Derek said, uniforms are expensive and feel like prison outfits on kids who did nothing wrong. These kids came to school to learn and interact with kids in similar situations as themselves.
I did not get as much feed back as I wanted for doing things the opposite gender would this week. But, I did find this video very interesting and I wanted to share it.