Ward and Edelstein: Chapter 3 “Blood and Milk: Biocultural Markers in the Lives of Women”
Brettell and Sargent: Pp. 215-223 “From Pollution to Love Magic” Pp. 361-366 “Gender, Politics and Reproduction” Pp. 374-385 “ Political Demography: The Banning of Abortion in Ceausescu’s Romania” Pp.385-393 “Surrogate Motherhood: Rethinking Biological Models”
Crow and Gottell: Pp.223-226 “The Body: Reproduction and Femininity” Pp.226-228 “ A special report” Pp. 228-232 “Abortion”
This module explores various themes related to bio-cultural markers in women’s lives and how they relate to women’s bodies: reproduction, infertility, menstruation, abortion, etc. The readings address the question of what is ‘natural’ about Mother Nature. What is ‘natural’ about mothering? It also investigates various issues relating to all women, such as how gender roles and ideologies influence women’s choices about mothering, reproductive choices, and fertility.
The learning objectives of this lesson are:
1. To analyze how patriarchy impacts upon women’s choices in terms of motherhood and child rearing.
2. To question and deconstruct the ‘naturalness’ of motherhood.
3. To discuss how mothering is culturally constructed and often defined by economics.
4. To examine the medicalization of reproduction and its implications for women in the future.
5. To analyze the consequences of some of the new reproductive technologies in the lives of women and men.
6. To examine ways in which women’s bodies are controlled
Gendercide in India and China – http://globalvoicesonline.org/2012/04/03/videos-female-gendercide-and-infanticide-in-india-and-china/
See Power Point – Culture and Biology
What is the influence of biology on women’s lives? What is it that unifies us? Although different, all women have strategies for coping with various aspects of the life cycle from maidenhood to reproduction to menopause to death. This chapter examines ways in which biology is and is not destiny.
Assignment # 5
Would you say there is a mothering instinct or is mothering culturally constructed? Do you think new reproductive technologies empower women? Or, are NRP’s just another way in which male hegemony is manifested—i.e. a way for women to fulfill their prescribed ‘ideal’ roles as mothers? Speculate on why you think there aren’t more methods for male contraception?
Alternative Option: Write an essay around some of the questions posed at the end of the chapter in Ward and Edelstein (p. 85).
Ward & Edelstein Chapter 7 “A Third Sex? Gender as Alternative or Continuum” Pp. 148-161. Brettell and Sargent: Pp. 223-229 “Hijras: An ‘Alternative’ Sex/Gender in India” Pp.351-360 “How to Change a Man: Spiritual Transformation and Shifts in Gender Ideology” Crow and Gottell: Pp. 263-267 “Sexuality” Pp. 267-275 “Heterosexuality and Feminist Theory” Pp. 311-314 “The Silencing of Sexuality” Pp. 325-334 “Sons of the Movement: Feminism, Female Masculinity and Female to Male”…
The readings in this module take a closer look at gender alternatives and alternative genders. In so doing, they address the questions of ‘normal’ and ‘deviant’ behaviours as applied to sex and gender and discuss a wide range of gender-sex alternatives cross-culturally and within our own society. The material seeks to challenge our ‘essentialized’ ideas about gender, sex and sexuality.
The learning objectives of this lesson are:
1. To discover the wide range of gender-sex alternatives.
2. To understand what the term ‘third gender’ means in terms of gender construction.
3. To challenge traditional western notions of gender and our ideas of the way in which gender is constructed.
4. To consider why occasions for cross dressing (such as Mardi Gras) appeal to so many people. How does these influence ideas about gender bending?
5. To examine issues of gender identification after transsexual surgery, i.e. is someone a ‘real’ man or a ‘real’ woman.
· Gender neutral passorts –
· Germany has a new ‘third’ gender – http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2013/11/germany-has-an-official-third-gender/281254/
· No Him, No Her (video) – http://www.cbsnews.com/news/no-him-or-her-preschool-fights-gender-bias/
See Power Point – Third Genders
It is estimated that approximately 4-5% of all human births result in children with ambiguous genitalia. Generally, such children are considered to be intersexed. This brings into question our traditional notion of only two genders while simultaneously, challenging us to reflect on reasons other than biology which give rise to third genders in our own society and cross culturally.
Assignment # 6
What can we learn by studying cultures where two spirited people are revered and even sought after? Other questions you may want to explore include: Can parents choose not to announce the sex of a new child? What would be some of the challenges and some of the benefits for so doing? Do you think it is possible to raise an androgynous child?