Gender Roles

Recent posts

Gender Studies Via The Powerpuff Girls

A friend pointed me toward this amusing link: The Powerpuff Girls Could Have Replaced Your Gender Studies Class. In it, the author describes the show’s subversiveness, thinly veiled under a cutesy cartoon. Cross-dressing and questioning normative gender roles abound, and the show even makes a critique of the cult of manhood. Pretty advanced gender studies ideas for a children’s show, eh? Continue Reading →

Gender Roles in Brave

The Pixar film Brave is notable for many reasons: it’s Pixar’s first feature-length film with a female protagonist, it tackles the Disney legacy of passive and pretty princesses, and it grapples with gender roles in magical past not terribly unlike our reality (social hierarchies attempt to keep order while individuals compete for status and struggle with their relationships to the natural world and their duties). A ranking of Disney princesses from least to most feminist reveals that over the years, the princess crowd has grown slightly less obsequious and obnoxious… slightly. Brave shakes all that up by having a fearless archer for a princess… or does it? Continue Reading →

Welcome To The Sexapocalypse

Thanks to the fact that I follow @KateClancy on Twitter, I found out about an essay she’d been cited in: Get ready for the sexapocalypse (some say it’s already here). Possible scenarios discussed in the essay include a world where gender completely ceases to exist, a future where body parts mutate into genitalia at random, and an extrapolation of today’s sex-selective abortions wherein men outnumber women so much that women begin to be bought and sold as scarce commodities. The idea of a sexapocalypse is interesting to ponder; its very basis depends in part on what you think is feasible when it comes to sex and sexuality in our world. Would eradicating gender roles lead to chaos and the downfall of society, or cause us to transcend social limitations and become angelic? Would meeting an alien species that had three genders, or none at all, challenge our ideas about binary gender? Continue Reading →

Multitasking And Gender Inequality

This report of a study indicates that while men are helping out more in U.S. homes, women still get stuck with the types of multitasking that are most stressful and least fulfilling. One of the intriguing facts was that “working mothers are doing two activities at once more than two-fifths of the time they are awake, while working fathers are multitasking more than a third of their waking hours.” That’s a lot of multitasking! Follow us on Twitter @mysexprofessor. Follow Jeana, the author of this post, @foxyfolklorist. Continue Reading →

Pizza, Teenage Boys, And Masculinity

A year-long District of Columbia program called the “Men of Strength” club—MOST Club—entices high school boys into discussions about masculinity and gender roles by offering pizza at lunch-time meetings. It’s a bit devious, perhaps, but there are worse ways to go about things. Facilitator Kedrick Griffin spends an hour every week at each of various school around the district, hoping “to challenge traditional masculinity and push his young charges to respect their female peers.” Recognizing that sexist behaviors are rewarded by other teenage males, Griffin tries to persuade the guys in his group to think about how harassment, for example, feels from the girl’s perspective, and to learn to deconstruct hegemonic masculinity. Some topics go over better than others; many students, for instance, are still reluctant to accept gay men as masculine enough and as deserving of rights. Continue Reading →

Sugar And Spice And Everything Nice (Plus Autoimmune Disorders?)

New research by Sharyn Clough, a philosopher of science, demonstrates that contemporary American gender roles may have a very real effect on the health of children. According to her reviews of scholarship on autoimmune disorders, gender, and cleanliness, adult women suffer from many more autoimmune disorders than men do (such as Krohn’s disease, asthma, and so on). However, this ratio is reversed in early childhood. Continue Reading →