[Pga_europe_process] [Fwd: genderreader submission

fin at poivron.org fin at poivron.org
Sat Jul 17 11:35:39 CEST 2004

---------------------------- Original Message ----------------------------
Subject: genderreader
From:    fin at poivron.org
Date:    Fri, July 16, 2004 11:00 pm
To:      breakingthesilence at gendertrouble.org
okay sending this to the general list as we don't seem to be having a lot
of luck communicating through breaking the silence.

hi kev
greetings from pula croatia
okay i reckon that the text on the yoruba beliefs is written from a
colonialist partiarchal perspective of a martiarchal culture and it would
be innapropriate to include this in a gender reader for the conference.
you have suggested only two other texts both of which are aimed at males
and it would be good to see more balance in the finished reader.
I am bringing a variety of texts to belgrade and shall be there in two
days time and available to work on this more.

we could start by outlining and defining gender issues so as to give a
cohesive overview of what is a wide and often confusing area.
I would like to submit a text so here goes;
Gender issues cover three areas in which individuals are subjected to
rape, violence, bigotry, discrimination and behavioural policing if they
deviate from the societal norm; resulting in suffering and death for many
These are;

#Physical sex, accepted norm male, individuals not fitting this category
are subjugated through SEXISM.

#Sexual orientation, accepted norm heterosexual, individuals not fittig
this category are subjugated through HOMOPHOBIA.

#Self expresion of appearance and behaviour, accepted norm bi-polar
opposites masculine/femenine, individuals  who do not fit these categories
are subjugated through TRANSGENDERPHOBIA.

We would like all people to be considred equal and treated equaly
regardless of their physical sex, sexual orientation, and their self
expresion through appearance and behaviour.

So how do societal mechanisms work to inforce inequality ?
# Through institutionalised inequalities eg. wage division, the operation
of mental health policing with the backing of the law, and the outlawing
of certain sexual expresion in some countries, and the portrayal of gender
in the media and capitalist propaganda (i.e. advertisments).
# Through behavioural policing from people in general when they observe
deviations from the above accepted norms. Behavioural policing may take
the form of outright violence, verbal abuse or questioning, and non verbal
# Through the blind acceptance and perpetuation of our own traditional
gendered  behaviour/roles by both men and women.

okay  i would like to see something included in the reader on non verbal
as i plan to run a workshop on this at the conference, i lack the time to
write this but you
 could access a very good reader at
called body language speaks volumes by anna sandfield.
Also i would like to submit the following,

                                   THE POLITICS OF GENDER

Gender is the social organisation of sexual difference. This does not mean
gender reflects or implements fixed or natural differences between men and
women, sexual diffrence is not the root cause from which social
organisation comes. it is instead variable social organisation which must
itself be explained. (Joan Scott 1988).
				In other words WE HAVE A CHOICE.
Gender our knowledge of it and behaviour regarding it , implememts forms
of social hierarchical structures in our societies. Our current society
and the majority of our HISstory
demonstrates the operation of a patriarchal social hierarchy in which men
have higher status than women (there are always exceptions). Hierarchy is
a value system in which your worth is measured by the number of people and
things you control and how dutifully you obey those above you. You are
afraid to disobey those above you because they can bring to bear against
you the power of everything and everyone under them and you are afraid to
abdicate your power over those below you as they mighht end up above you.
The sexist patriarchal hierarchy operates smoothly as lower status and
higher status people have internalised the behaviour patterns appropriate
to their rank which they act out repeatedly and unquestioningly
maintaining the social status quo. They know their place and stick to it,
regardless of whether it is in heir best interests or not.
We cannot change this through merely talking about it, writing about it or
demonstrating about it. It is down to each and every person who wishes to
see change in the social hierarchical stuctures of society to start with
themselves; by conciously examining their own
patterns of social behaviour, body language and verbal communications; and
if they have the courage, by questioning it and challenging it in others
their everyday lives.

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