(Context: I’m starting a group at the Claremont Colleges to discuss gender identity and expression.)
16 people showed up to the first meeting of GendeRevolution! I was pretty anxious before hand, trying to figure out how to structure the group and whether it should be intellectually based or primarily a social space, but Matt Delmont (a fantastic professor and one of my mentors) suggested I ask people to say why they showed up when we did introductions. That way the group could form more organically around everyone’s goals. PLUS I have to do less planning work. Brilliant.
Most people voiced a desire to talk about what gender is, rather than focus on their personal experiences, which is useful- I think it’s easier to facilitate an analytic space than to immediately make a group of people comfortable enough with each other to delve into their personal identities anyway. Introductions were Name, Year/School/Major, Preferred Gender Pronoun (PGP) and your reason for coming to the group. Then we broke into smaller groups which was GREAT. In groups of 4 or 5 people less comfortable speaking up were more vocal, conversations could be more tailored, and it seemed like there was more active participation. Our prompt was “How do you see your body reflecting or not reflecting a ‘true self?’ How does clothing factor into your expression of self?” I like the question (which is, um, why I proposed it), but in retrospect, I think it’s probably more interesting for people that are deep into gender theory and perhaps less accessible to people who haven’t previously approached gender academically.
(Read the whole post here)
This post would be helpful and inspiring for people who want to start a gender discussion group.
This sounds very similar to the University of Minnesota’s Transgender Commission. The commission wants to facilitate discussions about gender and will be calling it Genderheads. The Women’s Student Activist Collective will be co-sponsoring. I’m looking forward to this.
Um, no questions asked—I’m definitely going. Why? Such reasons as:
Tegan and Sara
and MANY OTHERS
pop some sudafed. woo woo woo woo woo