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Finding Meaning in Gender

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by

Tracy Ike

on 14 February 2016

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Transcript of Finding Meaning in Gender

Focus Pieces:
"Between the Sexes, a Great Divide"
,

Anna Quindlen

"Being a Man",

Paul Theroux

"What Is a Homosexual?"
, Andrew Sullivan
And The Journey Begins...
Systems
Social:
Only men lead partner dances- Quindlen
Boxing "Man Sport" - Theroux
Aggression towards PDA -Sullivan
Political:
No woman has ever been President
Men are "political animals."
Employment Non-Discrimination Act
Economic:
Gender wage gap
Ideological:
Domesticity roles
1st Timothy 5:8
A Persons Morals
Connections
Acceptance & Tolerance
Challenging ideas concerning gender


"Husband. Strange. Men. Is it any wonder that our relationships are often riddled with misunderstandings and disappointments?" (Quindlen, 175)
Distinctions
In "
Between the Sexes, a Great Divide
", by Anna Quindlen she address that there is in fact a difference between men and women.
Paul Theroux's , "
Being a Man
" exemplifies an abstract definition of what exactly defines the attributes of a man.
"
What is a Homosexual ?
", by Andrew Sullivans redefines how a stereotype cripples the actual and magnifies what is perceived to be true.
By Dominick Tran, Sonya Mozee, Ignatius Merrick, Tracy Ike, and Tyler Wilridge
Redefining Gender and Sexuality
Between the Sexes, a Great Divide

pg. 174-176
Anna Quindlen - An American author, journalist, and opinion columnist. Through out her career, Quindlen has written for the
New York Times,
The
New York Post,
and
Newsweek,
just to name a few.

Summary
This piece is about the differences between men and women that Anna Quindlen has observed in her personal life. It is not the physical appearance that separates men and women, but the things they do. Small differences like the significance of a flower can make the sexes seem like two different species. This piece highlights the fact that even though there are differences between the two genders, we do not have to live in two different worlds.
Gut Reactions
The boy-girl party was a relatable anecdote.
We all were able to immediately put ourselves in the author’s perspective.
Quindlen reacquaints us with the natural divisions between boys and girls that we sometimes forget
The females in our group were able to better relate to the claims made.
We found it kind of odd that Quindlen would mention similarities between the genders, because we never really stopped to think likewise; especially when most gender pieces focus on the differences.
Her amaryllis bulb reference was very confusing and awkward. Upon rereading the piece and researching the amaryllis bulb, we found the reference to be quite significant as it contributed a special quality to the piece.

Being a Man
pg. 176-179
Paul Theroux - An American writer, traveler, and novelist. Best known for his travelogue,
The Great Railway Bazaar
(1975).
Summary
Gut Reactions
This piece was like nothing else we have read before.
Reminded us of the rapper Macklemore’s story about how he thought he would be gay just because he could draw. (
Same Love - Macklemore)
Initially, we all thought that his piece would be about a man who struggled to find his sexual orientation, but it was much more than that.
Theroux effectively redefines manhood as he criticizes the idea but does not bash it completely.
Overall, this piece was quite memorable and our favorite of the three.

What is a Homosexual?
pg. 195-199
Andrew Sullivan- A British author, editor, influential blogger and commentator. Sullivan has blogged for
Time Magazine
,
The Atlantic
, and
The Daily Beast
before switching to an independent, subscription-based format in 2013.
Summary
Gut Reactions
Andrew Sullivan brings in a new perspective to topic of homosexuality which is rather interesting.
The first memory he shared with us explicitly vivid be he still manages to explain it in the most appropriate way possible.
He makes one very strange claim of how homosexuals should be considered diversity, concluding that being homophobic if a form of racism.
We feel that this claim is a non sequitur as it was a little extreme and did not exactly add up.
Collectively, this piece was very different from the others and a bit harder to relate to because none of us are homosexual.
This piece is about Paul Theroux's problem with being a man in America. Theroux sees the demand to be a man is destructive, mentally, and socially. Young boys are taught to be wild and violent with each other while young girls are taught to be sweet and constantly pleasing to adults. Being a man gives off the impression of superiority over women. He concludes in claiming that men do not recognize feminism because they believe that “...their lives are just as bad.” (Sullivan 179)
This piece is about Andrew Sullivan’s experience as a conflicted aspiring homosexual. He speaks of the survival mechanisms he had to learn in order to survive as a "social and sexual being." (195). Growing up, he taught himself control, self-contempt, and how to make distinctions between sexual desires and emotional longings. Knowing that having a different sexual desire from the others was looked down upon society, Sullivan became more focus in school in attempt to conceal his true self. Over the course of his life, Sullivan became more self-aware of his yearnings, and ignored society's judgement to express himself.

Perspectives
Anna Quindlen is a woman, in her 30's at the time, living in a house with three males.
Paul Theroux is an intellectual man whom has grown tired of the hyper masculine culture in America.
Andrew Sullivan is a openly homosexual man who wants to inform the general public about homosexuality from his perspective.
"I relate my experience here not to impress or to shock or to gain sympathy, but merely to convey what the homosexual experience is actually like." (Sullivan, 197)
Rhetorical Modes
Between the Sexes, a Great Divide -
Quindelin uses exemplification in her story. “The boys stood on one side of the room and the girls on the other …. what we were seeing was the great division between sexes.”(Quindlen 174). Quindlen uses this example and extends it throughout the story for the audience to have something to relate back to.

What is a Homosexual? -
Sullivan uses cause and effect to show how his surroundings affected him. “I wasn't going to be able to enter the world of dating girls ….. so I threw myself into my schoolwork.” (Sullivan 196). He also states, “As a child I suppressed the natural emotions of an adolescent …. and I developed mannerisms, small ways I could express myself.”(Sullivan 198). Since he was gay he hid who he truly was and that affected him later on in life.

Being a Man -
Theroux uses compare and contrast to show the way boys are raised versus girls. “Girls are traditionally urged to please adults with a kind of coquettishness, while boys are enjoined to behave like monkeys towards each other.” (Theroux 177). He also uses words like “stupid”, “cowardly”, and “destructive” to criticize America’s ideal man.

Abstract Content
These 3 pieces contain a great deal of abstract material as the topic of sexuality and gender is quite an ambiguous topic.
Attitude towards "Between the Sexes, a Great Divide"
Outside Associations
Works Cited
Theroux, Paul. "Being a Man." The Norton Reader, 13th Edition. Ed. Linda Peterson, et al. New York: W.W. Norton, 2012. 176-179

Quindlen, Anna. "Between the Sexes, a Great Divide." The Norton Reader, 13th Edition. Ed. Linda Peterson, et al. New York: W.W. Norton, 2012. 175-176

Sullivan, Andrew. "What Is a Homosexual." The Norton Reader, 13th Edition. Ed. Linda Peterson, et al. New York: W.W. Norton, 2012. 195-199
Anne Quindlen uses metaphor as a way to institute her point.
Men and women do not understand each other.
Gender does not play a role to how men and females interact.
"It's the dance that is important, not the difference." (Quindlen, 175)
Attitude towards "Being a Man."
Paul Theroux argues against society's definition of man.
Theroux provides his own ideals.
Society creates social standards for men, yet men could exceed in performing other tasks.
Attitude Towards "What is a Homosexual?"
Homosexuals struggles to "fit in".
Sullivan includes his own perspective.
People who find themselves to be homosexual usually discover when they are young.
Homosexuals are suppressed.
"Saved (2004)"
"Philadelphia (1994)"
Between the Sexes, a Great Divide
All written from the mind of the then 35 year old Anna Quindlen.
As a woman and a mother, she feels that the inevitable gender divide does not have to exist.
Quindlen was able to identify the divide on a junior high dance floor and now, we see that she is taking steps to erase those lines.
She argues in favor the sublimation of the genders using her own child to exemplify the positive effects.
Relization that although men and woman are very different, there will come a time that both genders will have to synthesize as partners.
She is content with the differences and similarities between the genders and is very accepting of them both.

Being a Man
From Paul Theroux’s perspective, the meaning of being a man has greatly deteriorated over time.
When he hears the phrase “be a man!” instead of thinking of toughening up, being strong, or acting with dignity, he interprets it as “be stupid, be unfeeling, obedient, soldierly, and stop thinking.” (Theroux 176).
As many of us still believe in the generic, ideal meaning of “be a man”, there must have been something in Theroux’s past that lead him to this mentality.
His involvement in boy scouting may have been what opened his eyes to the true meaning of being a man.
Along with other concepts such as high school football and life experiences mentioned in his piece, we can see why Theroux feels this way about manhood in general.

What Is a Homosexual?
Adds special perspective to the ongoing trend .
In this piece, we gain insight into the experiences of Sullivan, an openly homosexual man.
The young Sullivan had to implement his own survival mechanisms to remain undercover in a boys locker room as well as all throughout his high school years.
He chose not to express his feelings during this time, but to conceal them because society told him that his orientation was unacceptable.
In order to fit into society, Sullivan feels as though the only way to survive is to occupy himself with school work, then maybe no one would notice him.
He criticizes those homosexuals who ironically took up sports to fit in, but still ended up being rejected.
He remains an active Roman Catholic.
His hompphobia and racist claim hints at his emotional feelings.
Any Outside Associations?
Thank you for Listening!
We hope you enjoyed our presentation!
Full transcript