Thinking About the Gender Norms or Expectations
A common or widely talked of aspect of gender is sexuality. In fact, sexuality is one of the topics of great interest to many people given that it not only entertains but also intrigues and causes personal happiness and frustration in equal measure. Moreover, sexuality is a highly regulated aspect with communities committed to shaping and control people’s sexual behaviors and desires (Brickell 87). Part of this regulation is the laws that neither allow nor condone specific sexual relationships or expressions. People’s sexual identity have been questioned by society in recent years going against the need to allow people to do as they wish when it comes to sexual identity and behavior. In itself, sexual identity is where two people develop romantic and sexual attachments. There are two main types of sexual identity, which are heterosexuality and homosexuality. One the one hand, heterosexuality is where romantic and sexual attachments develop between two people of the opposite sex. This is the most common and widely practiced form of sexual identity in society (Seidman, Fischer, and Meeks 63). On the other hand, homosexuality refers to the development of romantic or sexual attachments between people of the same sex, a perspective that remains widely unaccepted in society. Thus, the gender norm in focus in this exercise is sexuality.
“Gender Rebel” Activity
Sexuality is one of the most contentious gender norms in society today. People often recognize heterosexuality and fail to recognize homosexuality hence the negative attitudes and perceptions people have of gays and lesbians. To understand and address this situation, I planned to undertake an activity known as “Sexuality Confusion.” The activity was a combination of an analytical exploration of concepts surrounding the “sexuality” debate and a critical and personal reflection of people’s sexuality. The activity sought to address issues surrounding sexuality and sexual orientation. The reasons for the activity was to allow participants to reflect and change their approach and perceptions towards heterosexuality as well as to demonstrate that sexuality is not only about heterosexuality where romantic or sexual attachment is between people of opposite sex but is also about romance or sexual attachment between people of the same sex. The activity involved asking the participants to write down the first thing that comes to their minds when they see or hear the word “sexuality.” It also involved introducing a brief presentation of the term “sexuality” covering terms such as lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender. Moreover, the activity entailed asking participants to reflect on what each of the concepts mean to them as individuals. Some of the questions forming part of the reflection was what feeling they have when they encounter the terms, how they see themselves in relation to the concepts and definitions presented, and whether they agree with or identify with the definitions presented.
Evaluating the Experience
Although most of the participants were receptive of the exercise, a few of them seemed disturbed and refused to participate in it. The response of those who refused to participate in the activity was that they have never come across homosexuals in their life and that they never want to encounter them in life. The major surprise during the exercise was that society still has negative attitudes of homosexuals. There were a few revelations by some of the participants of how homosexuals had been intimidated and threatened in their communities. This is further highlighted in the fact that several countries have come up with laws illegalizing homosexuality (Eckert 168). Of course, the activity was successful as it changed the negative attitudes that society has towards homosexuality. Most of the participants felt that homosexuals and heterosexuals should be treated equally by society.
Brickell, Chris. “The sociological construction of gender and sexuality.” The Sociological Review 54.1 (2006): 87-113., https://s3.amazonaws.com/academia.edu.documents/2332744/socreviewfinal.pdf?AWSAccessKeyId=AKIAIWOWYYGZ2Y53UL3A&Expires=1523994718&Signature=V%2B7hMmXH3Z3h%2F%2FJFNsQA1O4mAQM%3D&response-content-disposition=inline%3B%20filename%3DThe_Sociological_Construction_of_Gender.pdf
Eckert, Kim G. Things Your Mother Never Told You: A Womens Guide to Sexuality., 2014. https://books.google.co.ke/books?id=xRzDAgAAQBAJ&pg=PA165&dq=Chapter+6:+Sex,+Power,+and+Intimacy&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiOrOqS_sHaAhVGuhQKHeSKCkAQ6AEILTAB#v=onepage&q=Chapter%206%3A%20Sex%2C%20Power%2C%20and%20Intimacy&f=false
Seidman, Steven, Nancy L. Fischer, and Chet Meeks. “The social construction of sexuality.” Introducing the New Sexuality Studies. Routledge, 2016. 59-66. https://www.taylorfrancis.com/books/e/9781317449188/chapters/10.4324%2F9781315697215-13