Covering Gender – The Course and its Questions

I just began a new term at college. Lots to look forward to. I have two new electives, a BBC module on Broadcast Reporting, my dissertation on Theatre and so many non-academic things to look forward to. And certainly lots to write about.

One of my electives is Gender. As part of course work, our teacher requires us to keep a journal. One that captures our thoughts, in agreement or otherwise, about the course and classroom discussions. The task is not tedious, I enjoy recounting my thoughts, and I know I’ll enjoy it. I also know I need to write more. So this is the chance, I’m using this as the opportunity to keep my blog updated. Hopefully the class will generate at least 22 posts(that’s the number of scheduled classes I have) and hopefully more. I have a 50 blog posts hope this year too( Yes, I know there are people who are laughing at my low targets but it’s a start!) and I’m seeing this class as being a way to get me into a groove of writing regularly.

Our course is taken by V.Geetha. One introductory lecture and one class and I am already rapt with attention. I like being made to think. Something ACJ, fortunately, gives me lots of reason to do. This class is no exception. The class is predominantly female, by that I mean we have one boy in our class. Gender doesn’t necessarily restrict itself to women or women’s issues but there is a definite tendency for it to lean in that direction.

We discuss various issues through the class and often think of a whole variety of things. Hopefully, I can use my blog to track my thoughts through a 75 minute class.

The important question that had me thinking today was, why bother about gender? It’s not a subject that should particularly bother me. I am an independent woman who does not see gender bias in my life. I mean, I am doing what I love the most even though it isn’t the most conventional profession. I drive myself around wherever I need to go. I don’t take things lying down, and I’ve been encouraged to fight for what I deserve. And then I realised that this idea works only cause it fits into my idea of liberation. I still wouldn’t go to a TASMAC and buy myself a bottle of alcohol. I wouldn’t show up to a family wedding in anything less than a traditional salwar. These things fit with my idea of what is right and proper so I have no issues doing it.

And that’s when I realised how far back gender goes. The ritualism that is affected by gender, or rather, defined by gender is almost scary. That and the fact that while we’ve come forward in so many ways, we seem fairly static on this front. Not to take any of the freedoms I am offered lightly. I know the fact that I get to work and make independent choices is something I have got thanks to a past struggle. I can’t seem to accept it. I need to know why I am slutty when I’m the only girl in a group of guys. I need to know why what society will think is something I’m supposed to consider before executing my actions. I hate that marriage is a definite milestone in my life that has been pre-decided.

Am I fighting the things that make this stereotypes? I’m uncertain. I do know I’m rebelling in little ways while negotiating a personal space.

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