Bullying, Homophobia and Gender/Sexuality Norms

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In her NYTimes blog yesterday, Judith Warner described the cruel bullying that led to the suicide of 11-year old  Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover.  Warner  depicts a brutal enforcement of gender/sexuality norms among boys but a much more liberal construction of gender among girls.   Warner’s piece reminds us that those of us who think about gender need to understand and attempt to shift what masculinity means if we are ever to achieve some level of gender equality or balance.

Warner’s full post is here.

-Darren Rosenblum

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One Response to Bullying, Homophobia and Gender/Sexuality Norms

  1. Jhumbach says:

    Darren makes an excellent point about the need to shift what masculinity means. However, Warner’s piece also raises concerns that girls may face a similar set of issues, particularly if they’re”jumping through hoops to be sexually available enough to be cool (and”empowered”) yet not so free as to be labeled a slut…”

    And we cannot be facile about the sources of these values. Parents may influence their children in their younger years but, by the time they become teens, they are most heavily influenced by each other. When we take a critical view of teens, it is essentially as one culture passing judgment on another:something which, to be effective, needs be done with great delicacy.

    Like it or not, we are not them. And they know it.

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