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Gender and the Body Language of Power

Gender and the Body Language of Power
We’re celebrating the end of the year with our most popular posts from 2013, plus a few of our favorites tossed in. Enjoy! Philosopher Sandra Lee Bartky once observed that being feminine often means using one’s body to portray powerlessness. Consider: A feminine person keeps her body small and contained; she makes sure that it doesn’t take up to much space or impose itself. She walks and sits in tightly packaged ways. She doesn’t cover the breadth of the sidewalk or expand herself beyond the chair she occupies. Likewise, burping and farting, raising one’s voice in an argument, and even laughing loudly are considered distinctly unfeminine. Stunningly, when you think about it, these features of feminine body comportment are, in fact, not uniquely feminine, but associated with deference more generally. Acting feminine, then, overlaps with performances of submissiveness. New evidence suggests that this is not pure theory.

Related:  StéréotypesSocialisation des enfantsgenre et espace

Real Men Eat Quiche: Recipes for Manhood A look at an ad that’ll leave a bad taste in your mouth, as well as how our relationship with what we eat is spoiled by outdated recipes of gender. I decided to try going Vegan on Sept 4th. It was a moment of either congratulation or crisis intervention for some friends. 10 Simple Words Every Girl Should Learn Men interrupt women, speak over them, and discount their contributions to a discussion with surprising regularity. Here’s how women should respond. “Stop interrupting me.” “I just said that.” “No explanation needed.” In fifth grade, I won the school courtesy prize. Fuck You, Dudes Who Sit With Their Legs Spread So Wide That They Take Up Two Seats (Your Dick Is Not That Big) I've seen a lot of women — including older women, women with children, women with disabilities — offer up their seats on a long, crowded, wildly-rocking Green Line ride (Chicagolander here) for **other women** who are older, carrying or supervising children, or who have visible physical disabilities or difficulties. I have also occasionally seen a male child (we're talking somewhere between 8 and 14 years old) do the same. It is so rare that I see a man offer his seat. Or the part of "his" seat dedicated to his other leg. I want to thank people when I see them getting up to give someone else they're seat; it's such a good thing to do, especially if you can see the person standing is struggling. But I mostly don't, because I feel guilty for not having done so myself.

English Literature Author: Zora Neale Hurston Zora Neale Hurston 1891-1960 American IntroductionMajor WorksChronology Introduction A witty, gifted storyteller, a pioneer of literary style, and a flamboyant personality, Zora Neale Hurston was raised in America's oldest incorporated, self-governing, all-black township, Eatonville, Florida. Hurston left home at the age of 14, supporting herself while she earned a high school degree and attending Howard College before she arrived in New York City in 1925. She quickly become a key figure among the leaders of the Harlem Renaissance. Things I Never, Ever Want to Hear Again — about work I cannot even tell you how sick I am of men telling me how I feel. When I talk about oppression, patriarchy and my experiences in tech, I can feel many things. I may feel sad, amused, jovial, excited, creative, expressive, calm, eager, curious, playful, afraid. How do you know the contents of my inner emotional life through 140 characters, a 4-minute blog post, or a 20-minute speech? You don’t, but that doesn’t really matter, after all. No, to you, I’m just angry.

Your Relationship Failed Because You're A Girl Photo: Shutterstock Why is your dating life unsatisfactory? Probably because you’re a girl. In the course of one misogyny-packed Huffington Post column, blogger Amy Chan manages to shame women for being too feminine and not feminine enough, too selective and too slutty. "Gender Reveal Parties" In Utero? On my way to work this morning I heard a radio ad from a local 3-D/4-D ultrasound company that was touting its giant screen and seating capacity for 20 so you can host your very own "gender reveal party" during your pregnancy. For those of you who read my previous post on boys will be boys, you won't be surprised to find out that this was troubling to me for several reasons:Calling it a "gender reveal party" is a misnomer. Gender is a socially constructed category that is culturally specific and based on a set of behaviors that are developed through relationships in an ongoing way that includes how one presents oneself and interacts with others. Gender cannot be "revealed" in the womb. Gender will be revealed over time as a child makes choices and develops language to express themselves and how they want to be treated. A more appropriate term would be a "genital reveal party."

A lesson re-learned on gender and space I’ve recently returned from a holiday in Melbourne (a city in southern Australia). It’s a gorgeous city; you can read about some of what I did and see a few pictures from the trip here. But just now I want to tell you a small story about the flight. Woman is one of the Names-of-the Father The usual way of misreading Lacan's formulas of sexuation 1 is to reduce the difference of the masculine and the feminine side to the two formulas that define the masculine position, as if masculine is the universal phallic function and feminine the exception, the excess, the surplus that eludes the grasp of the phallic function. Such a reading completely misses Lacan's point, which is that this very position of the Woman as exception-say, in the guise of the Lady in courtly love-is a masculine fantasy par excellence. As the exemplary case of the exception constitutive of the phallic function, one usually mentions the fantasmatic, obscene figure of the primordial father-jouisseur who was not encumbered by any prohibition and was as such able fully to enjoy all women. Does, however, the figure of the Lady in courtly love not fully fit these determinations of the primordial father?