Every lecture I take at this college is eye opening and the lecture on gender gave me a shock because suddenly it put me into a new world. Even though I took a class of gender study last semester and had some knowledge about history or kinds of gender identity, somehow I still recognized the topic as something exists one step away from me. Things I learned in Japan happened inside of a book or somewhere I don’t live but the lecture and discussion class in W&M changed it. Thanks to some stories by Ari and some students in our group, the topic of gender identity and sexuality jumped into “my” world. The discussion we had made me realize that gender issue exists nearby, not far away from me.
When I learned about “queer” in Japan, I couldn’t get the idea clearly but now I know that the word means people who are out of norms concerning the match of gender identity and sexuality. It is interesting that there are so many kinds of matches (identity is male and sexually attracted to a male, or sexuality is female and identify as male….etc) but still we stick on norms. I think this is because people don’t know the variety of identities and they cannot put the idea into their own world, just what I was like. Then what can we do to change norms? Education or media portray seem to be very important because everyone is exposed to them. How we educate the younger generation and how media represents gender and sexuality have the power to let people have eye opening experience and put them into a whole new world.
I’m interested in gender equality but we couldn’t talk about it a lot in a class so I want to know more about what kind of gender inequality still exists, how can we make a change in a better way and how governments or companies can face the problem.
What I thought when I had lectures and had focus group discussion is that race is crucial to talk about America. We cannot talk about almost anything without thinking of race. I could see that situation of black people have changed over time through some tough time such as reconstruction or segregation. It must be hard to keep standing up against big power but they got civil right with great courage. One thing I’m interested in is that separated schools could give different education to children (especially black children). Because there were no white people in those schools, teachers could tell things they couldn’t in mixed schools. It seems like white and black see the same history in different ways. I wonder whether there are differences in how they look at the history now. Also, I was surprised when I heard that some black people put Confederate flag, why do they support the side supported slavery?