Assigned in the Pool

Currently, I am involved in an internship that allows me to conduct my own research. Luckily, I was able to conduct that research right here on campus! During my observations, I observe children with different types of disabilities play in a pool with Longwood TR student (we call the LU students “helpers”). As a side note, I can honestly say it doesn’t even feel like research because the observations are so entertaining and fun to watch. But anyways, as I was watching for nonverbal behaviors, I noticed that all the girl helpers seemed to be playing and watching after the preschool and elementary school children, while the boy helpers played with the older high school boys. I couldn’t help but think about our class and how women are seen as the nurturers and how men are seen as the rough and tough kind of guys. I was really tempted to ask the professor of the class if it was done on purpose… but then thought maybe not. She might think I was implying something and I need her on my good side!

Longwood’s Steps to Acceptance

Last night I was scrolling through Facebook, as one does on a Wednesday night when all their homework is done and they’re trying to go to bed early for once in their life, and I saw that a few of my friends had shared a link to a Rotunda article, and the title was what caught my attention: “Bigender Student Receives Bid into Fraternity.” The article talks about Beasa Dukes, a student who identifies as bigender, or not solely male or female, who received a bid from Phi Mu Delta, a fraternity here at Longwood University. Reading this article made me think about Dr. Jes Simmons’ talk with us in class about how open-minded Longwood is in regards to the LGBT+ community, and the progress that the University is making in regards to accepting people of all genders and sexual orientations into University organizations.

Game of Respect

Remember a time when gender roles were challenged? Well Italy is trying to change gendered stereotypes, and the government does not approve. They are trying implement a program titled Game of Respect. This program is aimed at children aged three to six in 45 schools in the Trieste region of Italy and involves educating teachers about how to use games and role-playing to teach gender equality.  “It is not about sexual attitudes. It is about roles in society and stereotypes”. Many officials think that this program will create confusion for the children about sexual identity.  The biggest obstacles for this program are political.

What do think about The Game of Respect? Do we need something like this in the US?

“Inspire Her Mind”


We have all been in Samantha’s shoes at least once before. Either we weren’t acting the way gender norms believed we should be or we were pushing the limits of gender norms. When we challenge gender norms we are immediately questioned and judged by others. Boys are supposed to be “manly” just like their fathers and girls are supposed to be “girly” just like their mother. Many of us fear the reaction of others when we go against the gender norms. Just because gender norms work for so many doesn’t necessarily mean they work for all.

It’s heart breaking to see how Social Learning can affect children in a negative way when they are forming their gender identities. We learn to behave certain ways based on rewards and punishments we receive from the people around us. This Verizon commercial is a perfect example of how punishment was given to a young girl when she was forming her own gender identity, which then steered her away from something she really enjoyed.

Be Whoever You Want…But don’t be a boy

In Today’s society, children are encouraged to do things that makes them happy and be whoever they want to be. In this article, a young girl is removed for school because she acts too much like a boy. The physical appearcne of this young girl also plays a role in how people at the Christian school precieve her. Children should be given a chance to explore and play with their appearances.

The school should not have the right to force her to follow the biblical standards. It goes to show the difference between a Christian school and a public school. The public schools now have to follow Title IX, and giving equal education. However, what rule keeps private institutions from discriminating. Is this fair?

Here is the news story video:




Earning your MRS and Selling Your Milk

Recently, I chuckled as I read an article about a dating service in China advertising to women by telling them they would disappoint their Grandmothers (who could die soon!) if they didn’t stop being so picky and just settle down to get married already!  Thank goodness I live in the US, I thought with smug satisfaction, where we believe there is more to a woman’s life than being a spouse.

I shouldn’t have been so smug…  The Wall Street Journal has just published an op-ed from Princeton alumna Susan A. Patton telling college women to “smarten up and start husband hunting.”  Oh, but how can I be a smart husband hunter, you may ask?  Never fear (heterosexual) ladies!  In case Patton’s advice is confusing to you, I’ve expanded on key points from her article here, so you will know exactly how to score the “cornerstone of your future happiness:”

  • “Casual sex is irresistible to men, but the smart move is not to give it away. If you offer intimacy without commitment, the incentive to commit is eliminated. The grandmotherly message of yesterday is still true today: Men won’t buy the cow if the milk is free.”  Got it?  So, the message here is sell sex, so your future husband will buy a cow.  Or, something like that.  Since you’re in college and all, I’m sure you will figure this one out.
  • “And if you start to earn more than he does? Forget about it. Very few men have egos that can endure what they will see as a form of emasculation.”  When you negotiate your first salary, don’t go for the obvious tactic of trying to earn the highest amount possible.  Negotiate that salary down ladies — your future husband’s masculinity depends on you!  (Don’t worry about not having a husband and being underpaid, just remember the milk thing from above and you will have yourself a winner husband, for sure!)
  • “…avoid falling for the P.C. feminist line that has misled so many young women for years. There is nothing incongruous about educated, ambitious women wanting to be wives and mothers.”  That’s right, don’t fall for those ugly feminists who hate men and motherhood!  They are just trying to trick you by feeding you lines about how women should be supported in a variety of choices about how to live their lives.  Why would you want options (including, but not limited to: motherhood with or without a partner, not having children,having a high-powered career, having a low-powered career, staying at home with children, loving being single, being committed to a partner, or any combination of these)?

Thank goodness we have this good advice from Patton, who is busy warning college women about avoiding the bleak future of leaving college without an engagement ring. Between Patton’s words of wisdom and the advice from Chinese dating websites, you can be assured of not disappointing any dying relatives in your lack of a husband, or being bothered with focusing on your pesky intellectual development over the true goal of higher education for women, earning your MRS!