Friday, June 29, 2012

Changing Habits and Good, Concise Arguments

I've taken a lengthy break from the blog and am trying a short post to get myself back in the habit.  This spring, I had a barrage of administrative projects and then an archaeological field school to run over June.  Subsequently, my attention was diverted away from this blog.  The biggest problem, though, is simple neglect through habit.  Once I'd lost the habit of writing up posts, my motivation dried up.

But, right now, my kids are occupied with a movie (which my oldest son wishes had "more fighting"--a post for another day) and there's not much else I can do in the next 20 minutes.

Earlier, I ran across a post on Sociological Images that "hit the spot" in that it provides a nice, quick response to a common sentiment in many class discussions I've had about gender inequality.  I've expressed the same idea, but not as elegantly.  When I begin to discuss contemporary sexist social patterns, students often argue that women have broken most of the barriers imposed by an older, sexist society.  Bold students then argue that something, to me, as objectifying as pornography empowers women by making their sexuality as source of material gain.  At this point, I try to argue how those specific women's agency does provide for individual gain, but reproduces the gendered hierarchy.  Or, put more efficiently by Lisa Wade, the Patriarchal Bargain:

a decision to accept gender rules that disadvantage women in exchange for whatever power one can wrest from the system. It is an individual strategy designed to manipulate the system to one’s best advantage, but one that leaves the system itself intact

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