Jennifer Bryan, Ph.D. presented about Gender and Sexual Diversity today to faculty in grades 5-8.
We talked about if you had to put a marker on the scales to represent where we stand, some may be very static with the placement of their marker, while others more latitude (or require a very wide marker). We also talked about how until a girl becomes a sexual object, they have a bigger window to explore their sexual identity, while society is quick to respond (often negatively or with concern) to boys exploring their identity.
Heteronormative/Heteronormativity – the expectation that the majority and the ideal is a specific type of male-female pairing…anything else is considered “other.”
My group discussed the second scenario. I personally prefer that my students stay on the asexual side of the spectrum for as long as possible. Yet, clearly kids need a forum to navigate what’s okay and not okay and seek counsel from people they trust. Besides their own internal conflicts, sometimes their questions arise as a result of what they see in the media (movies, ads, TV).
So in this scenario, we have a kid who is out there in a way that his classmates aren’t. What to do? Since we had to role play, I thought it would be funny to write a short script where the parent gets four different reponses based on The Four Sons from the seder: the wise son, the wicked son, the simple son, and the one who cannot ask (though with more gender neutrality):
- The Wise One: What exactly do you mean by this Liam’s thing. What are you hearing from your son? We would love to support your son and talk this through.
- The Wicked One: What are you doing at home to support your child’s homophobia?
- The Simple One: I can’t help you. This is not my area of expertise.
- The One Who Cannot Ask: I have no idea what you are talking about. This is the first I’m hearning of it.