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Workshop 2: Gender Stereotypes

Empathy: The ability to understand and share the feelings of another person. This can sometimes happen spontaneously, for example when you laugh with someone who is laughing uncontrollably. You can also choose to respond with empathy, using skills like active listening and mirroring.

Mirroring: Used as an empathy skill, mirroring reflects the expressions and emotions of another person. Mirroring is about connecting authentically with others, and can involve matching your gestures, body language, facial expression and tone of voice with another person.

Non-Verbal Communication: is when you share feelings or thoughts without words but with body language - using facial expressions, gestures, and posture.

Stereotypes: An oversimplified idea about a particular group of people. Stereotypes can be related to race, gender, ethnicity, age, religion or other factors, and can influence our attitudes and behaviour towards individuals within that group. Without exception, stereotypes are false, unfair, harmful, enhance discrimination and exclude people. 

 

Gender Stereotypes: Oversimplified and generalized ideas, messages, and images about the difference between genders. For example, if you say, “girls are better at…” or “boys only like…” you are talking about gender stereotypes.

Challenging Stereotypes: Challenging stereotypes involves critically examining and pushing back against over simplified and damaging assumptions about people or groups, encouraging a richer appreciation for everyone's unique qualities.

 

Reinforcing Stereotypes: Reinforcing stereotypes happens when actions or attitudes, whether intentional or not, uphold oversimplified and harmful beliefs about a certain group of people; this can contribute to continued bias and discrimination.

Discrimination: The unfair treatment of individuals or groups, often based on a certain characteristic including race, gender, ethnicity, age, religion and more. Discrimination contributes to inequality, bias, and unfair treatment. 

Media Literacy: Media literacy is about using your observation and critical thinking skills to understand and evaluate what you see and hear in movies, on TV, in social media, and in the news. It empowers you to navigate the digital world, to differentiate between reliable and unreliable sources, and be conscious consumers and creators of media content.

Queer Gaze: Using a queer gaze or queer lens refers to a unique way of interpreting the world. It involves challenging traditional norms and expectations related to gender, sexuality, identity and more. It is often used in the context of art, media, literature, and cultural studies to explore representations that differ from mainstream perspectives.

Male Gaze: This term refers to the ways that women and girls are often depicted in a stereotypical and/or oversexualized manner in art and media. It is called the ‘male gaze’ because it assumes that art and media audiences are heterosexual men who wish to see such depictions of women. However, anyone can adopt the male gaze - it’s not just men.

Two-Spirit: Two-Spirit is a term originating from Indigenous culture, and describes an individual who embodies both masculine and feminine spirits. In some cases, Two-Spirit individuals may have distinct masculine and feminine identities, alternating between them, while in others, they may simultaneously embody both genders. Although the term "Two-Spirit" has recently gained popularity, it actually has deep historical roots and should only be used with reference to Indigenous cultures where it has historical significance. 

 

Intersex: This is a term used to describe individuals who are born with varying biological characteristics that do not fit into the typical definitions of male or female. This can include differences in hormones, chromosomes, and reproductive anatomy, both internally and externally.

Queer: The term “queer” may carry different meanings to different individuals: it covers a wide range of possible definitions, depending on the context in which it is used, or based on the identity of the individual who chooses to use it. Someone who has either a sexuality or gender identity that does not fit into society's norms may call themselves queer. Identifying as queer is not mutually exclusive with other genders and sexualities. For example, someone who is gay may also refer to themselves as queer or someone who is transgender may also refer to themselves as queer.

 

Toxic Masculinity: The societal expectations that have created a harmful definition and practice of masculinity. It often encourages dominance, aggression, and emotional suppression. Toxic masculinity is very harmful to people of all genders.

Intersectionality: The acknowledgement that everyone has their own unique experiences of discrimination and oppression. We must consider everything that may marginalize people, including gender, race, class, sexual orientation and more. 

Gender Norms: In society, there are standards about how you should think and act based on your gender. These norms dictate how you dress, the family decisions you make, how you sit, speak, the jobs you should pursue, and more, all based on your gender. Gender norms can be really harmful, reinforcing stereotypes and inequality between genders. 

Objectification: Seeing and/or treating someone as an object. Often, women are targets of objectification, and reduced to objects of sexual pleasure and gratification.

Gender and Sexuality

Gender: Gender is how society thinks individuals should look, think, and act. Society has beliefs and unspoken rules (that can evolve) about how people should act based on gender. For example, many people expect men to be more aggressive than women.

 

Gender Identity: This refers to how you feel inside about your gender. Your feelings about your gender can emerge early in life, and they can also change throughout your life. It is your personal sense of being a boy, girl, non-binary, two-spirit, agender, or something else entirely. There are many other gender identities that exist!

Gender Expression: This is how you express your gender to others, including your behaviour, clothing, hairstyle, or the name you choose to go by. 

 

Sexual Orientation: This term is used to describe who you are sexually and/or romantically attracted to. A few examples of sexual orientations include lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, questioning, asexual and heterosexual.

Consent: Giving consent means agreeing to do something. In sexual and intimate relationships, sexual consent refers to giving permission for doing or receiving any form of sexual activity (from touching and kissing, to penetration). There are a lot of aspects about sexual consent that are important to understand. Consent:

  • is always needed, no matter the partner, the context, or the types of sexual activity

  • is freely given (no threats, pressure, or coercion)

  • is informed (a person should know what they consent to)

  • is enthusiastic

  • can be revoked at any time

  • can be given for some activities, and not for others

  • is never assumed

  • can be communicated verbally or nonverbally

Consent cannot happen when:

  • someone is incapacitated

  • someone is less than 16 (sometimes less than 18)

  • there are power dynamics

  • there are threats, coercion, pressure, or force

Workshop 2

References:

(1) Definition from Moss, S. (). Sexual Exploitation and Trafficking of Children & Youth in Canada: A Prevention and Early Intervention Toolkit for Parents. Children of the Street Society.

http://www.kristenfrenchcacn.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/Parents-Toolkit-on-Sexual-Exploitation-and-Trafficking.pdf

(2)  Modified definition of normalizing violence. Source: WCASA. Social Norms Toolkit: The Normalization of Violence: Explaining the connection between the normalization of violence and sexual assault. (n.d.). Wisconsin Coalition Against Sexual Assault (WCASA).

(3) Definition from Moss, S. (). Sexual Exploitation and Trafficking of Children & Youth in Canada: A Prevention and Early Intervention Toolkit for Parents. Children of the Street Society.

http://www.kristenfrenchcacn.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/Parents-Toolkit-on-Sexual-Exploitation-and-Trafficking.pdf

(4) McGlynn & Rackley. (2016). Image-based Sexual Abuse: More than just ‘Revenge Porn’. University of Birmingham. p.g. 2.

(5) McGlynn & Rackley. (2016). Image-based Sexual Abuse: More than just ‘Revenge Porn’. University of Birmingham. p.g. 2.

(6) Concordia Sexual Assault Resource Centre. n.d. What is Sexual Violence?. Concordia University.

https://www.concordia.ca/conduct/sexual-assault/understanding-sexual-violence.html

(7) Concordia Sexual Assault Resource Centre. n.d. What is Sexual Violence?. Concordia University.

https://www.concordia.ca/conduct/sexual-assault/understanding-sexual-violence.html

(8) Modified from https://www.womenshealth.gov/relationships-and-safety/other-types/sexual-coercion

(9) Concordia Sexual Assault Resource Centre. n.d. What is Sexual Violence?. Concordia University.

https://www.concordia.ca/conduct/sexual-assault/understanding-sexual-violence.html

(10) Concordia Sexual Assault Resource Centre. n.d. What is Sexual Violence?. Concordia University.

https://www.concordia.ca/conduct/sexual-assault/understanding-sexual-violence.html

(11) Concordia Sexual Assault Resource Centre. n.d. What is Sexual Violence?. Concordia University.

https://www.concordia.ca/conduct/sexual-assault/understanding-sexual-violence.html

(12) Harvard Law School Halt: Harassment Assault Law Student Team. (2021). How to Avoid Victim Blaming. Harvard Law School Halt.

References
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