” A pop-sociologist spoke about gender issues at The University of Akron on Sept. 22. Kimberly Dark, who is also a Cal State San Marcos professor and poet, gave a humorous and informative lecture about gender performance, gender identity, sexual orientation and self identity as subject and object.””
A pop-sociologist spoke about gender issues at The University of Akron on Sept. 22.
Kimberly Dark, who is also a Cal State San Marcos professor and poet, gave a humorous and informative lecture about gender performance, gender identity, sexual orientation and self identity as subject and object. Her performance and lecture titled Is That a Dude? Inside Lesbian Gender: It’s More Complex than You Think was held at E. J. Thomas Hall Stage Door. It was sponsored by UA’s Women’s Studies program along with the Office of Inclusion and Equity as part of UA’s ongoing diversity week.
I am decorated feminine, but not for you sir, but for her, was one of the remarks made by Dark while discussing gender performances. Dark said that if you fail to perform femininity, then by default you perform masculinity.
She described how some members of the culture suffer from internal conflict, and that there are many more expressions of gender in the world than just two.
I thought the performance was really informative, Mikki Anderson, sophomore and political science criminal justice major, said. It really opened my eyes.
Dark interacted with the audience through various ways. Through the use of lecture, storytelling and human gender sculpting she shared her sociological and personal knowledge with the audience.
In the human gender sculpting exercise, audience members were asked to come on stage and sculpt their partner to what they thought represented masculinity or femininity. Matt Carlin, senior and communication major said, It showed what people think about us, not just what we portray.
None of us are exempt from the great gender freak-out, Dark said. She explained why we often stare at people who look androgynous to us. Dark explained how the mind likes to categorize things. She also spoke on what is considered normative and non-normative behavior in our culture and how misogyny can arise when male privilege begins to fail. Dark said, When we reveal misogyny, the world becomes changeable. If male and female traits were equal in the world, who cares what traits you perform.
During the performance, Dark described herself as an auto-ethnographer. She said that she writes and speaks about herself but the contexts of her stories are also about the social construction of gender in our culture.
Last year, Dark gave a lecture on gender, race and money at UA. I love this campus, and I was glad to be asked back, she said.
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