I’m addicted to podcasts. I recently listened to one from CBC radio, the topic of which was whether or not Women’s Studies programs ought to be re-named “Gender Studies” or some other name that presumably sounds more inclusive. From the issue of names, the dialogue meandered through women’s history, women’s place in academia and politics, and feminism in general. Conversation morphed into debate, and I was rapt! There are so many interesting aspects of women’s experience!
When I was a university student (and the name was still “Women’s Studies”), I studied how parents treat newborn children. In one experiment, a baby, when dressed in pink, is told how pretty “she” is. When dressed in blue, “he” is told how strong he is. How early our gender roles are entrenched! Indeed, our first question to new parents (Is it a boy or a girl?) betrays that we wouldn’t know how to treat the little bundle of joy, without first knowing the gender. This need to confirm gender prior to interacting with someone is especially evident when we encounter someone about whose gender we are not certain. We often feel incredibly disoriented. We don’t know how to treat others until we know whether they are male or female. Such is life in a gendered society.
And since we do, undeniably, inhabit a gendered society, we need to examine the roles we play. We need to examine notions of strength and beauty, family and love, sex and relationships, work and money. Truly, gender is enmeshed with each one of them.
Join us at the Calgary Public Library, as we celebrate International Women’s Day, on March 5. Attend because you are a woman, or you’ve got a wife, mother, daughter, or girlfriend who happens to be one. Attend and meet other like-minded individuals, or have your mind changed! Attend to network, to be inspired, and to share ideas. Attend to celebrate womanhood!
Register for International Women's Day at the Calgary Public Library. Join us for lunch and a thought-provoking panel discussion with successful, local business women.