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The gender journal assignment is an exercise in “seeing the unseen” as it relates to norms, expectations, behaviors and representations associated with gender and sexuality. We will have four gender journal assignments over the course of the semester. For each of these you will write short entries (approximately 2 double-spaced pages, using 1 inch margins and standard 12 point font) about your observations and experiences. The idea for the assignment is to notice how cultural constructions related to gender and sexuality are all around us. As you move through your daily life, try to pay attention to gender as it happens (take the role of an ethnographer, with your life as your subject). You might notice, for example, gendered advertising on television or in magazines, gendered assumptions about politicians or public figures, the ways that men and women that you do not know carry themselves or interact with each other in public, or how men and women you do know (or you yourself) “do” gender. As you make your observations and write your journal assignments, please make an effort to build upon the concepts and ideas you have learned in this class, using terms and facts from our textbook and other course materials.In your writing, please be as specific as possible.
The best method for completing this assignment is to set aside a few minutes a day to write down your thoughts and experiences that are relevant to gender and sexuality before you forget them. Your journal assignments are due on the date listed in the syllabus and should be submitted in the appropriate Moodle assignment box. Your journal entries can cover multiple observations or they can be more detailed descriptions of one specific gender or sexuality-related thing that you noticed or experienced. In the pages that follow I am including some examples from last semester’s class of exceptionally good gender journal assignments. I suggest reading through these before writing your first assignment.