Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Further Gender Musings

I had a realization a couple of days ago: I gender dogs as masculine and cats as feminine. At first I didn't think that much of it, but I'm finding it weirder now. I can see why I would do that, but I do it to the point where when I first come into contact with a dog I assume it is male, and vice versa with cats. Further indoctrination in the gender/sex binary to be broken I suppose.

That leads me to another point. It seems like there is so much deprogramming to be done, where the heck does one start? I mean, I consistently recognize these ingrained behaviors, schema, as mentioned in an earlier post. I do think that recognizing them is the first step, then acting to change them.

“Ideology and hegemony are opposite ends of a continuum…At one end…‘ideology’ is used to refer to struggles to establish dominant meanings and to make justice claims on the basis of alternative ideologies…At the other end…the term ‘hegemony’ is used to refer to situations where meanings are so embedded that representational and institutionalized power is invisible." (Silbey 1998, 276)

Schema are the everyday actors of hegemony. They are the ways that we as individuals further the oppression of different groups, sometimes even groups to which we belong. I like the way that Sibley (to me by way of Haslanger) talks about the continuum, where we have the presumption of something being natural, whatever that means, on the end of hegemony. I.E. womens place is in the home, black people are not as intelligent as white people, etcetera. and then as ones eyes are opened one moves towards ideology, or the recognition of things as ideology and not as part of a natural order.

So, here I am, slowly moving across the continuum towards ideology.

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