Gendered Lens

June 5, 2010
By Annie Weinheimer BRONZE, River Forest, Illinois
Annie Weinheimer BRONZE, River Forest, Illinois
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

Going into my group’s rooms I was able to assume many things about the person that they were. Little objects on their shelves showed simple characteristics about them. I could also tell just by taking a quick glance at their room whether or not they fit into the gender norms. I tried looking at it through gendered lens and immediately fir them into a category. After asking the people in my group how they wanted to look in their pictures, I realized more about their personality and what kind of person they are. Since I had boys in my group it was not usually any extravagant poses but I could still tell from what simple poses they gave me.

After walking into Zack’s room I couldn’t help but to laugh. The first thing I saw was his wall of hats and baseball memorabilia. The walking further into his room I saw a basketball hoop. Some clothes were laid randomly across the floor and the bed was unmade. In general, everything in his room was male centered. It was everything a boy could want in his room. In “The Gender Knot” by Allan G. Johnson, he writes, “ When men compete, they enter the pumped-up world of winners and losers, in which the number of times a ball goes through a hoop or is carried over a line elevates men over other men.” (pg.17) One of the pictures I took of Zack was him dunking a basketball into the huge basketball hoop in his room. Everything in his room was sports centered and there were pictures, hats, autographs of winners and heroes of different sports. Zack’s room completely fell into the gender stereotype of a male but he made it his own and showed me that the things in this room made up who he was. Although I’m sure gender norms influenced who he was and his likes and dislikes, he has things about him that cannot be influenced by gender norms because it is part of who is.

My room for the most part is everything that I am. It has a lot of unique things. The carpet doesn’t match, the blanket on my bed doesn’t match, and my other bed has everything that I couldn’t find a place for on it. When you walk in it fits the general stereotypes of a female room. Lots of different colors, lots of feminine things lying around like hair bands, skirts, makeup, and that kind of stuff. One of my walls has a bulletin board of pictures of me and my friends. But when you look harder at my room, you can see that it is not as feminine as it looks. It’s usually very messy with clothes all over the floor, bed unmade, drawers from my dressers hanging out, and my bookshelf is stuffed with everything imaginable. In “Reviving Ophelia” by Mary Pipher, she writes, “In early adolescence girls learn how important appearance is in defining social acceptability.” (pg. 29) Although I do not care a great deal about the appearance of my room, I understand it can reflect who I am as a person. Sometimes I catch myself changing things in my room so that others will not think of my as something negative. In other aspects of life I care about appearance but nothing to the point where I change who I am to impress people. My room is the place where all my friends go to just chill and talk about life. It has that comfortable feel to it where you just want to curl up, eat, and vent. In “Taking Off the Gender Straitjacket” the author writes, “Girls will come home and talk about that stuff with their parents, and even more with their friends.” (pg 46) I can tell my parents and friends anything and I usually am the most comfortable doing that in my room. My room calms me down so that I can let loose and not be stressed. My room is where I am most myself because I am so comfortable in it and I go there when I need alone time. It is simple and there are not many accessories and things to make it look fashionable and feminine. But the things that make up my room show a lot about the person that I am. When someone walks into my room with a gendered lens, I hope they would see that although it is inevitable to not be somewhat influenced by gender norms, I am my own person and overall I will be the only one influencing who I am.

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This article has 2 comments.

on Jul. 5 2010 at 7:52 pm
alaskatrailmutt, Jefferson, Maryland
0 articles 0 photos 352 comments
Sorry miss wrote Zack I hit the wrong thing. I meant who Zack is, I just started typing alot so I am not to good at it.But yeah you did good I liked it!

on Jul. 5 2010 at 7:50 pm
alaskatrailmutt, Jefferson, Maryland
0 articles 0 photos 352 comments
I like how you wrote this.The quotes helped your point.I would add who Zach is though you lost me there, is he just your friend or is he your boyfriend?Then maybe add what in his personallity contradicts to his room.You did a little but elaborate use examples.The text was nice though- it showed you had a mission in the piece and you knew what ur talking abouot. Keep it up :D

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