#3: “What is gender?”

I started out this week by thinking about some thoughtful questions and sending them to teachers, almost immediately after I got the email with instructions from Tim. I soon got three emails back (we all know I don’t have the nerve to actually talk on the phone with someone, plus I can’t type fast enough to keep up with peoples answers) with some pretty similar answers.

A common theme was wondering just what the vocabulary meant, and what is gender in and of itself? I think these are valid questions and an important thing to think about when we are designing some sort of lesson. I want to have a lot of content on our website as well, so when parents, teachers, or anyone really, has a question they can just refer back to the website.

One of the teachers I interviewed works with younger kids, and she suggested having picture books or similar things that would be fun, but also educational for children. I think this is a wonderful idea and it would allow children to start learning about these kinds of issue from a young age, so it’s not so foreign to them when they are older. Another teacher suggested having the student themselves who have struggled with discrimination against their gender come in and speak. I believe this would be helpful for students and adults alike. When you are faced with someone who is being directly affected by the decisions others are making, it makes it hard to just brush off the issue.

Overall I think these interviews have given me some good ideas and a clearer image of where I want to go with this, how it will work, etc.. Some goals I have for the project in general are to get more content on the website and really make it a resource that everyone can go to, and to create clear and easy ways teachers can make their schools a better place so that no one feels lost and confused on the way to changing how things work in their school. A personal goals I have are to be more involved in the editing process and project in general, to work a lot on getting good reliable articles up on the website as resources, as well as to get my blog-posts done on time.


King, Angie. “Breaking Binary Questions.” E-mail interview. 20 Sept. 2016.

Samuelsen, Garin. “Breaking Binary Questions.” E-mail interview. 20 Sept. 2016.

Uhl, Bob. “Breaking Binary Questions.” E-mail interview. 20 Sept. 2016.


Photo taken by Gareth Simpson


Fiona Nelson

One Response to “#3: “What is gender?”

  • Fiona, I know that you are very passionate and talented and that there is a normal learning curve to picking up the phone or standing in front of people, much like there is with anything else in life. Some people will learn to ride a bike faster than others, but just about everyone can learn how to ride a bike if they try. While working to create products for your website will be important, it won’t mean as much as practicing and honing your skill set to talk to others about Why, How, and What should change around general understanding of gender. That’s not easy. It’s not easy to make a cold-call and offer to have a conversation with a school’s faculty. But, it might be a necessary one. So, if I do nothing else in this comment, I want to put forward the importance of “going public” in person and to acknowledge that there is a learning curve, it might be hard or uncomfortable, but it is important to pursue and lean on us for support in that direction. I am so excited to see you and Eva develop ways forward with your topic this year and really get a chance to develop these skills.

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