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Stuck in the Middle with You: Inventing “Normal” for Sex and Gender

Our culture struggles with the notion of how gender ought to manifest — that there are fixed recognizable differences in the look and function of sex organs, presence of hormones and type of chromosomes that generate two distinct and bounded categories: male and female. And therefore man and woman. But actually, there aren’t.

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What a Drag: Why Can’t Little Boys Wear Dresses?

Tomorrow, on the Jewish holiday of Purim, my three-year-old son will dress as Queen Esther, the star of this show. But reactions to his choice show just how little room boys have for exploring different gender roles.

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Gender Roles to Rainbows: A Mother’s Love

A love-and-justice letter from a mother to her daughter on Valentine’s Day.

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STOKING FIRE: The Chastity-Prolife Connection

Generation Life’s mission, focused on the “chastity-prolife” connection, rests on the preaching of an ossified formula of gendered behavior that is both intensely rigid and rooted in fantasy.

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Pre-Packaging Gender Roles: Abstinence-Only Programs Perpetuate Dangerous Stereotypes

The notion that men and women sure are different is at the center of best-selling books, at least one Broadway play, and pretty much all episodes of “Everybody Love Raymond.” But as much as it can be mined for humor, it can also be pretty damaging. While there is some truth to the whole “men are from Mars women are from Venus” kind of thinking, the solution isn’t, as ab-only programs would have us believe, to accept these behaviors as innate and unchangeable and let either sex (though let’s face it, mostly men) behave badly as result. Instead students should be asked to question the nature, validity, and origin of these gender stereotypes, and to explore how stereotypes affect communication within friendships and sexual relationships.

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You Can’t Keep the Lid On Forever: A Mad Men Salon

“Mad Men” is all about the hard truths, and the hard truth is that being a woman forging her own path in the early 60s was very lonely indeed.

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Women or Objects? A “Mad Men” Salon

True, second wave feminists didn’t burn their bras–or their girdles or their garters–but “Mad Men” suggests that they probably should have.

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Nostalgia for Those Louts: A “Mad Men” Salon

Astute and unflinching examination of gender politics has proved to be the secret of the rise of “Mad Men” in popular culture. RH Reality Check is hosting a salon on the program.

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Men Are From Apatow-Land, Women Are From Venus

In “Funny People,” men are always from Mars and women from Venus–and the central question is how Mars should gently approach Venus despite his libidinous need to fornicate with her.

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Why Same-Sex Marriage Isn’t (Is) A Threat to Heterosexual Marriage

Same-sex couples might be able to teach straight couples a thing or two about egalitarian relationships. And that’s the precise threat to traditional marriage social conservatives are afraid of.

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