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What is sex? What is gender? What is sexuality? What do we mean by LGBTQIA? How are these concepts related to the workplace? How have our understandings of these terms changed over time, and how have these changes impacted work and culture? To help you answer these important questions, this course will introduce you to the exciting field of gender, sexuality, and women's studies, and to LGBTQIA identities. We will use a range of interdisciplinary concepts, tools, and methods to understand and analyze how identity shapes our experiences in culture and in the workplace. Because we all live with gender expectations, this course is crucial for any profession, and for understanding the world around us. Also, you will learn key concepts that will help you to interpret and understand the world we share.
Changing Landscapes, Identities, and Discourse
This week, we introduce a set of key terms (specifically, LGBTQIA) and explore the significance of these terms in a wider social and political context. This sets the groundwork for the following weeks by providing a shared language to discuss key issues in gender and sexuality studies and by introducing a range of critical issues that are directly related to gender and sexuality.
The History of Gender and Gender in Theory
This week, we cover a range of topics on gender including the evolution of ideas about gender, the history of gender in the U.S. workplace, and key theories of gender from the 1970s to the present.
The History of Sexuality and Sexuality in Theory
This week, we provide a brief overview of the historical and emerging understanding of sexuality and sexual identity. We then explore the history of sexuality and sexual identity discrimination in the workplace (early days of allowed discrimination against LGB people; larger issue of job insecurity for LGB folks; advent of ENDA, controversies around ENDA –how that has played out to pit LGB people and trans* people against one another).
Trans Topics Today and Trans in Theory
This week, you will learn about the evolution of understanding about transgender people’s lives and identities, exploring the long history of gender transgression across different cultural contexts, and talk about the ways we understand gender transgression to function. We then discuss how those who identify outside the gender binary present important challenges to fixed ways of being/thinking about gender. Finally, we examine the ways that transgender individuals have faced and surmounted oppression in the workplace (also known as genderism, a term coined by Riki Wilchins), and the kinds of laws that are designed to protect their rights.
Julie Beaulieu and Susan Marine