to pigeonhole means to categorize

December 20, 2010 § Leave a comment

My gender studies course is a bit like begging your older cousins to let you watch a PG-13 film with them when you’re still toddling around. Some of the concepts and cultural contexts may be over my head, but I’m determined to include myself. I’m grateful for a balance from the cobwebbed dictation sessions in my French course; the gender course is taught in a seminar format.  It was refreshing to discuss topics such as polygamy and marriage and economics in an environment void of an adverse predisposition (otherwise known as the American classrooms in which I’ve previously participated in debates). The handful of master’s students, an even number of males and females, continuously surprise me with their insights, their questions, and even their vocabulary. I, the native English speaker, had to make a note to self to look up pigeonhole after a classmate used it.  For the first part of our discussion, I tried to listen only, soaking up perspectives. However when one boy said (more or less) that if a woman stays at home and does not have children then she is not a woman… Let’s just say I couldn’t stay quiet for long. I heard some views that surprised me and  I’m happy to say I surprised my classmates by exhibiting knowledge of Islam.

While we’re on the topic of breaking cultural stereotyping, please enjoy this song. Why this clip hasn’t shown up sooner, I’m not sure.


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