Category Archives: Personal experience

“Thus whereas female-female friendships are promoted through face-to-face interaction, male-male friendships are developed through engaging in activities together or side-to-side interaction (Gamble, 2003)(p.1520.”

This year, I met a new friend named Brandon. Brandon is the stereotypical “gay guy”: he’s good looking, he knows a lot about hair and fashion, and his voice is a bit more feminine than would be considered “normal”. The thing I love most about Brandon is that he’s absolutely, flamboyantly loud and obnoxious. He says things that are completely deemed inappropriate, especially by CNU standards (according to him). I won’t even repeat some of the things he says because they’re so vulgar.

However, the moment I decided that he was amazing, was when we sat down at Brickhouse with everyone else and just talked about stuff. Suuuuurrree, we made fun of some people, but it was all good fun and it was essentially a “bonding” experience. Since he’s gay and I’m a girl, I thought a few things were interesting when I thought about the friendship chapter in our book. Our friendship has similarities between male/male friendships and female/female friendships, but not really cross-sex friendships (there’s a quick chart on p. 157). There were both times when we would communicate in a side-to-side manner (essentially by making guy-hunting a sport) and in a face-to face manner just by talking(Gamble, 2003). We also talked about some personal things, but not others–encompassing the breadth and depth portion of female/female interaction (Gamble, 2003). So really, they should do a study that also encompasses the differences in friendships that differ by sexual orientation–though not all gay men are flamboyant, not all of them necessarily behave the same way as heterosexual man would (there are always exceptions).

Gamble, T. K., & Gamble, M. W. (2003). The Gender Communication Connection. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co.

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“Sexism occurs when we assign characteristics to others because of their sex (Gamble, 2003)(p.12).”

A couple weeks ago, our building arranged for a large group of our residents to go play Laser Tag. Each resident and each of the three RAs were allowed to play three games each. During the second game, I totally kicked ass and ranked three out of twenty. Two guys were in front of me: a guy that worked at the place (doesn’t really count) and my resident, Jurrand. We sat outside the laser tag room and I started talking to another resident named Markel, (modestly) bragging about my success. He says, “How’d you do that?!”. I blinked. “What do you mean, how’d I do that? Are… are you being sexist?!?!”

At the beginning of the semester, the RAs had a guest speaker to touch on the topic of diversity and prejudices. During that event, we learned to confront situations like that. I’ve also found that a large group of boys my age tend to hold to the common perception that men are better than women, which is why I asked if he was being sexist. I felt that he was trying to imply that I should, couldn’t, or wouldn’t rank high at such an activity because I am a girl–which goes along with the book’s higlights of female staerotypes (Gamble, 2003). He proceeded to blush, laugh, and deny what he had just said. I kept insisting that he was being sexist and made it kind of a spectacle to all the other freshmen boys who may or may not think the same things. Markel was very embarrassed. Obviously, he wasn’t being extremely sexist, just a little bit (because of society’s gender-role expectations). He was certainly thinking about the stereotypes of women when he made the comment. I let it go, soon enough, but it was interesting to see his reactions to the statement and maybe he’ll start to realize that stereotypes aren’t always right. Oh, the joys of being a Comm student.

Gamble, T. K., & Gamble, M. W. (2003). The Gender Communication Connection. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co.

While some believe that biology necessitates that females become feminine and males become masculine, others contend that this is not so, insisting instead that we learn from our parents, caregivers, and others how to be masculine and feminine (Gamble, 2003)(p.31).”

One of my female friends from high school, Brittany,has many male-type qualities–similar to Alex Karev in Grey’s Anatomy or Barney Stinson in How I Met Your Mother. They included a relationship-phobia, a similar “hit-it then quit-it” attitude (but only when it came to making out) and she had to absolutely be the dominant girl in any group, regardless of whether or not they are male, female, or both. If the conversation would stray away from her, she would cleverly direct the topic back into her direction. She would constantly compete with everyone using her car, being on the soccer team, and even when it came to style and schoolwork. She was loud and assertive, you could hear her talking clear across the cafeteria.

What was always interesting to me was that she is strikingly feminine as well. She could be pretty sensitive when you got to know her and she was constantly insecure about her looks, like a majority of us girls out there. She loved to take trips to Short Pump and she loved to make people feel comfortable in the conversation. She’s listen to your problems, as long as you weren’t being too dramatic: she absolutely couldn’t handle that–consider it the “guy” part of her. I met her mom at the “Basket Bingo” for the cheerleader’s fundraiser, and they couldn’t be more alike. This completely goes with the whole notion about learning from our parents, obviously. I also think that we definitely learn gender from our “parents, caregivers, and others (Gamble, 2003, p. 31).” I think Brittany also relates to my story about my mom and I, too, because her mom had also been divorced and was single for awhile. You could definitely tell her kind of mentality ran in the family.

Gamble, T. K., & Gamble, M. W. (2003). The Gender Communication Connection. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co.

“Families headed by single mothers are more apt than dual-sex parent families to provide children with a broad model of women’s roles since they are more apt to depart from adherence to traditional sex roles (Gamble, 2003)(p.212).”

My mother had been married, and divorced, three times. Yes, three times. First, she married my father when she was in her teens, they divorced after I was born, then she married my brothers’ father, and divorced a long while later, then she married my stepfather. In between my brothers’ father and my stepfather, she was single for a pretty little time. During that time, I had just moved in with her once again and the most significant thing I remember from her during that time period was that I was and should be a strong, independent woman. Then, it was all about her and her children.

In contrast, since her last divorce, my mother had changed completely. Since the divorce, she’s had two serious relationships and a few flings in the middle. Throughout all of them, she’s been needy and dependent on them. She’s essentially become the woman she told me not to be and this is upsetting. Part of this reason is why our relationship is so estranged, among other things. To me, she went from being a strong, modern woman to a stereotypical traditional, weak woman who was completely dependent on men (Gamble, 2003). She went backwards! She became the stereotypical woman outlined in the text. Most of all, I find it so interesting that she made such a strong impression on me when I was younger and now, it’s just not there anymore.
Gamble, T. K., & Gamble, M. W. (2003). The Gender Communication Connection. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co.

“Since women and men are, for all practical purposes, alike and equal in all important aspects, men and women should be treated in a gender neutral manner (Gamble, 2003)(p.404).”

All semester, I’ve been taking a government class in which a girl, presumably a freshman, sits near me. A couple weeks ago, I overheard her talking to her neighbor. I was completely disgusted when I heard her say, “All I wanna do when I get older is stay at home and make babies!” In my head, all I thought was, “Well, go do it. Why are you wasting your time getting an education if you’re not really going to use it?”. Since then, she’s annoyed me. It might be the feminist in me or it could be that I think she’s old fashioned and dumb. Actually, it’s both.

I think I find it most odd that she made this remark because we aren’t living in the 1960s anymore–this isn’t Mad Men; women don’t need to get secretarial jobs just to find a husband. More importantly, I definitely don’t think that it should be a woman’s goal in life to “stay at home and make babies”. It’s very sexist of her and I think that she’s playing into society’s older gender expectations of women. I consider myself a liberal feminist; I’m a woman who thinks that men and women are, and should be treated, equal (Gamble, 2003). I don’t believe that the primary reasons for women are to reproduce and raise children–that’s a positively prehistoric thought. I also think that relationships and families work best when the responsibilities are shared by both man and woman (or man and man, woman and woman). Therefore, I do not think that women should just sit at home and make babies. Men should have a hand in it too, just like women should help bring money into the home so that both parties are contributors to the home life. This applies to all kinds of couples, not just heterosexual couples.

Gamble, T. K., & Gamble, M. W. (2003). The Gender Communication Connection. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co.