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Write a brief (300 words approx) discussion post that is inspired by the reading If Men Could Menstruate, but also some of the other readings this week about how female gendered bodies are more policed.

October 3, 2021
Christopher R. Teeple

In this essay, you will be able to identify examples of socially constructed ideas about privilege and power. In reading and re-imagining Gloria Steinem’s If Men Could Menstruate, you will demonstrate critical thinking skills, imagination, and creativity and practice writing skills. Steinem writes, “In short, the characteristics of the powerful, whatever they may be, are thought to be better than the characteristics of the powerless—and logic has nothing to do with it.” Use this quote as the guide for how to write your own political fantasy.
Write a brief (300 words approx) discussion post that is inspired by the reading If Men Could Menstruate, but also some of the other readings this week about how female gendered bodies are more policed.
For this essay, you will identify a concept, practice, or policy this is built around the social construction of one group’s identity. Similar to the Steinem piece, you will have to identify what the assumptions are of the group that holds less power and imagines what would happen if that characteristic was a part of the group that holds more power. An example could be to imagine if men could give birth, or if men were shorter than women on average (a society that “looks up to” short people – now THAT is a fantasy my 5’3″ self can get behind)! Or imagine that heterosexual, rather than gay and lesbian, people had to “come out” with their sexuality. (Think about the parties and the hallmark cards!) What if men went through menopause?
You will then describe how that characteristic – one that in our current society would be used to justify the subordinate group’s oppression – would become appropriated or understood as a source of pride, strength, or justification of the social position of those in the dominant group who have it.
This is a creative assignment. But you still need to THINK CAREFULLY when you write this up. You have to really understand what Steinem is doing in her paper first, before embarking on your own political fantasy.
sources only: If Men Could Menstruate in the files below.

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