Bi, Butch, Bar Dyke, and Beyond!: A Closer Look at Pedagogical Performances of Class, Gender, and Sexuality

“We must think seriously about identities we bring with us into the classroom, remain conscious of the way those identities interact with the identities our students bring, and insert ourselves fully into the shifting relationships between ourselves and our students at the same time that we resist the impulse to control those relationships” (Gibson, Marinara, and Meem, 92).

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Entering a new week and a new blog! This article was fascinating to read but also important. All of our past articles have touched upon topics and controversies that I believe needs to be taught more in classrooms. This article is another topic adding to that list. This article stands out differently from the articles because the authors told their own stories. That is what really drew me to the article. A collection of authors, Michelle Gibson, Martha Marinara, and Deborah Meem all have various stories but come together to tell them. I loved the idea that these women are telling their stories and were able to read their point of view and their voice. “Through our ‘stories,’ we hope to complicate the notion that identities can be performed in clean, organized, distinct ways by examining and theorizing our own experiences of class, gender, and sexual identity performance” (pg 70). I’ve always believed that the way to learn and absorb information is through hearing other people’s experiences and even going through situations for yourself.

Another part of the article that I found interesting was the concept of voice. We discussed the topic of voice by Peter Elbow. There was a part of the article that expanded on the importance of voice. Gibson talked about how writing students define voice.

“Writing students define ‘real me’ voices as safe, static, inherent, and inviolate; public voices, though, are required to listen to other public voices, and listening can cause uncomfortable changes. The tension, the uncertain space writing teachers and students find between the familiar, ‘real me’ voice and an emerging public voice, should not necessarily be resolved with already codified positions; rather the tension should be a space to work from and with because the language of any personal narrative contests static identities” (pg 72).

I found this quote to be so powerful and influential that I couldn’t help but put the entire passage in my blog. Touching upon the concept of tension in writing is also an interesting discussion. Every student, teacher, and writer probably already know about the uncertainty that writing and voice can bring. This passage then made me bring up the question of “real me” in my own writing. Do I even have a “real me” when I am writing about personal experiences or in academic papers? The tension should not be something that a writer fears but it should be embraced. More specifically, “a space to work from…” (pg 72).

This article had a lot of rich content. The last quote from this article that stood out to me that I want to point out is the concept of silence. “I know that stories like mine can be used to create silence” (pg 91). I have questions that I want you to think about that expanded my mind as well. Is silence something we need our classrooms? Does silence hinder any progress? Is it the same as the phrase, “no news is good news”? Meaning, is silence a sign for processing information in a good way? Should we be having more teachers and lessons in the classroom who create silence to make a change? Lastly, does the silence in the air equal silence in writing or does the silence allow students to write loud words?

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