Who’s Who?

In both An Addy Classic 1 and a Facebook video, called Boys Try Periods… Kind of, many aspects of Erica Hateley’s Gender keywords essay are portrayed. In her essay, she says, “specific constructions of gender structure understandings of subjectivity; allow or disallow certain behaviors or experiences on the basis of biological sex; and dictate a specific vision of social relations and organization” (86). In both of these pieces, the idea of gender roles is present, but the characters in each video are representing the opposite sex. I think this is important to see because it give people a better idea of what it is like to live in the other person’s shoes for a little while. In An Addy Classic, written by Connie Porter, Addy and her mom are running away, and Addy is disguised as a boy. In her case, this change of identity is very beneficial. In her excitement for freedom, she runs to a campfire that belongs to a group of Confederate soldiers. As she brings attention to herself, one of the men wakes up. “He was a Confederate soldier, and he was staring right at her! ‘Oh, it’s you, boy. Bring me some water,’ the soldier said. … Just then Addy remembered the disguise. She was the boy!” (Porter 42-44). In this scene, if Addy had not been a boy, there would be little hope for her or her mother. The soldiers probably would not have acted the way they did towards her had they known she was a girl. Who knows what would have happened to both of them, let alone the fact that they would not have been able to continue their journey to freedom. For her, her ‘gender switch’ was vital to her freedom.

However, the different identity for the boys in the Facebook video, was not as satisfying. In the video, there are three guys that are experiencing what it is like to have a period. They thought it would be a good experiment to try having their period for three days and see how life is. It is very interesting to see how the guys react after having to deal with all of the complications that come along with “girl issues.” They bring up a good point about how even though they are experiencing one aspect of girlhood, there are many other parts, even of just having a period that they don’t have to go through. This gender identity swap gives these guys an opportunity to understand many of the issues that women have talked about in the past, or even recently, such as how women’s products are more expensive, yet they are often essential. It also gives the guys the opportunity to connect to many of the women that they had worked with previously, because they are finally dealing with issues experienced regularly. For these guys, the ‘gender switch’ made their lives more complicated, but helped their understanding of only one of the issues that females have.


7 thoughts on “Who’s Who?”

  1. I really think you make an interesting point of comparison between these two pieces and ideas of gender. I think its interesting to see how gender plays such a prevalent role in our society and how it is included in many forms of media and popular culture. I wonder if gender will remain to be such a hot topic of conversation in the future of American society.

    1. I think you brought up an interesting point about the future and how things will be changing. I hope that as people start to become more open and interested in learning and exploring, issues like this one will be more open. Another thing that I think will be interesting to watch is to see how people talk about and learn about things like being gay, or transgender. Topics that revolve around both of these things will also, I feel, be brought into the light. As more people come out with being gay or transgender, we are learning more and are being able to better understand both of these topics.

  2. I think this video was very interesting to bring up because it is neat to see how males or females would feel if they stepped in the shoes of the opposite genders for a day. Being the gender we are sometimes we say, “oh it would be so much easier to be a boy”, or something similar to that but truly we have no idea of what it will actually be like. Like you said, in some situations it truly may be better to be a boy, for example, in addy’s situation, but sometimes you may be worse off being a certain gender.

  3. Abby, I love the connection you made between Addy’s situation and the situation of the men in this video. I think it’s interesting that Addy portraying a boy was very beneficial for her, and the men portraying a certain aspect of a woman’s life was a burden. There are definitely inequalities seen between genders today and not all of them are in the favor of one gender over the other, but women still feel the effects of male supremacy too often.

  4. I love the idea of this video, and I think it’s very important that opposite genders try putting themselves in the other’s shoes to see what it’s like. Obviously neither gender can ever completely understand what it’s like to deal with the issues that face their opposite gender, but it’s helpful to try. I hope that this video helps to break down the stigma of menstruation.

  5. I enjoyed this video because it was very interesting to see how men reacted to having their periods. You could tell that they had gained a new respect for women after experiencing part of what they go through. However, the men only had to deal with one aspect of periods and not all of the symptoms that exist during this time. This shows that it may be impossible for men to ever truly and completely step into the shoes of a woman. Nevertheless, the men found periods to be very inconvenient portraying women in a new light to them which I think is very important for all men to think about.

  6. I have also seen a video about a man trying out birth contractions and the conclusion for both seemed to be that women go through these hardships without men fully understanding hardships that they go through. Gender should not be a contest, I believe the point of these videos were not to keep score of which gender has it worse but rather the acknowledgment of experience being shamed and downplayed to half of society. It also reminds me of the Beyonce song “If I were a boy” looking and gender swapping and having the capacity for either gender to put themselves in each others shoes to understand the pressures that are put on each gender.

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