The Pitfalls of Gender
Gender is one of the most contested socially and culturally constructed categories, the definition of which is assisted by cultural discourses, including ideologies, customs, beliefs. Since all these are seldom questioned as constitutive of social structuring and modes of representations, gender is still percveived as ‟an enigmatic compound of features which is far from being fully understood.” (Suthrell, 2004) Though the debate is ancient, we owe it to Simone de Beauvoir for introducing it into the space of philosophical meditation once she asked the apparently innocent question: ‟What is a woman?” From 1949 on, when The Second Sex was published, superficial, sexist and paternalistic answers to this question have no longer been taken seriously. Feminism itself had to rechart its way from self-reference to somber and rational evaluation of the relationships between sexual and gender identity, ideology, reality and truth.
We conform with and are formed by preexistent discourses that encode sexist and patriarchal conventions and we face today the World Wide Web revolution that offers new spaces for connecting with others, debating, sharing experience, and negotiating sexual and gender identity. The new communication and social media allows for a better comprehension of the way in which gender normativity shapes individual expression and creativity. In these new debate spaces provided by You Tube, Facebook, Myspace etc. the heteronormative order no longer functions. Neither do traditional politics of repulsion and public shaming work to further strengthen gender norms in social media as they cannot influence drastically the discourse of blogs, social networks, mobile phones etc. All these effects of the unprecedented development of communication technologies are apparent in contemporary discourse, which is still centered on complicity and power.
The journal Meridian critic, http://meridiancritic.usv.ro, invites researchers who are interested in analyzing the impact of gender debates and disputes on culture, especially on literature, cinematography, language, and communication. We welcome proposals that cross-examine and engage with these interdisciplinary questions. Possible topics of interest include, but are not limited to:
- The game of forces involved in various discourse constructions of difference; labelling, stigma, and power relations;
- Theories of intersectionality and inclusion, redefining queer and gender studies in relation to other social differences such as those related to race, class, ethnicity, disability, migration, etc.;
- Reproductive technology (in vitro fertilization, surrogacy, embryo donation, etc.) and plastic surgery that break down the norms of genetic reproduction and change radically gender relationships, sexuality, and procreation. As a footnote, the cyborg may be approached as a means of redefining gender and sexual categories and boundaries;
- Gender held up as a scarecrow argument in traditionalist cultures where genderism is accompanied by a hostile anti-feminist and homophobic rhetoric;
- Gender in Romanian culture and literature;
- Representing homosexuality, abortion, and rape in literature and film;
- Woman as creator: women writers, directors, screen-writers, artists, etc.
- Gender and popular culture: textual and cultural practices, movies, computer games, cartoons, graphic books, ads, etc. in/through which gender is produced, represented, and consumed;
- Gender and discourse: sociolinguistics facing the feminist epistemology and redefining Judith Butler’s performative; the issues of power and privilege in language.
Articles may be written in Romanian, English, French, or German.
Abstracts (no more than 200 words), full article (maximum 7,000 words) and a brief presentation of the author (a bio-note of no more than 400 words) will be sent at: firstname.lastname@example.org
For further details concerning style and templates, follow the format of the samples given at: http://meridiancritic.usv.ro/index.php?page=norme-de-redactare
Deadline for full article submission: 31st of May 2019.
Dr. Luminita Elena Turcu, Editor Meridian Critic Journal