Identify, summarize, and understand the concepts and arguments presented in the Steinem reading, If Men Could Menstruate

PURPOSE: The purpose of this discussion post is to apply what you’ve learned about how power is distributed through socially constructed identities. The hope is that in completing this discussion you will be able to identify examples of socially constructed ideas that are related to 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.

SKILLS: This assignment allows you to practice critical thinking and analysis skills, which are essential for your success in this course, as a college student, and engaged citizen beyond the classroom. The following skills will be needed to successfully complete this assignment


· Identify, summarize, and understand the concepts and arguments presented in the Steinem reading, If Men Could Menstruate

· Identify a different situation, concept, or identity that is associated with socially constructed ideas of power and privilege

· Develop your own “political fantasy” to share with classmates

· Read and comment on each others’ political fantasies.

KNOWLEDGE: This assignment will help you to become familiar with the concept of social construction and how power is distributed among privileged identities. Students will gain an understanding of the diverse range of people’s experiences, including the specific ways that factors such as gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, nationality and class background intersect with one another to shape these experiences.

TASK: For this assignment, you will do the following:

· At the heart of the Steinem piece is the following quote, “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 (500 – 750 words) discussion post that is inspired by the reading If Men Could Menstruate. For this Discussion 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 who holds less power and imagine what would happen if that characteristic was a part of the group who holds more power. An example could be to imagine if men could give birth, or if heterosexual people were asked how they knew they were heterosexual. You will then describe how that concept would become appropriated or understood as source of pride, strength, or justification of their social position.

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