Signups for Student-Led Discussions, and More Stuff for Next Week…

Here is the signup page for Student-Led Discussions.

Just click the link, and you will be taken to another website where you can sign up for two discussion-leading sessions . Make sure you enter your real email address: the website will send you a reminder by email five days before the date of your discussion! (And you may need it if I decide to contact you, or if another student needs to request an exchange of signup dates.)

Please note, some of the dates may need to change. Usually, if a change is necessary, we will simply move the Discussion from the Thursday to the Tuesday. This solves our problems most of the time. (If a bigger change is necessary, we’ll sort it out in class.)

Please sign up for two (2) discussions. When you type your name into the signup, you should also write the topic, for the first discussion, at least — I understand if you have nothing for the second discussion yet.

The discussions will begin this Thursday, so make sure you sign up soon! Whoever comes here last will, I assume, end up leading on Thursday.

(Also: I am still considering creating a sign-up list for participants in each discussion; however, I have a feeling it’s probably more trouble than it’s worth. We’ll see… but first we need a list of leaders and discussion topics anyway, so I can’t make a real list right now anyway!)

And to recap our discussion from Thursday, 13 Sept.: check out my earlier post on the question of figuring out why a particular question is inappropriate in a given context (it’s the post I wrote earlier this week) and consider the strategies discussed there — and which I talked about in class — for responding to inappropriate questions. We will conduct a practice exercise in class involving both issues: figuring out in what way a question is inappropriate in an English-speaking cultural context, and responding to it in a way appropriate to that context.

And finally, please check out this video:

In the second hour of class, we will discuss it. Personally, I’m curious to hear what you have to say about the idea of “chivalry” in Western culture, and so on. I would define it as actions like this:

  • giving seats to them on the subway, bus, or train, even to strangers, even when they’re not pregnant or elderly
  • opening doors for them, even when they are complete strangers and could easily open the door themselves
  • giving them the right of way when a man and a woman both are leaving the elevator or subway — the “chivalrous” man lets the woman go first, and lets the woman get into an elevator even when it means it might be too full for him to get on too

Don’t get me wrong: sexism exists in both of our cultures. But I was shocked at how little of this kind of “chivalry” happens in Korea, and it took me many years to adjust to it. I find that the “positive sexism” discussed in the video is much more common in North American culture… in my experience, anyway.

What do you think about this?

What is more sexist, chivalry, or non-chivalry? What do you (as a man or woman) prefer? Why? Why do you think the person who made this video said that chivalry be sexist? Is non-chivalry more sexist, or less sexist, than chivalry? Is it possible to practice “chivalry” while trying not to be sexist?

Of course, those are questions in my mind. You may have other things you want to talk about as well… and that’s fine!

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