Why Talk About Gender?

A recent Upper School assembly was led by a committee of faculty members with the theme of reflecting upon and talking about issues of gender in the media and our community. The faculty members span the whole range of Browning: Head Librarian Sarah Murphy, Dr. Betty Noel from STEM, Megan Ryan from Foreign Languages, Janet Lien, Director of Admission, and Brett Wisniewski from Classics. The idea for the topic began as a way to celebrate diversity and Women’s History Month, and came to fruition in a dynamic assembly.

After watching a short film showing testimonials from the whole school answering the questions “Why talk about gender?” and “When have notions of gender affected you?”, the students were invited to examine various forms of media. Research on the media, which ranged from print advertisements to video games (among others), involved answering questions about the positive and negative outcomes of ways the media portrayed masculinity and femininity.

The cafeteria was a lively place as the students broke into groups for research. Many of the students were excited to present their findings in a discussion after. The response was very positive, and left the Upper School energized and eager to continue discussions about gender in the wider spectrum of their studies.