Electronic Magazine of Multicultural Education

FALL 2002     http://www.eastern.edu/publications/emme    Vol. 4, No. 2

Theme: Gender Identity and Politics

| This Issue | Articles | Instructional Ideas | Reviews | Authors |
| Dentith | Lee | Morgan | Ross |

[ Art Reviews | Book Reviews | Multimedia Reviews ]

 

MULTIMEDIA REVIEWS

Films and Videos
Websites


Films and Videos

American Sons. (1995). 28 minutes, color. Produced by G. Scott Hong and Zand Gee.  Distributed by Farallon Films 

Featuring four Asian American actors performing monologues based on real interviews of Asian American men, this film dramatically portrays the realities of growing up as an Asian American male. The four actors portray Asian American males: a Chinese American, a Korean American adopted into a White family, a Philippino American, and a Hawaiian-Japanese American.  Each monologue poignantly presents the variety of issues facing the Asian American male.  From violence, harassment, drugs, and family relationships to issues about identity, each man presents his unique story.  One man remembered his mother being obsessed with the Kennedys when he was young and she expressed her desire of her son becoming the president of the United States.  He was saddened by the disparity between his mother's dream and the reality that he was often relentlessly teased by many of his classmates and called "Ching Chong Chinaman."  Another remembered that his White adoptive father would beat him whenever he would question why he was adopted and what it meant to be Korean.  Each of these stories brings home how racism affects and shapes the Asian American males.  As one man said, "Racism made me the way I look, the way I talk.  I am a product of my environment."  A provocative source for ethnic and gender studies!

Creating Schools that are Safe for All of Our Children. (1998).  59 minutes, color.  Distributed by IDEA.  

An average high school student hears derogatory remarks towards gay and lesbians twenty-six times a day; fifty-three percent of students have heard teachers use anti-gay words; and ninety five percent of the time teachers ignore anti-gay comments from students.  These are just a few of the facts that Kevin Jennings, Harvard-educated gay son of a Southern Baptist minister, quoted in the video that features his talk at a conference for IDEA, a professional development network for distinguished educational administrators.  This seminar presents a fact-filled and emotionally charged plea to teachers and administrators to recognize the gay population within their schools.  Jennings points out the common denial of educators concerning the gay and lesbian issue with the support of statistics that eighty-two percent of high school principals in Michigan believe that there are no gay or lesbian students attending their schools.  Jennings helpfully differentiates between homophobia and heterosexism and explains how each perspective radically alters the way teachers teach.  Also discussed in detail are the three parts of sexuality; orientation, behavior, and identity, while noting the median age that boys and girls begin to recognize their own sexuality is thirteen years of age.  Jennings concludes his presentation with recommendations regarding how to create open climates within our schools and to give gay and lesbian students a voice in our schools and communities.  This film is recommended for teachers and administrators alike.  

Fair Play: Achieving Gender Equity in the Digital Age. (1999). 57 minutes, color.  Distributed by Films for the Humanities and Sciences.  

"The future is here; it's just not being evenly distributed," states this well-produced film focusing on gender differences in the digital age.  Focusing on boys and girls at the middle school level, the producers of this film expertly present the problems facing students and educators as schools across the United States are being "wired."  During various parts of this film viewers are introduced to three very different girls; a Hispanic-American girl from a lower socio-economic status (SES) family, a Pakistani-American girl from a middle SES, and a white girl from a high SES, all of whom pose a desire to incorporate computers into their lives. All three of these girls recognize that technology can make life easier and can open doors to higher paying employment, but all felt that opportunities to learn about computers and technology were not always open to them in their schools.  The film shows that in many cases computer access in the classroom still represents a gender imbalance, in which students fall into very gender-specific roles and "only the most motivated and resolute girls go forward in computer science classrooms."  It also presents several ways in which educators and the technology industry are trying to have girls interested in computers. The conclusive suggestions of how to close the digital divide by gender will be especially beneficial to teachers and administrators who are concerned about gender equity in this digital age. 

Gender and Communication: Male-Female Differences in Language and Nonverbal Behavior. (2001). 40 minutes, color. Produced by Dane Archer & Directed by Jon Silver.  Distributed by University of California Extension Center for Media and Independent Learning.  

“Do men and women communicate differently?  Do they inhabit different communication cultures?”  This fast-paced and often humorous film examines these two questions in great detail.  Twenty film segments, with titles such as “Old rules for men and women,” "Changing language is a trivial issue,”,“Kinesics-the model of a woman,” make this information-packed film a great resource for researchers of gender studies, university students and professors. Even though the film does not directly address how these communication differences will impact teachers in specific educational settings, it is a wonderful basic resource for teachers and administrators.  Viewers will come away from viewing this film with a greater awareness about gender bias in vocabulary, patterns of inequality in speech and conversation, male-female differences in movement and kinesics, and cross-cultural introductory examples of gender effect on communication patterns.  

Gender equity in the Classroom. (1999).  59 minutes, color. Executive Producer Kevin Crane, Producer/Writer Mary Makley.  Distributed by Great Plains National (GPN).  

Hosted by David Sadker, Ed.D, this film examines the everyday ways in which teachers create gender bias in the classroom.  Focusing on three areas--interaction of student and teacher, curriculum content, and classroom management--Dr. Sadker presents teachers with background information based on his decades-long research on gender-equity education. Scripted classroom scenes are also used to illustrate gender bias in the classroom in these areas.  This film is a powerful tool to help both pre-service and in-service teachers realize the importance of increased wait times, high expectations for all students, giving precise feedback to all students, and using gender inclusive language.  Through thoughtful analyses of teachers' interaction patterns with students, teachers can create safe and nurturing environments for all students.     

Monuments Are For Men, Waffles Are For Women: Gender Permanence & Impermanence. (2000). 32 minutes, color. Produced by Lynn T. Lovdall, Ph.D.,  Distributed by University of California Extension center for Media and Independent Learning.  

This film examines the historic representation and contemporary manifestations of gender-based accomplishments in the United States society.  Traditionally, the actions of men and women are differently categorized as either permanent or impermanent through symbolic gender construction.  The end products of men's actions--such as business production and physical construction--tend to be considered permanent while the actions of women in the domestic domain--such as doing laundry, cooking, and shopping--are considered impermanent.  The producer effectively guides viewers through a series of interviews with university students and professors at Ohio State regarding their understanding of the US holidays, treatment of surnames, US currency, and sports and frames the results in relation to the permanence-impermanence dichotomy and gender construction.  This film will be of benefit to college and university professors interested in helping students recognize the value of impermanent activities and acknowledge those who do them, mostly women and minorities. 

Straight From The Heart. (1994). 24 minutes, color.  Distributed by The Cinema Guild

Gays and lesbians represent the only minority group who tend to experience prejudice and discrimination by their own families.  This film explores the issues that parents face when they realize that their child is a gay or a lesbian.  The producers skillfully interviewed parents of gays and lesbians from various cultures, religious affiliations, occupational backgrounds, and marital situations.  Hosted by Dr. Robert McIvee Brown, an Episcopal priest, this program presents perspectives of parents who finally came to terms with their child's sexual identity.  The parents expressed unanimously an initial shock when their child "came out" and discussed how they came to this point of accepting and respecting gays and lesbians. One family noted that they had to make a "commitment to fairness" when dealing with their child.  This film would be a useful tool to pre- and in-service teachers, as well as parents of gay/lesbian children, interested in understanding family issues with this population.


Websites

4 Girls Health
http://www.4girls.gov
Targeted at girls between the ages of ten and sixteen the 4 Girls Health website, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, focuses on many health topics that address adolescent girls' health concerns and questions. Topics cover: "Becoming a Woman" (discussion of puberty issues), "Fit for Life" (stressing fitness issues), "You are What You Eat" (focusing on food and nutrition), "Mind Over Matters" (presenting techniques to fight stress and depression), "Choosing Not to Use" (overviewing substance abuse), and "Putting it All Together" (presents a variety of information on relating to peers, family members and more).  Each of these sections is presented through an easy-to-use interface, which helps to guide users to information important to them.  The teen-friendly images and language will not overwhelm or intimidate teenage girls as they explore this site.  Each section also includes links to related websites for teens, books, and organizations.  Also included is a section dedicated to parents and caregivers with links to parent materials on each topic.  This is a great site for middle and high school girls, their parents, teachers, and other adults working with adolescent girls.   

About Face
http://www.about-face.org
The mission of this organization is to promote positive self-esteem in girls and women of all ages, sizes, races and backgrounds.  The organization, through its website, hopes to accomplish this mission by meeting a series of visionary goals: e.g., encouraging healthy skepticism about media images and messages of popular culture, educating parents to empower their daughters and educate their sons, providing a forum for discourse, and serving as a resource to researchers, educators, and policy makers. The site's section, entitled "Gallery of Winners and Gallery of Offenders," is a great visual representation of the best and the worst that the media has to offer in producing gender biased imagery.  Links to petitions and notices of boycotts are the standard fare in the Your Voice section of this site, in addition to articles, reviews of products, and a student project section.  The creators of this site also provide teachers, parents and others interested in promoting positive body imagery with great print and electronic resources regarding middle school through college-age students. 

American Association of University Women
http://www.aauw.org
Committed to promote education and equity for all women and girls, the American Association of University Women (AAUW) presents a wide range of information on their website on issues involving American women such as education, social security, sex-discrimination, pay equity, Title IX and more.  The main menu of this site may make a false impression on users that this site contains insufficient information; however, the site index can easily take them to many features of this site.  A few of the services and points of information provided through this site include access to voting records of congressional members, monthly newsletter, AAUW Educational Foundation, AAUW Legal Advocacy Fund, current news events, media archives, links to relevant information and much more.  Users also can preview many of the extensive research publications that AAUW has published with the opportunity to buy them from the AAUW on-line store.  Some features of this site are exclusive to AAUW members, such as the chat room, bulletin boards and discussion lists.

The Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN)
http://www.glsen.org/templates/index.html
This website represents the largest national network of parents, students, teachers, and others committed to ending discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, and expression.  Upon entering this well-organized site, visitors are struck with the myriad of ways of educating themselves about and getting involved in gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) issues in the United States.  Included are breaking news stories about GLBT students across the United States, an action center where visitors can send letters to local, state and federal officials regarding GLBT legislation and issues, a resource center that links visitors to staff development tools, school safety resources, allies of GLSEN, and other useful sites regarding GLBT students.  Additionally, students can locate or find gay-straight alliances in their areas.  Other features include a book review section and an event listing of GLBT activities by region.  This comprehensive, well-organized site is a great resource for administrators, teachers, students and parents.  

Development Gateway: Gender and Development
http://www.developmentgateway.org/node/130625/
This gateway page represents a small subsection of Development Gateway website which focuses on sustainable development and poverty-reduction worldwide.  The gender and development page is a tool for anyone working to advance gender equity by improving the lives of poor women and men.  The objective of this page is to enhance development efforts worldwide through sharing knowledge of gender-sensitive analysis, actions, and policies.  Easily accessible from this page are international news stories about women, a calendar of events, and links to key issues and related topics.  Also provided is access to over one thousand resources, including data and statistics, documents and reports, activist information, publications, and more.  This page also includes a bulletin board in which professionals involved in gender studies can post messages and calls for papers.  The information on this site would be of interest to government officials and government offices that address gender issues, development officials who are planning projects and wish to ensure that gender questions are addressed, and researchers or academics who believe that specific gender-based problems exist and should be studied.  

Gender.org
http://www.gender.org
Sponsored by the Gender Education and Advocacy (GEA), this site focuses on the needs, issues, and concerns of gender-variant people in human society.   The creators of this site intend to educate and advocate for all persons who suffer from gender-based oppression.  To meet this end the site provides access to Gender Advocacy Internet News (a free Internet journal), resources by state (support groups, therapists, recommended night spots and more), information on child custody cases involving transgender parents, Information clearinghouse, access to employment resources and more.  The GEA also supports AEGIS (American Educational Gender Information Services) and maintains a transgender library and archives of books, journals, magazines, newspapers, films and other transgender materials. 

GirlTech
http://www.girltech.com
Upon entering this site users are engulfed in the world of pre-teen girls full of bright colors, cool graphics and girl-friendly language.  The creators of this site have done more than just making a "cool-looking" site; it is packed with an overwhelming amount of information, activities, and resources, not only for girls but also for parents and teachers.  Girls from over eighty-five different countries participate in “Club Girl Tech” activities such as Chick Chat, The Game Café, Tech Trips, and Girl Galaxy.  Girls are also advised of many safe and sound rules of internet use: do not use of rude or offensive language, consult with parents before sharing email address, be open and friendly, respect one another, and actively participate in building this web community.  For parents, the creators of Girl Tech explain their mission to provide girls with a safe and positive experience on the Internet as well as to provide various links to current research on gender equity and girls issues.  For schools and teachers, Girl Tech encourages educators to assist girls in technology use and help them see how important technology is to their lives. Provided are technology-related lesson plans developed by Girl Tech, as well as opportunities for educators to share ideas and information.  This is truly a wonderful site for all educators and anyone who works with girls between the ages of seven and thirteen. 

Racial and Gender Identity Development in White Male Multicultural Educators and Facilitators
http://home.earthlink.net/~gorski/dissertation.html
 
This page contains a segment of Paul Gorski's dissertation dealing with white male educators teaching multicultural issues.  This study was conducted to examine the white identity development and male identity development of white males involved in multicultural teaching and facilitating. Narrative data were collected from four white males, including the researcher.  The case studies address three issues: 1) the experiences instrumental in the participant's immersion into multicultural work, 2) the participant's white identity development and process for self-examination, and 3) the participant's male identity development and process for self-examination.  Cross-case observation revealed that common themes and contextual factors were important to participants' multicultural experiences, identity formation and was also contributed to by other factors than race and gender.  The study showed that participants' personal development processes were often reflected in their approach to their multicultural work. Analysis also illustrated limitations of current white identity and male identity literature and a need for future multicultural education research to be more introspective and inclusive of the experiences of non-oppressed groups.  This dissertation will be of interest and value to researchers and teachers of multicultural education.   

The Men's Center.com 
www.themenscenter.com
 
This well-organized website is packed with useful information for men and easily fulfills its mission to assist men in finding male positive resources and information and to support and empower men to lead healthy, productive and fulfilling lives.  The Men’s Center.com currently offers three main services: their main website, the MENSIGHT Magazine, and the Florida Men's Gathering.  In addition to these services, the site offers users a bevy of resources for men at the international, national and state levels.  Internationally this site links users to resources in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, England and Ireland.  On the national level, users are linked to information on a variety of men's issues, such as education, addiction, fathering, men’s health, men’s rights, and many more.  State resources link users to specific support groups and organizations for men in many states across the United States.  Finally, the site sponsors a free e-zine, called MENSIGHT Magazine, which is dedicated to publishing diverse articles for and about men and is published free of charge. 

Women Watch: The UN Internet Gateway on the Achievement and Empowerment of Women
http://www.un.org/womenwatch/
Women Watch is an inter-agency website, founded by the United Nations Division for the Advancement of Women.  The main objective of the site is to provide an information gateway to the information and resources on the promotion of gender equality throughout the United Nations System.  Providing an international perspective on women's issues, this site includes information about various UN countries' public policies regarding women (often linking to each country's website) and each country's commitment to the statements delivered at the Fourth World Conference on Women.  Access to the Good Practices Database is also provided to help inform policy makers of the best ways to insure gender equity through legislation and law-making.  Also included are links to important international news from the trafficking of women and girls to the impact of technology on empowering women of the world.  This site, while a bit cumbersome to navigate, includes many essential pieces of information about women in the international community. This site will provide useful information to politicians, researchers and students.  

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Editor-in-Chief: Heewon Chang, Ph. D.
Copy Editor: Christopher Bittenbender, Ph. D.
Art Review Editors: Hwa Young Caruso, M. F. A. & John Caruso, Jr., Ph. D.
Assistant Editor: Julie Shaw

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