Big Issues and Critical Thinking at Drake University

So for my Spanish certificate I have to take a class on intercultural communication, and it’s one  of my favorite classes of the semester. This week we’ve been talking about gender roles, specifically within the context of the United States. It has been so interesting to identify the problem areas within this subject, and to analyze the gender roles society has created from a different perspective.

We watched a film called Tough Guise 2, in which one of the big focuses was the media’s role in gender definition. Society has defined our roles, but media supports these roles through their messages. One example the producer used was that when we hear about violence or shootings or fights, if it’s a male, that bit of information is almost always left out. They refer to the participants as “the shooters” or “the youths.” One reason he used to support this was that it is normal in today’s world for men and boys to act violently. The media particularly enjoyed using the phrase “boys will be boys,” which is the only time that gender was brought into the matter.

While genetics and biological factors create differences between men and women, it was interesting to see what other factors have caused men in the U.S. to lean more and more towards violence as a solution- a solution for disrespect, for losing their white privilege, for proving to other men that they are men as well. In fact, the video stated that this wasn’t a learned behavior but rather a “taught” behavior, by the media and by society in general.

I would encourage you to look into this documentary or just the subject in general, as I had never thought about gender roles in this light before and it was really interesting to look at it in this way.

This is one of the things I love about Drake. I’m challenged every day to take a new perspective, and to look at issues through a different lens. I get to think critically and to figure things out. I learn life lessons, such as how society works and how to communicate effectively when facing someone who is maybe a little different than you. One of the most memorable things I heard before coming here was at the new student home reception at the Maxwell’s. I told President Maxwell that I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do really and was having a hard time figuring out a major that I wanted. He then informed me that I wouldn’t be learning just one subject here at Drake- instead, I’d be learning how to think critically in all aspects of my life, and how to keep learning even after my four years here. This is an amazing place.


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