Rethinking stereotypes: Unlearning biological stories

This lesson is the jumping off point for the course, it helps us un-learn some of the deepest messages we've internalized. It can help us question some basic, deep assumptions of how we think the world works. I'm hoping that by questioning what you always thought was obvious, you'll be able to make space for new ideas.

Preparation Materials

These are the preparation materials, which would traditionally be the more passive, lecture component of the class. These are the materials that my students work with before we get together in class.

Rethinking Prep materials.docx

This video shows one of my favorite teaching activities. It's one of the first things we do in the term because it sets the tone for the whole class. We often refer back to "which side of the board are you on for this one?"

I begin by apologizing for the binary language, explaining the oversimplification, and putting the complexity back in later. This is adapted from Jackson's Katz's activity in "The macho paradox".


This worksheet is what we would be doing in a 2-hour class period, where we have a chance to work together. This time is especially valuable because you can really apply the concepts you learned, while getting perspective and support from other folks. . The worksheet represents 2 hours of work in groups of 3.

This link will take you to a .doc file, for easier editing

Rethinking worsheet.pdf

This visualization exercise helps us question the biological ways we've been justifying sexism.

This link will take you to a .doc file, for easier editing

world upside down - visualization.pdf

Summary video

This is a summary video I made for my online students. It might give you a sense of some of the ideas from the worksheet and an overall view of the ideas from that lesson.

Extra materials

Here are some great things that I couldn't include in the lesson, if you're interested, keep looking!

Rethinking Extra materials.docx

For this particular lesson I happen to have a full video of the class. It's a bit condensed, I usually prefer to break the "me" time with discussion time.