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The Gender Game
Santa Fe, New Mexico is Hotbed for Gender Talk
There is little doubt Santa Fe, New Mexico is a hotbed for creative minds and cultural thinkers who push the limits of our physical and metaphysical understandings. So it’s not surprising that it will be home to one of the most engaging conversations of the year, Sex/Gender Differences: The Big Conversation on September 30th and October 1st at the Eldorado Hotel and Spa and sponsored by the Santa Fe Boys Educational Foundation.
The event is a regular who’s who of international experts on the “origins, mechanisms, and meaning of sex-gender differences.” The speakers, and those attending, are coming with varying perspectives in a contemporary world that is exploring the notions of sex and gender in ways we’ve never seen. On some level, it feels like it will be a civil conversation between characters from Willa Cather and Cormac McCarthy, both who spent time and lived in Santa Fe. If they were alive, I think they would find this conversation sensational.
“Your heart's desire is to be told some mystery. The mystery is that there is no mystery,” says the Judge in Blood Meridian, as “he rose and moved into the darkness away from the fire” (Cormac McCarthy). The judge says this while holding the femur of some “beast long extinct.” One can’t help but think the judge is giving a nod-and-a-wink, knowing full well the certain-ness of man’s nature and the mystery of his being.
″‘Oh, better I like to work out-of-doors than in a house!’ she used to sing joyfully. ‘I not care that your grandmother say it makes me like a man. I like to be like a man,’ says Ántonia. ‘She would toss her head and ask me to feel the muscles swell in her brown arm.’” (Willa Cather, from My Ántonia). To Ántonia and many of the characters in the work, gender roles and the nature of sex are reversed, challenged, and questioned.
To some, science is reinforcing our understandings of sex-based differences that affirm the binary and add clarity to the existence and notions of sex and gender. To others, science is pointing to something other than the binary model and asserting that sex and gender is more of a social construct.
Whatever one’s position, these ideas are being employed as actual practices in homes, classrooms, workplaces, and various institutions in the U.S. and many parts of the world, shaping national and international policies regarding sex-gender differences, similarities, and the representation of it all in society.
The leading scholars [see bios] participating in this event will bring an understanding to multiple and interrelated topics that will further this debate. They will influence policymakers, educators, and the research and educational institutions that enact the policies that affect the lives of children, teens, young adults, and adults. It’s the reason this conversation is so crucial.
The list below includes the wide range of topics and issues that will be discussed in this very special event.
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