Programs & Events

Trading Laces


Gender is a word used to refer to either a person’s biological sex, or how a person identifies along a spectrum of socially determined characteristics that range from masculine to feminine, including the less binary genderqueer identity. It is important to remember that society often determines normative gender roles for women and men, so what is considered “masculine” and “feminine” will shift over time, and sometimes be different between separate cultural groups. Furthermore, some people are transgender and their biological sex might not match their gender identity. It is best not to assume another person’s gender identity, and to realize that all individuals will experience and express their gender identity in different ways.

Go Solo or Social

You can participate in and reflect on any of the following solo activities whenever you want, wherever you want. The social activities are highlighted events occurring all over campus that you can either go to with friends or go to alone and make new friends once you are there.

Go Solo

  • True Beauty?

    Advertisements are meant to sell us something, sometimes an object and sometimes a dream or lifestyle. Academics and feminists have been questioning the messaging that women receive through advertising images for many years, but advertisements have not changed much. Some companies have sought to educate the public about how pictures can be digitally altered. Watch as a professional photographer goes through the alteration process and discusses how common such “touch-ups” are within the entertainment industry.  These unrealistic body images are not only affecting women, male models are also transformed for advertisements.

    Reflection Questions:

    Have you ever compared yourself to the women or men who appear in advertisements or on magazine covers? How did it make you feel? Were you aware of how common digital manipulation of images are? What is your reaction to this trend in advertising? Do you think it is right for advertisers to perform such significant alterations to human photographs without any disclaimer or notice that the image has been changed? How do you think these images can impact the gender identity of men and women? Do you think men and women are impacted equally? Why or why not? What impact might these images have on someone with an alternative gender identity?

  • Why Have a Gender-Neutral Restroom?

    Transgender individuals are those who consistently cross prevailing social sex/gender-role boundaries, through any combination of: personal appearance, behavior, or anatomy. Some transgender individuals choose to dress and present themselves differently than typical gender-roles would dictate. Some transgender individuals also undergo surgery or use hormone therapy to make their external appearance match their internal sense of self.

    One persistent and insidious problem identified by transgender individuals is the scarcity of gender-neutral restrooms in public places, including on university campuses. Being forced to choose between a “male” or “female” restroom can be a stressful experience to individuals who do not fall clearly into either of those binary categories. 

    Reflection Questions:

    How many gender-neutral restrooms do you regularly have access to? Look in public and private spaces that you routinely visit over the course of a week: do any of them have a gender neutral restroom? Are such facilities more common in newer or older buildings?

    This sign is hanging outside of a restroom at the Parsons School of design in New York. The all gender restroom is a single multi-stalled restroom for people of all genders. How would you feel about encountering or using this type of restroom?

Go Social

Don't forget to reflect on your Go Social experiences on the Trading Laces blog. Some questions you might consider include: Why did you choose this event? How did you feel during and after the event? What surprised you about your experience? Did the event have an impact on your outlook or opinions? How does this event relate to your life?

  • September 25: The Politics of Gender and Sexuality-A Horizons of Knowledge Lecture

    Date: September 25
    Time: 4-6pm
    Venue: IMU University Club

    Speakers include:

    Dr. Katie L. Acosta (Georgia State Univiersity) – Lesbian, Bisexual and Queer Latinas Doing Family and Negotiating

    Dr. Lorena Garcia (University of Illinois at Chicago) – Talking About It: Latina Youth and Safe Sex

    Dr. Susana Peña (Bowling Green State University) – Lessons from Oye Loca: From the Mariel Boatlift to Gay Cuban Miami

    Co-Sponsored By: The American Studies Department, the Sociology Department, & the Center for Research on Race and Ethnicity in Society

  • Previous Go Social Events

    March 7, 2014 This Talk is Not Called "Beyond the Veil"
    Sponsored by:  Muslim Student Union, RPS CommUNITY Education Program, and the Office of First Year Experience Programs

    February 26, 2014 Screening and Discussion of The Bro Code
    Sponsored by:  RAISE  (Raising Awareness of Interactions in Sexual Encounters)

    March 1, 2013 Prof. Amanda Miller, "Great Expectations? Cohabitors' Preferred and Actual Divisions of Housework."
    Presented by the Department of Sociology.

    March 21, 2013 Breaking the Gender Dichotomy: Why Two Are Definitely Not Enough, Presentation by Kand McQueen
    Presented by the Department of Gender Studies.

    March 30, 2013 Masculinity/Femininity

    April 12, IU Women's and Gender Studies Undergraduate Research Conference
    Presented by the Department of Gender Studies.

    April 15, 2013 What is Healthy Masculinity? A Dinner and Discussion
    Presented by COMU, RPS CommUNITY Educators, and FYE.

    April 20, 2013 Changing the Workplace to Improve the Work-Family Interface? Evidence from the Work, Family and Health Study in an Information Technology (IT) Workplace
    Presented by the Department of Sociology.

    April 25-27, 2013 Reality Gendervision Comference
    Details at: Reality Gendervision Conference