Summary: Many gender scholars gravitate towards the concept of gender practices because the explanatory model is so multifaceted. First, practicing gender captures how gender is something most men and women do regularly in their daily lives. However, the concept of gender practices also highlights how these ways of doing gender are socially structured or socially institutionalized because, somewhat like the rules of a sport, socially-shared normative guidelines set the parameters for how we practice gender. Lastly, most individuals become so well-practiced in their gender, it is done reflexively or without thinking, which explains how gender is ever-present and especially-salient in our lives (yet so regularly overlooked and seemingly inconsequential). However, what would happen if a man never learned his gender practices? In this clip from the movie In & Out, Kevin Kline uses a self-help audio book to help him learn to be masculine. It teaches him to more effectively monitor his gender practices—thus drawing on humor to illuminate the subtle ways gender dictates much of our daily behavior. Furthermore, because this example revolves around the interconnections between dancing and masculinity, the clip can spark discussion about manhood and ethnicity, especially since dancing is a gendered practice that exemplifies masculine athletic ability and prowess in many cultures.
Submitted By: Jason Eastman