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Talk about someone you know who has experienced gender discrimination. Discuss what happened and why you think it happened. If the same situation were to arise again, would you handle it differently, and why? If you would handle things differently, what has changed—your confidence, society, your support system, etc.? Finally, how might "social courage" play a part in a do-over of this situation?

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Lynnette Wofford eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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This assignment is asking a student for a personal response to a situation. There is no right or wrong answer—rather, it asks a student to reflect on real situations and to think through your own reactions to them and how you might, as an individual, behave. It is an opportunity for self-reflection.

One area that might offer possible themes for such an assignment is careers. Even if you have not experienced gender discrimination, you might talk with older members of your family, such as your grandparents and ask if gender expectation influenced their choices. For example, you might have a grandmother who wanted to be a doctor but settled for nursing school instead or a grandfather who would have preferred to be a stay-at-home dad but felt obliged to be a "breadwinner."

You then might think through ways in which gendered expectations influence your own decisions about your career and then reflect on how to make choices based on your actual talents and desires rather than gender expectations. For example, more men are now considering professions such as nursing or primary school teaching while women are having success in trades such as plumbing or areas such as engineering.

Another possible area which you could investigate would be sports. You could think about ways in which your school discriminates by gender in sports. You could recount some examples of how students have just accepted such expectations and how you might do something differently, such as trying out as a cheerleader as a man or for the football team as a woman. You might also think about how you could personally support people you know who are trying to break such barriers.

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