Dr. Michael Kimmel speaks on gender at Humber

Jan 28, 2013 | News


Dr. Michael Kimmel poses with his recent book for men. COURTESY STEPHAN ROHL

Dr. Michael Kimmel poses with his recent book for men. CC COURTESY STEPHAN ROHL

By Shazia Islam

A renowned professor of sociology said men and women are not that different and therefore, do not come from either Mars or Venus.

Dr. Michael Kimmel will be speaking at Humber North on Wednesday, Jan. 30 as a guest of the President’s Lecture Series.

Kimmel has written several books on gender including the popular Manhood in America: A Cultural History, as well as The Guys Guide to Feminism with Michael Kaufmann.

Kimmel challenges the notion that people can be sorted into two distinct and limiting genders.

“We like to believe that the entire world is sorted into discrete categories, male and female. This is what is known, in academic circles as ‘the binary’, the assertion of categorical difference. All biological creatures can be sorted into one or the other category, with no overlap,” said Kimmel, in an article that appeared in the Huffington Post.

Kimmel said sex and gender are determined by social constructs regardless of biological make-up, so naming chromosomes as either male or female already creates a classification that is a socio-cultural definition.

“Our gender identity is a product of a social performance: we perform for an audience, and they decide whether we have offered a credible performance by treating us in a manner that we assume is appropriate to that gender,” said Kimmel in the same article.

Kimmel said men should also take courses on gender in college and university programs, which usually attracts a majority of women.

On Wednesday, Humber students and faculty might discover that everyone’s actually from the same planet.