Blog 4: International Women’s Week

The event that I attended for the international Women’s week was the “Sex, Lies, and Evolution: Debunking the “Human Nature” by an anthropology teacher at Vanier College, Jacky Vallée.  

The presentation given by Vallée was concerning the misconceptions of men’s and women’s evolution and their roles created by society. He describes that these are just”stories” that humans have created for over the years to give each gender their role. Some of those stories are stories that had been passed for over years and we have heard them ever since we were kids but never actually thought about it enough to know that maybe they are incorrect. What Jacky Vallée tried to debunk is that behind those stories, there are other answers and with the help of anthropology, there is proof that the answer might differ and it is not always men the more dominant ones. Vallée had had also explained that is anthropology that allows explaining the opposite of what people have been claiming for too many years as “normal”. He had used the anthropological perspective to help explain to us that these gender roles aren’t based on human nature and they are just created this way by society.

He also explained the misconceptions that we have in our society when it comes to gender roles. For example, men were always portrayed as the ones who were creating tools, hunting for food, making fire, etc. While, women were portrayed as housewives, taking care of the children or doing light work such as picking berries and fruits, cleaning, etc. Which is, in fact, a misconception. Through the anthropological perspective, Vallé tried to debunk these ideologies through stories and making us understand that men aren’t, in fact, the more dominant ones, they are just portrayed as so by our society.  

Sadly, we still are in a “men dominating” society and gender roles are still present in our society. At the end of the presentation Vallé, asked the audience to raise their hands if their mothers are still the ones cleaning,cooking food for the family, doing the chores and as result, almost everyone raised their hands. He also gave the example of the human evolution picture that goes from an ape to a man which shows that when we think about humans, we directly think about men. And that is how from a random picture we get stories and call them “human nature”, which makes you realize how imprinted this ideology where men are “more superior” to women is, even to this day. I could tell that I was not the only one who was surprised by those facts and who left the auditorium and started questioning everything again.   

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