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These gendered halls (pt. 3): the male perspective sees social divides

Juniors+Charles+Gannon+and+sophomore+Aidan+Lanz+share+their+perspective+on+how+their+male+identity+has+played+a+role+in+shaping+their+social+lives.++%E2%80%9CI+think+we+have+a+pressure+to+spend+the+majority+of+time+with+people+of+the+same+gender%2C+so+I+feel+that+that+is+the+area+that+I+have+been+affected+the+most%2C%22+Lanz+said.
Juniors Charles Gannon and sophomore Aidan Lanz share their perspective on how their male identity has played a role in shaping their social lives.  “I think we have a pressure to spend the majority of time with people of the same gender, so I feel that that is the area that I have been affected the most,

Juniors Charles Gannon and sophomore Aidan Lanz share their perspective on how their male identity has played a role in shaping their social lives. “I think we have a pressure to spend the majority of time with people of the same gender, so I feel that that is the area that I have been affected the most," Lanz said.

Melissa Nie

Melissa Nie

Juniors Charles Gannon and sophomore Aidan Lanz share their perspective on how their male identity has played a role in shaping their social lives. “I think we have a pressure to spend the majority of time with people of the same gender, so I feel that that is the area that I have been affected the most," Lanz said.

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Traditional gender roles in many societies dictate that men hold more power over women. As such, men are given more privileges in terms of how they go about their day.

At St. Paul Academy and Summit School, according to a poll sent out to the student body, 55 percent of male-identifying respondents believe that gender impacts their daily life. This is much lower when compared to the 87 percent of female-identifying respondents who believe so.

Junior Charlie Gannon believes that gender roles impact the way people perform in terms of academics.

“A lot of guys are seen as jocks that are strong and sporty, and it’s like they don’t have to be good at academics,” Gannon said. “More of the time, female-identifying students are expected to be better at academics.”

Sophomore Aidan Lanz notes the degree of gender separation in academic life, which affects friendships and the overall community.

“I think that socially, we are fairly segregated by gender, which is especially apparent at lunch and sometimes in the library,” Lanz said. “Classes, while still spatially separated, I think are much more equal in terms of participation.”

We are fairly segregated by gender, which is especially apparent at lunch and sometimes in the library”

— Aidan Lanz

However, there are positive aspects when it comes to gender issues at SPA. Gannon believes that the community is “relatively accepting.”

“It’s obviously not perfect, and I know some people don’t understand or accept that sort of thing. A lot of the conversations I’ve heard about gender are really positive and progressive,” Gannon said.

But despite the general positivity, there are still some aspects about life at SPA that are not completely inclusive.

“My friend group is made up of both males and females, so I don’t think I experience much of a divide, except at class meetings and at lunch where I usually sit with other guys,” Lanz said. “I think we have a pressure to spend the majority of time with people of the same gender, so I feel that that is the area that I have been affected the most.”

To change gendered experiences for the better, Gannon thinks that education is crucial.

“We should try and explain it [so that] people who don’t really get being non-cisgender understand identifying differently on the gender spectrum, what that’s like, and how they can support people like that,” Gannon said.

Lanz believes that students should work to be more inclusive rather than having forced interactions.

“We shouldn’t have to have a mandatory ‘gender blender’ in order for us to sit with and interact with each other. I think that is SPA’s biggest problem with gender,” Lanz said.

This story is reprinted from The Rubicon Print edition: Feb. 5 2018.

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About the Contributor
Melissa Nie, Feature Editor

Melissa Nie is the Feature Editor at RubicOnline. This is her third year on staff. When she was little, she would constantly write short stories about dinosaurs and unicorns. This lifelong love for writing led her to become a journalist. In addition to Melissa’s role on the staff, she loves to draw, garden, and gush about her cat, Coffee. Melissa can be reached at rubicon.spa@gmail.com.

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