‘Evolution of a Society’ to address gender issues

By: Laney Gibson – Chief A&E Writer

Thank goodness for free events and ArtStreet, so that speakers and expositions are easily available for our enlightenment. For the struggling college student at University of Dayton, any event that doesn’t require some form of monetary exchange is beautiful.

ArtStreet’s latest event “Evolution of A Society- (Homo)Phobia, (Homo)Sexual, (Homo)Sapiens” debuts today, Thursday, Feb. 27, at 5 p.m. in ArtStreet Studio B. The event focuses on the popular and well-debated topics of gender roles and sexual identity. Our society has molded everyone into distinct camps of gender and sexuality. The event challenges how we define gender differences.

Understanding the societal structures that produce such distinctions between genders is important, and the event attempts to unmask the root of the issues, rather than the symptoms we see.

Society has built gender into a giant monster of an issue, leaving anyone who does not fit, voiceless. This exploration is necessary for the future and how we can begin to change our society into one that is more accepting. Those marginalized deserve a voice, and through cinema and other forms of artistic expression, the hypocrisy in society has been challenged.

“Evolution of A Society- (Homo)Phobia, (Homo)Sexual, (Homo)Sapiens” will screen a film of this caliber, “Bent.”

“Bent” is a 1997 movie that takes place during the Holocaust. The story follows a gay man named Max (Clive Owen) who is taken to a prison camp where he falls in love with another inmate. The film shows the persecution of homosexuals during the Holocaust and the implications of sexual orientation and prejudice. For those wary of this film, fear not – rottentomatoes.com says it deserves the rarity of a ripe tomato, signifying its success.

For college students, gender issues are present each day, from the classroom to the work force they will soon enter. The media highlights and even celebrates gender differences, evident in this 20-something obsessed culture. There is no way to escape the rigid gender norms that, although evolved, are still an invisible barrier for many. The popular list craze on websites like Buzzfeed and EliteDaily usually categorizes their articles as either male or female, leaving no room for gender-neutral discussion. According to the Internet, there are distinct gender differences for life experience and advice and there is no room for anything else. “Evolution of A Society- (Homo)Phobia, (Homo)Sexual, (Homo)Sapiens” challenges these gender constructions, giving students a chance to also participate in discussion.

The event promises an interesting and relevant discussion topic, which should spark conversation among college students. In addition to the event being the lovely price of zero dollars, there are very few reasons not to head down to ArtStreet today to experience a new view on gender and sexual orientation issues – and watch a new flick.

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