The session on Gender, Feminism, and the UN, with Professor Sugata Moorti, was absolutely fascinating. Starting off with the session talking about how everyone identifies their gender was something I never personally think about. In addition, it was also an interesting discussion on products that cater to certain genders. I am aware that there are many online campaigns taking a stand against gendered products, especially when products for women are more expensive than products for men. Growing up, I never really had to think about my gender because my family did not really care what our sex or gender is. Each family member did his/her own thing. Growing up, my cousins and I played with toys typically associated with girls as well as toys typically associated with boys. In my family, everyone is treated equally. Everyone played sports and video games. For the girls in my family, we were never told we could not do things because we were girls or that it was not the “girly thing” to do. In addition, as young girls, we were encouraged to pursue our interests and dreams.  This class exercise and discussion reminded me that not everyone had the kind of upbringing I had. I also realized during this exercise/discussion that even within the Latino community my upbringing is surprising to many. Even though Latino communities are changing, these communities are moving slow like molasses. I hope that for the future of Latin America there will be a big push in gender equality.

The statement Professor Sujata Moorti said that “what one looks like on the outside does not necessarily reflect that individual on the inside” reminded me about how people have different identities. Our identities range from race, ethnicity, religion, political affiliations, education, sexuality, community identity, and more.  I normally do not think about it because I have been lucky enough to never have my sexuality questioned.  It was surprising to me when Sujata Moorti said that there are more than the traditional two sexes (female and male); that there are five sexes. There are also, if I quoted her correctly, 63 genders. I do not have words on what to say about this other than that this is incredible to know. I had no idea. In my family, everyone identifies by the standard sexes and standard genders. Like me, my family would be confused and curious to know more.

Since I have never studied feminism, learning about the history of feminism was interesting. I did not know about the 4 waves of feminism. The first wave of feminism occurred during the 19th century. The second wave of feminism occurred during the 20th century. The Third wave of feminism corned during the 1980s-2000s. The Fourth wave of feminism (if one believes that this is the fourth wave) is occurring right now. Lastly, it was also important to learn about women’s rights in terms of development. There are development programs that focus on women’s health, poverty, economic empowerment, and rights. In addition, the United Nations created the Millennium Development Goals to help tackle issues that affect disenfranchised communities.

Overall, Professor Sujata Moorti was incredible and her session was very informative.