Social diversity: beyond M and F, the evolving genre

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PLEASE NOTE: This guide was originally written in French. If you are using the English version of our site, you will see an automatic translation. You can change the language from the menu in the site header or see our English language guides here.

Gone is the duality "man or woman". Nova Scotians, like many other Canadians, should soon be able to have an "X" designation instead of "male" or "female" on their birth certificates.

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Gone is the duality "man or woman". Nova Scotians, like many other Canadians, should soon be able to have an “X” designation instead of “male” or “female” on their birth certificates.

“Nova Scotians who wish will be able to have the designation 'X' rather than 'male' or 'female' written on their birth certificate.

This measure is part of a package of proposed changes to the Vital Statistics Act in Nova Scotia to relax the definition of gender.

Already, Alberta, Ontario, Newfoundland and Labrador, the Northwest Territories and the Yukon allow the "X" as the sex on a birth certificate. "

Source: Radio-Canada, September 19, 2018

“People who are part of sexual minorities have a sexual orientation or a gender identity that does not correspond to the expectations of the society, that is to say to heterosexual norms. […] In a society where sexual and gender diversity is fully recognized, all people feel free to display so-called “feminine” and “masculine” characteristics. This society places equal importance and value on these characteristics, whether they are adopted by women or men. "

Source: Well-being @ school

Challenge

Do you know the difference between identity and sexual orientation? To help you define these concepts and differentiate them, watch this video capsule of "On SEXiquer ça". You can then write your thoughts on your blog.


 

SUGGESTED ACTIVITIES

Disciplines and levels targeted

  • Ethics and Religious Culture

- Cycle 1: Social order / The transformation of values and norms
- Cycle 2: Existential questions / The nature of the human being

  • Sexuality education

- Grade 6: Identity, Roles, Gender Stereotypes and Social Norms / Respect for Sexual Diversity and Rights
- Grade 3: Identity, Roles, Gender Stereotypes and Social Norms / ' Critical reflection on representations of sexuality in public space

  • History and citizenship education

- Secondary Cycle 2, Year 1: Issues in Quebec Society Since 1980 / Public Space / A Society Based on Law
- Cycle 2, Year 2: A Present Day Issue / Society / Diversity
The recognition of freedoms and civil rights / Liberty / Rights

Targeted dimensions of digital competence

  • Producing content with digital
  • Developing and mobilizing information literacy
  • Harnessing the potential of digital technology for learning
  • Collaborate with digital

Suggested digital tools

  • Alloprof
  • Google Doc or Microsoft Word
  • Popplet
  • RWT Timeline
  • Google sheets

Educational intention of the guide

The following activities will allow students to reflect on the diversity that characterizes gender identity.

Objectives of the activities

  • Define sexual orientation and gender identity.
  • Make connections between gender identity, discrimination and human rights.
  • Based on a reading, identify advantages and disadvantages regarding an accommodation measure.
  • Make a timeline to contextualize important dates related to social change in relation to gender identity.

ACTIVITY 1: Civil rights and gender expression

This Alloprof information sheet defines various concepts related to civil rights and traces the major dates in the history that led to the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

First suggest that your students read this sheet. What concept do they understand to be involved in this change in Nova Scotia law in favor of a gender-neutral name? Why? (Note: The answer to explore is the concept of discrimination.)

For more and more people, the designation male or female is no longer suitable. The evolution of mentalities and the recognition of human rights in many societies make it possible to express their personal identity differently. There is also a gender identity lexicon proposed by the Quebec Gay Chamber of Commerce, Concordia University's Centre Against Gender Oppression and the LGNTQA Community and also a document entitled " The words of diversity related to sex, gender and sexual orientation », Which explain the different nuances of gender identity and expression.

Suggest that the students discover these documents in order to realize why several people are not found in the single denomination male or female.

Then, using a web search, invite them to find definitions for the following words:

  • Gender identity
  • Gender expression
  • Gender diversity
  • Lived gender identity
  • Inclusion

Strategy : If needed, remind them that they can use quotes to search for an exact phrase in a search engine like Google.

ACTIVITY 2: Advantages and disadvantages of the "X"

here is a ClickJustice record which speaks of identity documents in Canada in connection with the mention of gender. Suggest that students read it carefully and identify the pros and cons of changing the traditional male-female binary designation on identity documents.

They can record them in a table created in their favorite text application (ex: Google Doc), or go there with a creative option like concept map software (ex: Popplet), diagram or drawing.

Possible answers:

Benefits :

  • Allows respect for non-traditional conceptions of identity.
  • Helps comply with federal, provincial and territorial human rights laws.

Disadvantages:

  • To travel: in some countries, transgenderism is illegal.
  • An X rather than M or F may prompt questions.

ACTIVITY 3: It's not yesterday that we questioned genres

"ALTHOUGH THE VOCABULARY OF GENDER IDENTITY IS CONTEMPORARY, PEOPLE WHO CHALLENGE STEREOTYPICAL GENDER CATEGORIES HAVE EXISTED FOR MUCH OF HUMAN HISTORY. [...]

TWO-SPIRITED" FIRST NATIONS PEOPLE ARE "ALTERSEXUAL" ABORIGINAL PEOPLE IN THAT THEY ARE ABLE TO MOVE BETWEEN TRADITIONAL GENDER CATEGORIES AND EXPRESS BOTH GENDERS. THESE PEOPLE ARE RECOGNIZED AS "THIRD GENDER" AND ARE HONOURED AND RESPECTED AS HEALERS, WHO ARE CALLED UPON FOR GUIDANCE AND SUPPORT.

Source: Gender identity at school, p. 2

Invite your students to create a timeline from different readings and research on the concepts of gender diversity and the fight against homophobia. There are several recent historical references in this document relating 375 years of LGBTQ history.

Take a few minutes after explaining the activity to question the students on what it would be interesting to find in the final production. (Ex .: significant advances in Canada, Quebec, elsewhere in the world; the entry into force of legal documents constituting victories over certain claims, etc.)

Then, the students will work in teams to identify 3 to 5 major dates relevant to the subject and to arrange them on a timeline. To do this, they will need to:

  1. Establish the duration that will be represented in the timeline.
  2. Establish the unit of measure.
  3. Identify 3 to 5 dates relevant to the topic.
  4. Find a short title to identify each.
  5. Summarize what happened.
  6. Put everything in the timeline.

To build the timeline, students could use sheets of paper or use a digital app such as RWT Timeline Or just Google sheets.

Subsequently, it would be interesting to pool the final productions and create a super-timeline gathering all the dates identified by the teams.

At the end of the activity, reflect back as a whole class. What do students notice when viewing the collective timeline?

In their opinion, is the situation the same in other countries?

FOR FURTHER

Do you know the " Genderbread Person "? This illustration shows all the subtlety of gender identity. Show it to the students and have them write a blog post about what this image means to them.

L’attribut alt de cette image est vide, son nom de fichier est genderbread-113x150.jpg.

If you prefer not to include English in this activity, there is a very interesting version in French by Click Justice here.

TO KNOW MORE

Gender-neutral birth certificates: what about in Canada?
Radio-Canada, July 13, 2017

NS: a gender "X" on birth certificates
Journal Métro, September 19, 2019

Birth certificates: Saskatchewan will allow gender removal
LaPresse, May 25, 2018

Non-binary birth certificates in Ontario
News, May 7, 2018

Almost 40 years old and yet… 2018 overview of issues related to sexual and gender diversity
Monréal Pride Festival press release, 1er august 2018

"F", "M", "X": Gender and identity documents in Canada
ClickJustice.ca, a site of the Association of French-speaking jurists of Ontario

SCOOP! this is...
 

Designed to fill short periods or inspire larger projects, the activities offered in the SCOOP! allow the teacher to approach the subject matter in the program in addition to developing the information literacy and digital skills of the students.

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