Lesson 12.1 – What is Gender?

Since the Wal-Mart court case is based on the question of gender, we begin this module with an overview of the question of what is gender, and how it is related to questions of sexuality.

WATCH – Lesson 12.1 Intro Video

WATCH – Video 12.1 – “What is gender?

This brief video offers a basic overview of the concept of gender:

COMPLETE – Review Exercise 12.1

After watching Video 12.1, think about how you would answer the following questions:

  1. What is the difference between gender and sex?

2. Describe the difference between cisgender and transgender person

3. What is gender expression?

READ – Reading 12.1 – Gender and Sexuality, some basic concepts

Read and study the following PowerPoint presentation, which elaborates further on the question of gender and sexuality. It is important to have a clear working knowledge of these concepts, before we engage with the Wal-Mart Supreme Court Case, where gender played a key role:

COMPLETE – Review Exercise 12.2

Answer the following practice questions related to Reading 12.1

  1. What is gender and how is it different from sex?
  2. What is the difference between radical and radical feminism?

READ – Reading 12.2 – “Sex Class Action”

This article is the key part of this lesson. It describes what happened at Wal-Mart, a very serious problem, which reached the Supreme Court:


COMPLETE – Review Exercise 12.3

Practice answering the following questions as you read Reading 12.2. Answering these study questions will help you in writing your answer in the discussion forum (which will also be one of the questions on our second exam in December):

  1. What is this court case about? Who is suing, and for what reason?
  2. Detail some of the specific accusations against Wal-Mart.

WRITE – Discussion Board 12.1

Let’s head over to Discussion Board 12.1

WRITE – Module 12 Response Paper

The question for this response paper is a bit open-ended, asking you to think beyond the answers from our readings and videos in the module:

  1. Given that over one million women participated in the class-action lawsuit against Wal-Mart, how do explain the Supreme Court’s refusal to see gender as the basic factor in this case? What made them ignore this obvious fact?

You must log into your BMCC OpenLab account before you can upload a response paper.