Donica O’Malley Gives Lecture on “Gingers” and GenderOctober 6, 2016 -
Donica O’Malley will be giving a presentation in room 402 Cathedral of Learning, from 4:00-5:30pm on Thursday October 6. She will discuss her recent research conducted in Portland, Oregon, on “gingers” and gender construction. The talk is titled, “‘You Just Can't Do the Macho Thing’: Discussions of Gender and Sexuality from Ginger Oral Histories.” The research, which was funded by the Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies program, was undertaken last May at the annual “Redhead Event” or “Skin Cancer Event,” sponsored in part by the Oregon Health and Science University in conjunction with their melanoma education, awareness, and prevention objectives. Donica interviewed over 20 redheads with the goal in mind of better understanding popular attitudes and cultural constructions regarding red haired people and gender. For more on the event and an image of Donica interviewing there see
Donica’s presentation will consider stereotypes that have developed over the last decade, concerning men who are “gingers” (or have red hair, light skin, and freckles). These stereotypes label them as effeminate, weak, and sexually undesirable, while stereotypes about redheaded women subject them to a beautiful/ugly dichotomy. Based on material from her oral history interviews, Donica will discuss how people who have been labeled as gingers understand their own gender and sexuality both within and outside of these stereotypes. These oral histories are part of Donica’s larger dissertation project (advised by Prof. Ronald J. Zboray) that considers how the ginger has been created as “different” through online discourses of gender, science, and whiteness.
For more information on the presentation see
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