Deconstructing Dichotomies: Tracking the Spatial Change of Gendered Geographies at Santa Clara University

Gendered spaces are geographies in which gender relations are constucted and conceptualized. According to Daphne Spain, author of Gender Spaces, gendered spaces are spatial arrangements that may enforce/ reinforce certain status discrepancies between men and women. These locations often separate women from knowledge used by men to produce and reproduce power and privilege. 

The spaces I highlight are located on and around the Santa Clara University campus, from 1961, when women were first admitted as undergraduate students at SCU, to the present. These gendered geographies are not meant to be viewed as fixed and permanent. Rather, my research hopes to illustrate how spaces, both physical and theoretical, are malleable and can be contested and challenged, in hopes of deconstructing dichotomies in the form of spaces for men or women. 

After analyzing these places, which I have broken down into dorms, classrooms, and extracurricular spaces, I hope to show how what spaces once upheld gender binaries were over time deconstructed to be locations where feminist discourse and intonations of gender equality began to emerge, emphasizing the malleability of gendered spaces.