Intro to Women's Studies 2010

etsu: 2011-2014

The Social Construction of Gender by Judith Larber

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The main idea of this essay is that many people believe gender is something we are born with and that it is something in our DNA. We are born with the genitalia of a certain sex, but gender is something that is taught. Society organizes people into two categories. There is the traditionally more powerful gender; called male. Then there is the traditionally thought of as weaker gender known as female. If someone is a female they are automatically considered more feeble and the things they do are considered easier. By separating people into these two categories and thinking of them as almost two different species it is easier to think of them as dominant and submissive. By society telling us that we are male and female it is easier to lump all the bad traits in with whichever category they want.

I loved the idea of gender being forced upon us. It’s as if society saying, “Well, you happen to have a vagina, so you are weaker, don’t like sports, and love the color pink. This makes sense, right? You already know how to sew, right?” I like the way Judith Larber’s language about these assigned genders makes it clear that being forced into a category is not a good thing. She manages to sound unbiased, but still get her point across.

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