Intro to Women's Studies 2010

etsu: 2011-2014

The Social Construction of Gender by Judith Lorber

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Lorber explains that gender begins instantly at birth. For example, we are classified as male or female the day we are born by the names we are given like “Mary” or  “John”, and dressed to represent our sex in either blue or pink. Since our first moments on the planet, we are socially categorized by our sexes. What outfits, colors, and patterns we wear, games we play, roles and jobs we take as adults and parents. She uses the example that it is socially uncommon to see fathers out in public pushing strollers, or the baby girl in the stroller to wear a navy blue Yankee outfit. These instances are occurring, and because of this society either raises an eyebrow or applauds this happening.

I have to agree with Lorber, whether it is right or not to assign gender roles so soon, it happens. We continue to do this over and over without even realizing it because it is all we know to do. Parents who name their children “Taylor” or “Jordan” and dress their babies in green and yellow, and fathers who push the strollers are actually very interesting. I wish we could see more of this so the next generations children could decide for themselves whether they want to wear pink or blue, do ballet or basketball, or even both!

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