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English Comp 2 - Does Gender Matter?

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John McClure III

English Comp II

Gender Identity


Does Gender Matter?

Gender is defined as the state of being male or females typically used with reference to social and cultural differences rather than biological ones.  The “differences between sex and gender is simple.”(Knowles) Sex refers to biological differences; chromosomes, hormonal profiles, internal and external sex organs. When dealing with gender society looks at masculinity and femininity. With this being said I believe gender matters in society.

Gender first matters as a topic. We need to know about wage differentials, the ways people interpret they’re roles in gender terms and as a category.  Also it matters as a perspective from the way people view gender all over the world. Every society gender matters in who gets what and who does what as well.  It’s showed how women and men are supposed to think and act. Gender has changed too much that many people think we don’t need to study it anymore and that is completely the opposite.  Gender is a structural device in society.  It separates people in terms of power, and access to knowledge.

While in American we aren’t perfect but we have developed enough not to make it impossible for different gendered to get a job.   In the United States, “individuals must negotiate their gender identity within the rigid confines of binary conceptions of gender. Expectations dictate that gender identity should reflect the societal gender norms associated with the sex THE TRANSGENDER EXPERIENCE / 129 assigned at birth. Those who deviate from these conceptions are confronted by “authorities of delimitation” associated with social milieus including the workplace”. (Dietert)   It’s said that transgendered people are 4x more likely to not get employed than anyone else. I believe this is true because I witnessed this happen. This summer while working at restaurant in Brentwood a transgendered who’ve I’ve known for many years through the family walks in looking for a job. I was surprised to see him walk in and when I he passed me and we talk momentarily I pointed him towards our management. A couple employees rudely came over and who and what that person was. I was completely thrown off on how unaware they were but even more thrown off on how rude they were about the situation. After he left I went over to talk to my boss about if he was going to hire him as he replied with a “HELL NO.” That was all I needed to hear.  We must first educate ourselves then educate our families if we want to progress as a society.

In Why Boys Don’t Play with Dolls by Katha Pollit they touch on gendering communication in the family.  I agree that “families are the primary influences on gender identity.”(Pollit)  One thing that really stood out to me was how a person’s core gender identity is shaped in early years of life.  Parents have a huge influence and should be there for their children in every step of the way. We in in a society where gender does matter and how someone views your child can in a sense control their lives. As parents knowing in the first step, then understanding, then helping.  It thinks it’s better for parent to deal with situations now vs back in the day when society wasn’t anywhere near ready to accept so many gender identities as they are today.  I learned that gender socialization is more rigid for boys than for girls. Before taking this course if you asked me what was the difference between sex and gender I would’ve had such a understanding as I do now.  My views on if gender matter would’ve focused more on the biological side vs. the masculine and feminine aspect.

Socially growing up being around my father before he passed was all about being “traditionally masculine.”(Katz) Just like stated in How Boys Become Men I was taught by my father to be self-reliant, protect my sisters, don’t be a female, and be aggressive and to embody and transcend traditional view of masculinity.  I hated it. Boys “live in a world with its own Code of Conduct, a set of values of ruthless, unspoken, and unyielding rules.” (Katz) For the longest time I never wanted to be around my father because he was molding me to becoming a man and all I wanted to do was play around and be a child. At the time I didn’t understand the importance of those characteristics at all. I thought we all were equal as I would wonder why I had to play the roles of taking out the trash and doing manly things. I indeed was “rewarded for these things.”(Katz) While watching my sisters do more of the cleaning work I didn’t notice that we were getting raised from the traditionally this is what men do and this is what women do perspective.  With this being said its interesting knowing that different households practice different ways of bringing up their children. My whole view on it is why would one raise their child the same way they were raised if they didn’t turn out successful? Why not raise your child to becoming the most socially accepted way possible since nonverbal communication is such a high percentage in communication today? I believe people are scared when it comes to gender and them not understanding, so a lack of knowledge can lead to your child not getting a job that they really wanted, leading to health problems than can change their lives…. All because your parenting didn’t prepare them for a society that’s not yet educated on the complexity of what we created known as gender.  



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