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Gender

Essay by 24  •  November 12, 2010  •  1,106 Words (5 Pages)  •  588 Views

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GENDER

When I started to think about this assignment I thought about talking about race and its inequalities and all of the problems that are associated with that word. I thought that it would be the easiest and most apparent construction in everyday life. However, once I started to observe others and pay more attention to my own life and what I just usually consider to be "normal", I changed my mind. I decided that gender constructions were where I wanted to focus my attention. It was important to me especially being a woman and knowing that in our society today that means that you have a pretty big disadvantage.

I noticed this gender construction more in my own life then I observed it in public. However, I know that I am not one of few with these same problems, but one of many that most likely have shared in my experience. I first observed, or should I say experienced this while I was talking to my mom. I was sitting at home on the couch talking about life and telling her about school. We got on the topic of my boyfriend and I started to vent to her about a recent argument that him and I had. My boyfriend and I were arguing about him taking care of me when I have my wisdom teeth out in a week. I am having my teeth taken out in my home town so he would have to travel there with me. I was telling my mom how he said he didn't want to have to come with me because he thought I would sleep the whole time and I wouldn't want him there afterwards anyway. My mom sat there and nodded and got this smile on her face. She continued to explain to me that she was not surprised that he did not want to help me or take care of me. She told me that it just wasn't in a man's nature to be nurturing or to want to take care of others. She said, and I quote "that's a woman's job". I started to laugh and then I got really upset. I started to explain to her what we talk about in class about how there is no difference biologically in us to make one more nurturing than the other. I continued to get more annoyed when her response was "that's just the way things are". I started to think abut how society has constructed it to be this way. I was thinking about how some men may like to take care of others but other men (the macho ones), would look down on that and think those men were weak or women like. The funniest thing about that is that I would rather have a man who is willing to take care of me when I am sick. I think that that is much more attractive, yet men in general think that makes them a "sissy".

I believe that this happens a lot all over the world. Maybe people do not have this exact situation but people do experience the same gender construction. Anytime someone says "that's just the way things are" or "that's a man's job" we as a society are enforcing the gender construction that we should be trying to work against. The book talks about gender as a social institution, where we create social statuses so we can assign roles and responsibilities to them. We have done this throughout history and it has lead to a problem. Men and women are no different when it comes to behavior. We were constructed since birth to have the beliefs we have and act the way we act (Ore, 2006, p.114).

Another example I experienced and observed. I was talking to an old professor of mine who happens to be my previous soccer coach. I started to describe to him what I was taking

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