Gender In Society Essay

3436 words - 14 pages

Gender in Society "...everyone "does gender without thinking about it" (Judith Lorber, "Paradoxes of Gender, p.13). When I was young I did not think about my gender role. I did not think about the day to day events in my life that effected my gender. When I look back I can find so many instances of gender in my life. So, I am taking one of the smallest instances because of the many ways it relates to not only gender building, but maintaining. As a child I remember very cold winters in Omaha. My sister and I loved to play outside in the snow. So, my parents bought us matching snowsuits. They were pink with lavender trim. My friend, Charlie, who lived up the street, had a snowsuit too. His was black and red with a logo of a racecar on the back. As a child I never thought of the implications of my snowsuit. It was functional and I suppose I thought the color pink was pretty at the time. My room was pink, my bike was pink, and Barbie's corvette was pink. Why should it be any other way? As I look back at the photographs of the three of us playing as children I see what implications the pink snowsuit had on my gender. Not only that but how we played together. All of us had hoods on our snowsuits to cover our ears. With out the difference in the pink and black snowsuits you may have not been able to tell who the boy was and who the two girls were. My long blonde hair was pulled back under the hood and all of us had childlike chubby faces with big smiles. Charlie was always building big, macho, snow forts and my sister and I were making snow angels. The snow angels were pretty and soft, like the pink snowsuits. The snow fort was supposed to be tough, a boy thing. We could all play together, but even by age four, Charlie knew that making snow angels were not a tough thing to do so he refused. He was going to make the fort to protect my sister and I. He was going to build something better and bigger. According to Lorber, social statuses, such as gender, must be constructed through teaching, learning, and enforcement. "Gender is thus both ascribed and achieved (West and Zimmerman 1987). So how is it that by age four, that we were constructed to know so much about what was supposedly masculine and what was supposedly feminine? There are different theories about how children are gendered. "Most parents create a gendered world for their newborn by naming, birth announcements, and dress" (Lorber, p.25). Lorber believes that children are gendered from birth. This is easy to do in our social institution. Gender statuses are made very important in American society. The way people behave and act reflects not only upon the individual, but their families as well. Parents tend to want their new born baby girls to be described as delicate and beautiful. On the other hand, boys should be described as strong, handsome, and alert. Gendering starts even before a baby is born with the decorating of a room in light colors such a pink, blue and yellow. Gendering does not end...

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