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Final Essay

1047 words - 5 pages

Final Essay
We live in a world that runs off the idea of gender constructions. Every aspect of our lives is affected in some way by the roles society believes that a certain sex should behave. Growing up, I did not fit into the “normal” gender categories that women are believed they should be in. I did not realize that many of the things I did and the ways I dressed were not associated with the “feminine” gender of a young girl. Ever since I can remember I have been a tomboy, who loved sports and dirt bikes a lot more than barbies and princesses, but at such a young age it seemed normal to me. The older I grew the more I realized that these things were not what the majority of young girls liked, and that was when I first began to learn the differences between the gender constructions for both men and women.
It is safe to say that I spent the majority of my childhood with my father, he was and still is my best friend. He played a key role in shaping who I am today, which is directly why I am not the typical “girly girl” that our culture believes girls should be. I spent my weekends in a male-dominant environment, usually at dirt bike events or riding in the mountains. The amount of girls there was always slim, so I learned to act more like a boy would than a girl. Contrary to the gentle, feeble characteristics that girls are supposed to possess, I was the complete opposite. Valenti states that, “Femininity is weak, vulnerable and artificial” (64). In these regards I could not be categorized as feminine. I loved playing with the boys in the mud and I was nearly fearless as a child. Usually as Valenti says, “Little girls are always attracted to strong women and girl characters,” (174). In my case, I never once wanted to play with barbies or anything girly for that matter. Instead my favorite toys were motorcycle parts, Tonka Trucks, and the little NASCAR cars that came with orange tracks.
Typically, when girls are young they want to be princesses or other very feminine professions when they grow up, which was the opposite of me. The first thing I ever wanted to grow up to be was a NASCAR driver, and then a construction worker. It was not until much later in life that I realized that society did not approve or support women in professions such as those, and that they were much more comfortable with them as teachers or in positions of service focused mainly around families. The profession that I am now striving for while in college causes me to fall into this gender construction of the “woman job,” and am going into nursing. This job, though, is only feminized because is it a common social belief to see it that way.
Up until the end of middle school, I was nearly oblivious to the gender constructed influences of the media. I did not listen to the radio nearly enough to let it affect me, nor did I watch the common...

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