Learning Gender In A Diverse Society

1064 words - 4 pages

In this article, Shaw and Lee describe how the action of labels on being “feminine” or “masculine” affect society. Shaw and Lee describe how gender is, “the social organization of sexual difference” (124). In biology gender is what sex a person is and in culture gender is how a person should act and portray themselves. They mention how gender is what we were taught to do in our daily lives from a young age so that it can become natural(Shaw, Lee 126). They speak on the process of gender socialization that teaches us how to act and think in accordance to what sex a person is. Shaw and Lee state that many people identify themselves as being transgendered, which involves a person, “resisting the social construction of gender into two distinct, categories, masculinity and femininity and working to break down these constraining and polarized categories” ( 129). They write about how in mainstream America masculinity and femininity are described with the masculine trait being the more dominant of the two. They define how this contributes to putting a higher value of one gender over the other gender called gender ranking (Shaw, Lee 137). They also speak about how in order for femininity to be viewed that other systems of inequality also need to be looked at first(Shaw,Lee 139).
This article was written to bring attention to the way men and women act because of how they were thought to think of themselves. Shaw and Lee explain how biology determines what sex a person is but a persons cultures determines how that person should act according to their gender(Shaw, Lee 124). The article brings up the point that, “a persons gender is something that a person performs daily, it is what we do rather than what we have” (Shaw, Lee 126). They bring up this is all through the process of gender socialization (Shaw, Lee 126). They assert what it means to be feminine and masculine varies in many countries but that there are still labels. They talk about how transgendered people push the envelope on what it is to be be considered feminine or masculine, because transgendered people identify themselves differently than the sex at their birth (Shaw, Lee 129). They show traits of what it is to be masculine and feminine. They say that masculinity in mainstream America means to be intelligent, courageous, honest, and to have aspect of the machismo element as well. While the feminine traits are that of being soft, passive, domestic, nurturing, and emotional ( Shaw, Lee 131-134). Shaw and Lee write about how theses traits and labels bring gender ranking into effect. Gender ranking is the valuing of ones gender over the other (Shaw, Lee 137). They then bring up the fact that masculinity and femininity are used to put ranks on gender, making the masculine gender of higher power(Shaw, Lee 137).
This article helps to understand the important role that gender plays in society. Gender keeps people in line by what sex they are. The masculine gender is the gender that is above...

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