Society plays a big role in constructing the gender of a female and male. Do we become who we are as individuals because we are born a female and male or do we accumulate traits as we grow up? As we grow up we are expected to do certain things as part of our gender rule. In today’s society, Mass media production like magazines, video games, movies, and clothing influences many young males and females. Heteronormativity is the view that emphasizes the difference between a man and woman.
As an assumption that we know what men and women are is an assumption that male and females are cultural constructions. Gender, sexuality and reproduction are created as symbols that we as society have given a meaning to, but also being biologically a female and male can be what causes us to act the way we are because of the different hormones, but the rules and roles is what have been constructed for which i will explain furthermore.
In many cultures a male is suppose to be in the dominant one who shows no fear and is in charge while the women is an accessory, also showing that in the culture it is a socially scripted dramatization of the culture’s idealization of feminine and masculine natures, An example is in my mexican culture, my parents come from a small village you can say, where my dad has a very strong attitude towards this belief and this has always been the problem for which i always disagree with him. He as many have the belief that the sons are suppose to carry on his beliefs and prove to be stronger.
Oh no he can’t cry, oh no he can’t show fear or in any other case admit to be gay for hell be disowned. The female is expected to be feminine as in shaving, being smart saying “lady like things”,be a housewife, not show independence and dress like a women with tight clothing. Without realizing it we ourselves follow the tradition of gender construction. Since we awake into this new world we are gender coded using colors to show the sex you are supposed to be. Blue for boys and pink for girls, and in reality there is no rules for genders it is what society has created, everywhere on music, tv, and anywhere in the entertainment industry.
What defines a female and male are the expectations of society. This isn’t a surprise it’s been around and still goes on, but we as society have portrayed women as weak and women had to fight for their rights. Feminist the women who want equal rights are proof of how society build up the stereotype that women were just an accessory. Mens were the ones to rule the world without even consider giving women a chance, we believed this was correct and nothing was wrong with that because of tradition and everyone was following the same rules.
Since culture is traditionally passed on in a mass over view we really can’t change much for those people with that belief, but starting with yourself on not carrying on the same thoughts can break the chain since society is always changing we are always improving. With changing this problem it can have an impact and reduce domestic violence and bring in more peace, knowing that not every person will agree we will be improving. Mass media plays a big part as well in society, we try to build boys as masculine as they grow up characterized by strength, aggressiveness, and independence.
Fictional characters for boys are strong buff, heros portraying what some young males may want to look like. Boy toys are usually darker colors and say things like create, build, destroy, anything relating to competition and the girl toys are pink any other brighter color with words such as share, sweet, play, love. This is also relating to fictional characters such as dolls who always have curvy bodies and bodies that society accepts as “pretty”. We can’t really get away from what we see everyday and it’s surprising how we do things without even knowing because we are influenced by our peers.
What we can improve about this is not color coding or use stereotypes for the younger ones, if a boy wants to cry you let him cry if a girl likes blue you don’t judge them. Some boys may be raised by only his mother and sister and is why he accumulates feminine traits but does not mean he is gay, but in society he may be portrayed as homosexual. Same for a girl when she is raised by only her father and brothers she is more independent and brave dressed more like a guy she always is seen as a lesbian when maybe she is not. The fact that we consider this is how we consider genders having rules and roles.
It is everywhere around us how can we avoid it and the reality is that we can’t avoid it, but we can change ourselves and our generation or the ones to come showing them that for a boy it is okay to cry and show fear and for a girl it is okay to dress with baggy clothes and play with “boy toys”. Over the years there is no doubt that our generation has brought new definitions of masculinity and femininity that has manifested in clothing. Franklin Delano Roosevelt wore skirts with shoulder length hair and patent party shoes. In today’s society we would find that look unsettling for a male.
In 1884 boys wore dresses until age 6-7. These outfits were considered gender-neutral. In june 1918 an article from the trade publication Earnshaw’s infants department said “the generally accepted rule is pink for boys and blue for girls”. Pink was a stronger color, bold for the guys while blue was a delicate color for girls, and now we have the opposite. The both times we gender coded people with colors, but its funny isnt it that we accept the rules when society names them. So this questions is the rules are innate or socially constructed. For reasons unknown we started to change the color rule in the 1940s.
Besides this color rule is we go back again way before the 20th century boys and girls would wear dresses as neutral clothing. Sex Gender is biological but gender rules are socially constructed. According to west and Zimmerman, gender is not a personal trait it’s an emergent feature of social situations both as an outcome of an rationale for various social arrangements. (Zimmerman). Femininity and masculinity are prototypes of essential expression. Heterosexuality is assumed for those who acts appropriately according to their gender and otherwise for those who don’t.
We all have done it assumed that someone is gay because of how they act even if they are a male with male parts or if a girl is homosexual because of how she dresses. We as a joke tend to call someone gay or a fag because of how they engage in behavior outside the gender norm. We have symbols to distinguish the difference of male and female. We are biologically known as female and male because the woman can reproduce with a male only, but the roles expectations, and rules are what we socially construct. Anthropologists have allowed the naturalistic bias to dominate the field of sex and gender.
We have different bodies and are used to giving stereotypes or living by them, we then learn the gender conforming behaviors as we go on living our lives and with distinct motives which we shape, but we also can’t disagree that the different hormones is what causes gender construction to be innate. A study showed that young male rats and monkeys were injected with female hormones and yes, this proved that sex hormones revealed that they affect social play and that the notion gender is biological, but not the gender rules an example is in the 16th century in europe aristocratic men wore elaborate high heeled shoes to demonstrate their wealth.
In western cultures women did not begin to wear high heeled shoes until the 19th century, but if this was seen now they would assumed to be gay because of society’s stereotypes and gender rules. Another example is the Wodaabe men in ceremonies to attract their wife use makeup to show off their features this is another custom that is contrary to dominant models of gender in the West, which demand that women be more passive, and wait until a man approaches her for romantic or sexual attention. Society improves each day and throughout the years we have emphasized gender rules and diversity more and more without even realizing it.
A transgender named agnes is also an example of how society changed his thoughts and identity, a young boy was raised as a man but started with the identity of a female at age 17. He then went on to his surgery he wasn’t trying to mimic a woman but was trying to fit into what society portrayed as a woman or being feminine so he observed and accumulated those feminine thoughts and actions. Agnes is not really a girl but because he has picked up the feminine norms and psychical traits as well we consider him a girl in our society.
If we do gender appropriately, we simultaneously sustain, reproduce, and render legitimate the institutional arrangements that are based on sex category. Physical appearance is a factor in social constructs, the girl clothes and the guy clothes, boy shoes, girl shoes, girl perfume, men’s cologne. The point here is even tho you are not an actual female or male but you dress as if you are the gender you want to be without close attention we will assume it is the gender they are portraying. So it seems that gender is just a costume of what society has made it.