Gender and Me Essay

Submitted By Moemoesing
Words: 853
Pages: 4

Simone Singletary
Sociology and Gender
Mr. Curmi and Mr. Bullington
Friday, June 13, 2014

Before I took this Sociology and Gender class, I was not aware of the complexity that came with the word “gender”. To me, gender was just a binary term, you could only be male or female; nothing more, nothing less. This is the same for many people because our society has taught us to believe that word “gender” and “sex” are interchangeable. However, thanks to this class, I have learned that this is not the case. The Webster Dictionary states that gender is “the state of being male or female (typically used with reference to social and cultural differences rather than biological ones)” while sex is “either of the two main categories (male and female) into which humans and many other living things are divided on the basis of their reproductive functions”. Under the definition of these two words, they are both posted as synonyms although they clearly are not. Sex describes who we are or were biologically and physically when we were born while gender describes how we see ourselves in our social world now. “Gender requires us to go beyond the obvious and to reconsider issues we may think are self-evident and already well understood” (Wharton). When a baby is born, the mother is given either a blue balloon exclaiming “It’s a BOY!” or a pink balloon stating “It’s a GIRL!” As we are born into the world, we are automatically labeled. We have no say in how we are labeled or what we are called forcing us to live predetermined lives. We associate colors and activities for both male and female in order to help kids understand the “roles” they will play in society. This is the first component of figuring out gender. “Gender roles” are the characteristics and duties assigned by certain cultures given to different sexes in order to know what their role in society is. Men are presumed to be the powerful “money maker” while women are the meek “caretakers”. Raewyn Connell, a gender theorist, calls this Hegemonic Masculinity where things in society constantly demonstrate male dominance and it is allowed to consider. Society is always changing meaning that the roles of gender change with it. Many believe that men and women are now equal but we have “[bought] into the myth about gender equality” (Beyoncé). Men and women do not receive the same respect only on the fact that one was born with a penis while the other was born with a vagina. The lack of respect given to women forces them to feel incompetent to men when in reality they are just as good, sometimes even better. This leads into a person’s “gender identity” which is how one personally views themselves whether they are female or not. For example, Conchita Wurst, an Australian singer, is a male drag queen. On her birth certificate it states that she was born as Thomas Neuwirth, yet at times when he views himself as a female. Conchita has multiple gender identities to fit with how she is feeling at that time. Nancy Chodorow, a gender theorist, calls this the Feminist Psychoanalysis theory where people are NOT born into