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Roman,Oliva

ProfessorDitch
113AEnglish
30September2014
AChosenGender
Manybelievethatsexandgenderisthesamething,thisbecomesataboowhenoneofthe
oppositesexportraystheroleoftheopposinggender,thewaymendowhatwomendoandwomendo
whatmendo.Genderdoesnotmeansexgenderisaroleweplayinsocietyassexiswhatweareborn
with.NighttoHisDay:TheSocialConstructionofGenderbyJudithLorberstatesoursocietywe
assumethatitsbredintoourgenes.Thewaymenandwomenaresupposedtoactincertainways.
AccordingtoFromeWomen,Men,andSocietybyClaireRenzettiandDanielCurran,clothingplays
asignificantpartingendersocialization.Sciencehaslongdebatedwhetherthischangeinsexisanatural
causeorasociallyacquiredcause.Forone,parentsmaybethecauseforgender,forexample,people
tendtoresponddifferentlytonewbornsonthebasisofsex(pg.77).Whenitcomestodistinguishing
thegenderofachildparentsarethebiggest,andsometimes,definingreason.Boththesearticlescome
togetheronhowparentsareinvolvedintheirchildrenssexandgenderandthewaypeopleareseenin
society.
Menandwomenaresupposedtoactacertainwayaccordingtotheirsex.Societyseesmenas
masculinewhilewomenareseenfeminine.Genderdeterminationisbasedonparents.Dressingand
teachingtheirchildrentoacthowtheyaresupposedtoactbecauseoftheirsex,butthereareplaces
wheresocietymayhavethreedifferenttypesofgender.JudithLorbersays,westernsocietieshaveonly
twogendersmenandwomen,butothershavethreegendersmen,women,andberdachesorhijras

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orxaniths(pg.22).Berdaches,hijras,andxanithsaremaleswhodress,work,behave,andare
treatedwithrespectaswomen.Theyarenotmenorwomen,butaremalewomen.Theyarealso
AfricanandAmericanIndianwhohavegenderstatusasmanlyheartedwomen.Thesamethingas
berdaches,buttheyarecalledfemalewomen.Insociety,oneofmyfriendsmomwouldbeseenasa
femalewomenorinothersocietieswouldbeseenasberdachesorhijrasorxaniths,becauseofthe
factthatsheworks,ismarried,andalsoparentsasmen.
ClaireRenzettiandDanielCurranstateparentstendtoresponddifferentlytonewbornsonthe
basisofsexandhowclothingplaysasignificantpartingendersocialization.Whenamotherispregnant
andassoonasshefindsoutwhatthesexofherbabyis,sheinstantlystartsshoppingforclothes.For
example,ifitwereagirl,shewouldhavepink,floral,vibrantclothingandevenhavepiercedears.Boys
wouldnthavethesameclothingasgirlsdo,theywouldbedressedindarkorprimarycolorsblue,
blackorred.Researchershavefoundthatparentstendtospeaktotheirgirlswithemotionalwordsand
withasofterandmoredelicatevoice,whileboysaretalkedtoharshandaggressive.Astheygrowup,
girlsaresupposedtotoplaywithdollsandlearnhowtocookwhileboysshouldbeplayingsportsor
videogamesandevengoingtoworkwiththeirfather.Parentsaretheoneswhoteachtheirkidstoacta
certainwaysotheywillnotgetquestionsregardingtheirchildsex.Girlsaretaughttobewellmannered,
politeandfeminineandboysaretaughttobemoreaggressiveandtough.Inmiddleschool,Idressed
tomboyishandIdidntreallylikedressingingirlsclothes.Myeverydaylookwasjeans,bigboyhoodie,
ponytail,andvans.Iwasinbandatthetimeandyparentswerenttooexcitedaboutthat,theywould
alwaysitwasonlyforboysandthatgirlsshouldntbeinband.Theyevensuggestedtojointhedrill
teambecausethatwaswhatagirlshouldbedoinginsteadofplayinganinstrumentandjoiningthedrum
line.IdidntpaymuchattentiontothemandcontinuedtodowhatIloveddoing.Mymotherwouldbe

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upsetsometimesbecauseIwouldntgotoschooldressedintheappropriateclothesandmyfriends
wouldusuallygetawayfrommebecauseofthewayIlooked.InhighschoolIstilldressedthesame,
butIrealizedIwasgettingtiredofallthenegativitysurroundingme.Iwentshoppingandendedup
buyingclothesthatIneverconsideredonwearingandIstarteddressinginskirts,shorts,andeven
dressestomakesocietyhappy.
Menandwomenhavedifferentjobsaccordingtotheirsex.JudithLorbersaysonewayof
choosingpeopleforthedifferenttasksofsocietyisonthebasisofgender,race,ethnicityascribed
membershipinacategoryofpeople(pg.21).Somesocietiesitsfineformenandwomentowork
together,butinothersocietiesitswrong.Mostofthetime,menaretheoneswhowillgetpickedfor
thejobjustbecausemenaremasculineandaggressive.Menhavesomanyexpectationsinsociety.
Theycantbesoftortheyllgetteasedbypeopleandwillmakethemselvesseemweaker,whileits
okayforwomentocryandleanonashoulderbecauseitsfeminine.Womenshouldbetheonestostay
home,cook,andlookaftertheirbabieswhilethemenareoutworkingbringinghomethemoney.Inmy
opinion,itsnotwrongbecausebothofmyparentswork,cook,andclean.Mymomdoesthesame
thingasmydadandwhentheyneedhelp,mysisterandIgowiththem.Whenwedogetthechanceto
workwiththem,peopletendtostareatusandmakefaces.AtfirstitdidntmattertomeIthoughtit
wasnormaltoworkwithworkoutmachinesandupholstery.Iwouldalwaysaskmyselfwhybutafter
figuringitoutitsonlybecauseweregirlsandweshouldstayhomeandcook.
Womenandmenhavedifferentstylesandtendtopresentthemselvesdifferently.Notonlydo
toddlers,teens,andadultshavedifferentclothing,butalsobabieshavedifferentdiapersaccordingto
theirsex.Girlsdiapersusuallyhaveflowersorpinkgirlythingsonthemandboyshavetrucks,carsand
darkcolors.Clothingplaysasignificantpartingendersocializationintwoways.First,certaintypesof

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clothingencourageanddiscourageparticularbehaviorsoractivities.Second,byinformingothersabout
thesexofthechild,clothingsendsimplicitmessagesabouthowthechildshouldbetreated(pg.77).
Clothingplaysabigpartwhenachildisborn.Girlsdressinclothingthatshowmoreskinandboys
dressinclothingthatshowlessskin.Whenamotherispregnant,everyonewantstoknowthesexofthe
childbecausetheyrethinkingofwhatclothesandtoystobuythemandeventhinkingofwhattheylldo
togetheroncethebabyisolder.Manyparentstendtodresstheirchildrenincertainclothingsothey
wontgetquestionsregardingtheirsex.WhenIwasgrowingupIrememberedmymomwouldbabysit
aboy.Therewassomethingdifferentwithhim,IrememberedgoingtotheroomandIcaughthim
playingwithmydollsandIthoughtofitbeingstrangebecausegrowingupIwasntusedtoseeingthat.
Itgottothepointwherehewasbecomingmoreopenaboutthethingsheliked,butallthatwentdown.
Hewouldcomehomecryingbecausehewouldgetteasedandwouldbecalledreallymeannames.He
soonendedupnotcaringwhatpeoplehadtosayabouthim.Hebecamehimselfandhewashappyand
honestlythatsallthatmatteredtohismom.Shedidntcareifhelikedpinkandnotblue,aslongashe
washappythewayhewas.
Manybelievethatgenderandsexarethesamething,butgenderisaroleweplayinandsexis
whatwearebornwith.Eachindividualisbornwithasexbuthasgivenagenderbysociety.Clothing
playsasignificantpartingendersocializationandthewaywepresentourselvestosociety.Asgrowing
upwelearnfromourparentsandtheyretheoneswhoteachusaboutgenderandthewayweare
meanttobeseen.Eventuallywelearnnewthingsandsometimesourperspectiveschangethewaywe
seegenderaswegetolder.Wechangeourselvestobehappierandcomfortableinourownskin.

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WorksCited
LorberJudith,NighttoHisDay:TheSocialConstructionofGenderComposingGender
(2009):1934.Print.
Renzetti,ClaireandCurran,Daniel,FromeWomen,Men,andSocietyComposingGender
(2009):7690.Print.

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