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Ashim Nabith

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Professor Ditch
September 29, 2014
English 113A

Progression 1 Final Essay

Society gets the terms gender and sex confused. Sex is used to describe someone
on the basis of the reproductive system, gender is the term used to describe whom a
person is within him or her and how the person sees him or herself. Society puts in place
gender codes and roles for both women and men to follow because of year of social
norms; if they dont comply theyll be seen as weird and be discriminated. The articles
Rethinking Womens Biology and From Women, Men and Society address the
theme that parents willingly or unwillingly put us in gender codes based on our physical
appearance that will reflect our behavior in our adult life.
Physical appearance in our youth determines how we will be treated and how we
are expected to act. In the article From Women, Men and Society Renzetti and Curran
state that, Boys are typically dressed in dark or primary clothing, such as red and blue,
the color blue and red are associated with male masculinity while any other colors such
as pink would not be seen normal and will be against the social norm. The color pink is
typically dressed on girls with other pastels such as yellow. Colors are just labels to label
our physical appearance and have different expectations in our infant years. If you were
wearing blue you would be seen as a boy, if you were wearing pink you would be seen as
a girl. These create gender construction and gender expectation, expecting you to
behaving or act in a certain way that is seen normal in society. Clothing in our youth
years plays a significant part in gender socialization. Clothing shows how the child

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should be treated based on sex; also certain type of clothing encourages or discourages
particular behaviors or activities. These physical appearances parents have placed on
children on what they should wear will reflect in childrens adult life in the future.
As adults our physical appearance means our weight and how it affects our
appearance. As humans weve grown up with different body types, and weight became a
huge factor in social construction. In the article Rethinking Womens Biology the
author Hubbard states that, In our society changes in style not just of clothing but of
body shape are generated.(Hubbard, 49). In the past women who were thicker and were
seen attractive, now attractive women are near size 0 and they eat less than the healthy
amount required for a normal human being. Women are expected to be super thin so they
can fit in super tight clothes because this became a social norm. These are just standards
society and parents placed on women to define beauty. For most men its only about
being strong and having muscles, they arent really motivated to have a certain body
figure as much as women are. Parents push their daughters to have a certain body shape
because they want them to be accepted in society. Society sets a certain standard for
being beautiful and parents exploit that standard to their daughters so they can become
like models. Over time women forget that the definition of beauty is the deep satisfaction
to her mind not societies or their parents.
Toys given to us by our parents in our infant years reflect certain ideas of
femininity and masculinity. In the article From Women, Men and Society Renzetti and
Curran states that, In the catalogs we examined most of the toys were obviously genderlinked. (Renzetti & Curran, 81). These ideas would give the children expectations of
how they are expected to act and behave. Infant girls play with toys such as baby dolls,

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miniature appliances and other items that can be associated with domesticity and
motherhood. Infant boys play with military toys; athletic equipment, cars and other toys
associated male masculinity. In fact boys had more toys associated with education, the
only toys that both boys and girls have are musical instruments and books. Girl toys
today still revolve around the ideas of domesticity and femininity while toys for boys
focus on action and adventure. Whether intentionally or unintentionally parents construct
gender roles for their children by letting them play with certain toys.
In our infant years we are taught what it means to be a boy or girl through our
parents by the clothes we wear, the way we act, the toys we play with and how we
behave. The toys we play with in our youth years will reflect how we would be in our
adult life. If an infant girl plays with a miniature vacuum and kitchen in her adult life
shell think its her job to clean the house and cook for her kids and husband. The toys we
play with as babies reflect how we behave and act in our future adult life. The toys and
gender roles are directly linked in our brain. The reason why is because of years of
gender codes placed by parents restricting their children to play with certain toys and
acting in a certain way.
In my household I am the only male child in the family. As the only male child I
was expected to do better than my sisters in school. As an infant I was particularly
playing with cars and trucks my parents wouldnt let me play with anything that had to do
with female femininity. I would sometimes play with my sisters stuff animals and
pretend I would drive them to places in my toy trucks and cars, but even doing that would
make my parents mad because thats not really what a mans suppose to do. When I was
a young child I watched a show called a The Winx Club, usually this show would be for

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girls but I would watch it. After years my parents told me not to watch it because it
wasnt right, my sisters made fun of me after some time because I would watch a girly
show and after some time I stopped watching out of pressure. After my adolescent years I
started to become more like a man society wants me to be. I didnt associate myself with
female clothing or music and I dont act like a women and stay firm and aggressive
towards people. I didnt realize that my parents were putting me in a gender role until I
took this class because I saw it as something that was normal.
After all these years of expected gender roles and codes what can we do? First we
can start from the beginning, infants are put in gender roles even when they dont know
what a boy or a girl is. Parents put their children in gender roles and codes as early as
their born. They have the greatest impact on how they act and behave because they want
their children to act in a way society would accept them without discriminating them.
Parents should let their childrens be and let them play with what they want to play. Its
not their place to make them be something they have a choice to be. Through toys, body
figure, clothing and even the way they treat their kids shows that theyre imposing
gender roles on them on a young age. These roles would then be part of their everyday
lives. This imposing will then show them that boys and girls are different and should be
treated differently in their everyday life. In reality men and women are only different
from their reproductive organs and how they procreate. Any other reasons are just an
excuse to put us into gender codes because everybodys body has the same potential.
Gender role is constructed through our parents so we can be accepted in the society we
live in now. These roles they have implied on their children will just make them act how
their parents want them to.