Gender Identity Is Not Innate, Or Neutral? Essays

1705 Words Apr 27th, 2016 7 Pages
Penelope Eckert is a linguistics and anthropology professor at Stanford University (736). Sally McConnell-Ginet is an emeritus linguistics professor at Cornell (736). They argue children learn gender by a certain age, and they assert that American culture is deeply rooted in the gender dichotomy in “Learning to Be Gendered”. We are born biologically male or female; that 's what our chromosomes say. Whether they are XX or XY we are born that way. However, biological sex and gender are different. Gender identity is something that a person feels and expresses. Gender identity is a representation of a gender trope that a person wants to see in the mirror and hope others see them as. Gender identity is not innate, it is set at an early age. We are taught how to express our gender, and how to make ourselves as masculine, feminine, or neutral. Based on stereotypes, and other gender qualifiers society has rigid oppressing expectations for each gender.
How does one learn to be a “man”? To answer that, we must define what society claims it means to be a man. There has to be more to the recipe then snips and snails and puppy dog tails. Eckert and McConnell explain that the first thing we want to know about a person, even a baby, is what sex it is, so we can start imposing gender on the baby. They write “The first thing people want to know about a baby is its sex, and conventions provides a myriad of props to reduce the necessity of asking-” (737) This explains that as soon as we…

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