Gender Ideology Essay

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Gender in the Contemporary U.S.
The social construction of gender has undoubtedly been incredibly pervasive in the lives of people around the world. As a social construction used to classify and define people superficially, gender has invaded American history, politics, and thought since the beginning of the United States’s birth. Even in the Declaration of Independence, men are the only people considered when addressing equal. This divide between the binary genders as naturally and inherently different gave way to the creation of gender ideologies. A gender ideology is a set of beliefs and expectations that is not explicitly instructed and places social stigmas and preconceived notions on a person based on their gender. Gender ideologies
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history. He argues that the most widespread gender ideology in the contemporary U.S. is one he calls “soft essentialism.” This ideology is defined as hegemonic, essentialist beliefs that champion the fairly new “liberal feminist ideal of individual choice for girls and women” but still enforce historic expectations of masculinity (Messner, 151). Examples provided by Messner include the separate coaching styles for boys and girls in youth sports. Coaches will disregard a boys’ feelings and yell at them when they do something wrong in an attempt to harden their character. This is commonly accepted and even encouraged by parents and adults. On the other hand, coaches for girls are much less likely to yell at them as girls are seen as more emotional and …show more content…
is the rise of postfeminism. Postfeminism is the belief that gender equality has been achieved and therefore, society does not need feminism anymore. This belief rises out of features of soft essentialism. For example, because women can now choose to be in whichever social sphere they want, some Americans may believe that sexism is entirely dead. This is only furthered by popular female celebrities who exemplify women “having it all” but actually only represent few privileged women. According to Shauna Pomerantz, et al, in “Girls Run the World?” the idea of “Girl Power,” made popular by women like Beyoncé Knowles, actually “constructs a world where social inequalities are nonexistent” by covering up a false sense of power with the belief in female freedom (Pomerantz, et al). This is a serious problem because girls still face a significant amount of sexism in their everyday lives. Now because of postfeminism, women have a more difficult time articulating this injustice because they have been taught that they have already become powerful enough to no longer need to fight for

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