Gender Definition

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My definition of gender was mostly formulated outside of a classroom. It’s partially based on experience; the other half is from research. Though I conceived my definition independent of school, I have read certain articles which validate my denotation. These articles include “Women’s Studies and the Question of Gender,” by Bonnie Smith, “There is no Hierarchy of Oppression,” by Audre Lorde, and “the Social Construction of Gender,” by Judith Lorber. From these articles, one may discern that gender is a social construct which applies certain roles and labels for certain individuals based on their outward appearance. Such labels establish a power dynamic based on the gender of a person. Not conforming to the standards assigned to a designated …show more content…
I came to this section in my definition through a lesson from my 8th grade history teacher. In a discussion about race, he made a quip about “being cool.” As I remember, he stated that one doesn’t simply wake up one day with access to a website with guidelines on being cool; one gradually gets the images and cultural cues of being cool through a sort of societal osmosis. After learning of social constructions through the context of race, I eventually arrived at feminism and began to analyze gender in a similar manner. The whole idea of a social construct is promoted by cultural anthropologists. Anthropologists immerse themselves into different cultures around the world so that they may understand the mindset of a culture other than their own. Such anthropologists who participate in such immersion founded the concept of cultural relativism, the principle that states that a person’s beliefs should be contextualized within their culture. Cultural relativism substantiates the understanding that gender is …show more content…
Specifically, as said by Judith Lorber in her article “the Social Construction of Gender,” such gender norms are “enforced through informal sanctions of gender inappropriate behavior and by formal punishment by peers of by threat of punishment by those in authority should behavior deviate too far from socially imposed standards for women and men,” (Lorber 143). This punishment bullies dissentients of the gender norm into accepting their fate as dealt by society, alongside fueling the cycle of reinforcing gender stereotypes and crushing non conformity. I find Lorber’s statement of communal penalties being a tool of perpetuating social convention to be agreeable with my definition of

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