My Gender Identity Essay

1112 Words 5 Pages
Gender is a social construct; it is a set of learned behaviours that inform how we present ourselves in society and is “produced, negotiated and sustained at the level of everyday social interaction” (Jackson & Scott, 2002). Gender is not binary but a spectrum going from identifying as male at one end, non-binary or agender in the middle and female at the other end. My gender identity as female has had an effect on my life experience from birth through a number of ways such as how I feel about my own safety, gender roles, the way society expects me to behave and education.
The idea of ‘gender roles’ can explain how gender has had an effect on my life. For instance, as a child I was conditioned through school and other parents and children to
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The way I’m expected to act and how I’m conditioned to present myself is mainly for the benefit of men. For instance, wearing makeup and acting ‘ladylike’ in order to be found attractive. Moi argues that “to produce a gender habitus requires an extremely elaborate process of education,” and an important part of that is the social power relations of the body (Moi, 1991). Thus, due to my gender identity society has conditioned me to behave in certain ways for the pleasure of men. As a result of this the female body has become sexualised from a young age, for instance, at secondary school girls had to wear neutral coloured bras so the boys wouldn’t get distracted. Charles claims the sexualisation of the female body is an example of how men retain power over women (Charles, 2002); being sexualised from a young age maintains the power men hold over me and thus, gender has affected my life as in the example given it seems as though male education is more important than mine if girls are being taken out of lessons for ‘distracting’ boys. Therefore, identifying as female has influenced how I act, how I present myself and has meant I’ve been sexualised all for male

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