Susan Bordo's Article: The Body And Limitation Of Gender

1520 Words 6 Pages
When humans are categorized in society, there is an expectation that their gender is defined by their biological sex. Their social setting influences their identities to become either masculine or feminine. The media enforces their gender to meet the social norms. Candace West and Don H. Zimmerman state that “doing gender” is accomplished by the social setting, which is enforced by social expectations (West and Zimmerman, 1987, p.34). For others who do not fit the social norm of gender, they are categorized as having a less dominant hegemonic femininity which negatively impacts their status in society. The essay will analyze how hegemonic femininity is “accomplished” by the reflection of a social setting and how the media enforces women to …show more content…
133). While humans have control over our bodies, the media takes the advantage of controlling our psychological minds. West and Zimmerman analyze, to “do” gender, we must take risks to achieve to fit a gender category either masculinity or femininity (West and Zimmerman, 1987, p.39. In Bordo’s case, she highlights that the “doing” of gender is through the representation of our bodies, as well as how it is crucial to be over sexualize as a result to feeling superior (Bordo, 1989, p. 125). Through the mass media, females are fed images which depict the clothing, body shape, expressions of “ladylike” figures as well as behaviours which are required to achieve such high levels of hegemonic femininity. Most of these images consist of women models that are dangerously thin and are surgically altered for unrealistic perceptions of perfection. Nonetheless, media depictions of what it means to look and act female result to the achievement of unnatural body adjustment, and thus is hazardous for many females as they are more prone to the diseases of hysteria, anorexia and agoraphobia (Bordo, 1989, p. 125). To categorize as a gender, one must create differences in our body that are not natural, essential or biological (West and Zimmerman, 1987, p.39). In other words, Zimmerman and West are analyzing the point that it is not enough to be biologically male or female, in order to act feminine or masculine, one must mold their physicality to achieve a certain gender. The violent ways in which females deliberately force their bodies to fit a certain standard relates back to the psychological meaning behind women’s behaviour in history, when women had a loss of voice and the inability to leave the home (Bordo,

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