The Kaleidoscope Of Gender Essay

1697 Words 7 Pages
Gender is a social construction that reaches from the individual to the institutional level of society. The term, gender, refers to masculinity and femininity, which are traits and characteristics that are associated with being male-bodied or female-bodied. Gender differentiates itself from sex because sex is based on the biological primary and secondary characteristics, like reproductive organs. Gender, however, is a performance that forms the gender norms and is reinforced through social interactions. West and Zimmerman’s “Doing Gender” explains gender as being learned at an early age, yet it is understood as being an internal institution and not questioned as a social construct. The gender binary regulates society by establishing two very …show more content…
At an early age it separates males and females in their education and their form of play. In reading seventeen of The Kaleidoscope of Gender: Prisms, Patterns, and Possibilities, Emily Kane observes young children in their gendered play and their parents’ reactions to the gendered toys. As girls were able to play with masculine and feminine toys freely, boys’ play was more complex. Although parents accepted toys that simulated domestic life, truly femininely characterized toys, like Barbie, were highly rejected by the parents (Kane). Therefore, the gender binary of masculinity is perpetuated in young boys. At this early age, male-bodied individuals are taught to reject femininity because it is viewed as weak. Thus masculinity is viewed as powerful and a valued performance at the institutional level. This gender difference continues through adulthood as it shapes men and women in their families and in work. Although the 1920’s and early feminist movements created changes towards equality, the “traditional family” had a lasting effect on American society (Wade & Ferree, 2015, page 200). The traditional family is based on a breadwinner and a …show more content…
Her community is based on low economic families and there are other certain factors that maintain the community’s poverty. Lower economic status communities also face aggressive policing due to racial and criminal stereotypes. The criminal justice system is based on programs like the War on Drugs, which targets these neighborhoods and people of color. In an effort to help her community, she collects signatures by using intimidation or flirtation with the community members. Gender intersects into Kiara’s community class, race and sex. Code-switching provides her the opportunity to uses them to perform gender in the correct setting (Jones, 2014, page

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