Toddlers and Tiaras

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Being born a man or a woman in todays society is more than a simple biological fact. It’s a biological fact that harvests social consequences. From delivery, gender is assigned to males and females in life binding forms by way of blue or pink. Gender is the social construct of what we know biologically as male or female, but masculinity and femininity is how the two roles are played out in society. Our role as feminine and masculine are institutionalized through social interaction and is perpetuated through our social institutions. Forms of social institution include hospitals, family, churches and schools. These institutions tie gender roles to individual identity from infancy to death. Kids of all age’s roles are learned and formed through parents and marketing. Boys are taught to be tough, aggressive and active, while girls are socialized to be submissive, passive and nurturing in nature. Any deviation from these settings is frowned upon in society as in the instance of “My son, the pink boy.” Another mother observing casually, targets the boy because he prefers his hair long, enjoys ballet dancing and occasionally wearing dresses to preschool or in other words behaving like a “sissy”. To emulate the characteristics of woman is considered demeaning and class reducing in western society. The other form of deviation accepted as a practical phase, is called a Tomboy. A Tomboy is young girl who models her behavior after a young boy i.e. climbing trees or digging in the dirt. A girl who behaves like a boy has no loss in class standing until she reaches adolescence or adulthood. It is only then that her actions might be associated with being a lesbian (Pratt). The construct comes down to Nurture vs. Nature. We see from the beginning, girls learn to accept diminished value and opportunity in the form of their toys. Boys are given Legos and blocks to articulate that aspect of their brain function, on the flipside women are given Bratz dolls, make-up and easy-bake...
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