Two Among Many Determinants of Sex and Gender Roles

Topics: Gender role, Gender, Role Pages: 3 (1076 words) Published: October 30, 2011
The forming progress of gender and sex roles of women and men is not mysterious. It is traceable, but complex. We have two authors, Jane Smiley and John McMurtry talking about gender and sex roles about women and men respectively. The author, Jane Smiley, as a mother of two girls and a boy, in her article "YOU CAN NEVER HAVE TOO MANY" argues about Barbie dolls play an important role in the way her girls pursuing beauty. The author, John McMurtry, as a former football player, in his article "KILL 'EM! CRUSH 'EM! EAT 'EM RAW!", talks about American football trains men to be aggressive. Both the two articles shade a light on a point that people can't form their gender and sex roles by themselves. There has to be some determinants among which there are two important ones that I am willing to argue: hobbies chosen and influence of people around. Barbie dolls, as a province of girls, help girls to develop a sex role as beauty seeking while influence of people around also contributes to this. We seem to have a common sense on what a beautiful girl should be like, for example, a blond. The prettiest girl in school is always a blond. Same thing happens among pop stars and movie stars. It is not hard to conclude that they all look like Barbie dolls. Men have this kind of idea because women try to become just like that to be "beautiful", in other words, women give men the idea that a blond is pretty. Where do women get such kind of idea? There is not a girl born to be an expert in knowing what beauty is. Therefore, the answer is explicit, that is due to the most popular entertainment among girls in their child life, Barbie dolls. As the author, Jane Smiley said, "A girl has to have a Barbie doll in order to decide whether she herself wants to be a Barbie."(P.238). Do not underestimate the influence of Barbie dolls on the forming of girls' gender and sex roles. They can gain quite a few Hollywood inspired essentials of American womanhood from Barbie. Just as Jane Smiley...
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