Reading Gendered Objects
Gender is not something that we are born with. Gender is something that we learn. We create it and recreate it out of interaction with other people, out of our social lives. We start “learning” it from other people from the very first day and eventually we just “do” it without even thinking about it. Gender signs are familiar parts of our daily life that we even do not notice them unless they are unusual or different. Gender construction starts at birth with assignment to a sex category based on what ourgenitalia look like. Then we get a name corresponding to our gender and then our parents dress us in boys or girls colors, usually pink or blue. People treat us differently, even when we are babies and when we do not talk and show gender signs. They would smile and be nice to a little girl,telling her that she is so pretty and little, while on the other hand, they would be telling a boy that he is a big, strong boy. Even then we face different reactions and different treatment from people in our surrounding. It becomes even more obvious when we start going to school. Teachers do a lot of sex segregation. Boys and girls do not sit together in the classrooms and dinning rooms, and they play different games. Boys who play with girls get called really demeaningnames and vice versa. This happens because we all have our gender roles and responsibilities that we learn and if one does it wrong, he or she will usually not be accepted in society. Schools, parents, and mass media guide young people into gender roles. Gender is represented in the way we walk, talk, dress, and even eat. In some cultures women are supposed to show only moving of their lips when they chew food, while men have to do it more “manly” by showing the movements of the whole mouth. Clothing has a big role in defining gender. Not to mention that there are pieces of clothes that only women can wear, but also if a woman decides to wear “men’s clothes” for business occasion...
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