This week, the section of readings that caught my eye over the others, was the titled “Gender as a social construct”. This is because it just made me understand my life better and a lot of things that have happened in it, like I referenced in my gender journal.
First of all, the quiz “Which gender are you subconsciously” on Answers was simple yet effective. Obviously, before taking it, I was expecting to receive “female” as the result. I began to be more and more suspicious of the quiz while taking it. I mean, how can a simple 10 question quiz on the internet possibly tell you what gender you are? Well ladies and gentlemen, my result surprised me. The quiz told me that I was “50% female and 50% male”. It took me a second but then I realized the true meaning and reason why our professor asked us to take this quiz. It was to make us realize that no one is completely female or male, regardless of what you think. I know that I don’t fit the “girl stereotype” 100%. We are all mixes of all our beliefs, maybe someone is more female than male or the other way around, and even then we are labeling people as one gender or another. Taking this quiz was just the beginning.
The next reading that I greatly enjoyed was the comic by Justin Hubbell. His comic was about the gender binary. He explained what it was, and why it was important to try everything we can to get rid of it, because it is hurting society more than helping it. This was the first time I had ever learned the definition of “gender binary” and I realized that it perfectly explains life and society. The gender binary is why boys get bullied in elementary school for crying, why girls get made fun of in middle school for not shaving, and why girls in high school get shamed for wearing short shorts or an ankle length dress. It was great finally being able to put a word to it all.
Last but not least, another article that described and put into words exactly the way society is, was the reading titled “WHAT IT MEANS TO BE GENDERED ME” by Betsy Lucal. Right at the beginning of her piece, she addressed the social construction of gender. She says that “We learn how to read people’s genders by learning which traits culturally signify each gender and by learning rules that enable us to classify individuals with a wide range of gender presentations into two and only two gender categories” (Lucal, 783), which is exactly true. Subconsciously, every second of every day we are analyzing the people around us trying to figure out what gender they are or how we think they identify themselves. We look at their clothes, the way they act, speak, walk, and try to figure them out. this is unfortunately true. I know that I do this all the time, and I do not doubt that people have done the same to me. We do it because it is how most of us were raised, how society teaches us to act; to put everything around us in certain categories with certain labels. Reading this article makes me want to work to change this in myself, and hopefully influence others to do the same, although I know that it is impossible to change human nature completely.
Hubbell, Justin. “The Ultimate Break Down of the Gender Binary – Why It Hurts Us All.” Web log post.Everyday Feminism. N.p., 24 Feb. 2016. Web. 4 June 2016.
Lucal, Betsy. “What It Means to Be Gendered Me: Life on the Boundaries of a Dichotomous Gender System.” Gender and Society 13.6 (1999): 781-97. Web.
“Which Gender Are You Subconsciously” Answers. Answers Corporation, n.d. Web. 04 June 2016.