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Doing Gender - September 23, 2015
Transcript of Doing Gender - September 23, 2015
GWS 150 - Professor Galarte
Rigidity of Gender
Successful social relations require all participants to
Styled repetitions of acts.
Can you think of some ways in which we monitor* gender?
*(hint: think of language, spaces, behavior)
When we encounter a person we make a gender attribution
Gender & Hierarchy
Gender means difference
We learn to read people's gender according to 'rules' about gender that enable us to classify a wide ranges of gender presentations into TWO and ONLY TWO gender categories
Maintenance of gender structure is dependent on the creation of a few categories that are mutually exclusive, members must be as different as possible.
Clarity and maintenance of such boundaries between categories allows gender to be used to assign rights and responsibilities as well as resources and rewards.
The meanings and values we ascribe to gender categories - support the hierarchical nature of gender under
Gender and Patriarchy
Gender and Patriarchy are not the same
Gender is constructed around heterosexuality under patriarchy
The meanings we ascribe to gender categories perpetuate the hierarchical nature of gender under patriarchy
Contemporary constructions of masculinity and femininity further the hierarchical work of patriarchy
We do gender whether we intend to or not
These displays are culturally established sets of behaviors, appearances, mannerisms and other cues that we have learned to associate with members of a particular gender
How do you "do gender"?
Race, Class, Gender & the Body
Body - is a central mechanism through which people appropriate, perform and negotiate difference.
The clothes we wear, the way we style our hair, how we walk, talk, and gesture are all tied up with doing difference.
Barber's essay teaches us how race and class privilege are reproduced by men through the consumption of beauty work, and how this privilege both allows men a 'pass' to enter into a "women's" space while protecting them from the powerless aspects associated with the feminine culture of beauty.
"Doing Gender" or the process of presenting, monitoring and interpreting gender displays does not happen apart from race and class hierarchies.
The media now positions men as sexualized objects of the gaze; women are encouraged to consumed the beautified male bodily form; the sexualization of men and their participation in beauty culture destabilizes traditional gender dichotomies.
Do you think there is wide acceptance of male participation in beauty culture? Why or why not?
Aspects of society and personal attributes that are highly valued are associated with men, while devalued attributes and social activities are associated with women.
There is a sense of threat to the social structure of patriarchies when these gendered associations are destabilized
Hanif Abdur-Rahim, Ubiquitous Swag, 2010
Graciela Iturbide, Cholas, East L.A. 1986