On the other hand, it will be explored how the discourse on gender relies on social norms outside of the institutionalised settings, in correlation with everyday encounters. Thus, it should be explained how doing gender regulates individuals, and how the same individuals proliferate gendered labour market. The gender division of labour Doing gender is 'a complex of socially guided perceptual, interactional, and micropolitical activities ', legitimising assumptions under which our society operates; namely, the irreconcilable differences between masculine and feminine 'essential natures ' (West and Zimmerman, 1987, p. 126). As Kessler and McKenna (1978) observe, this process of manifesting and affirming one 's membership in a sex category is part of everyday encounters and social relations rather than a projection
Judith Butler is an American philosopher and feminist who in her book Gender Trouble: Feminism and the subversion of identity, explore the idea whether we are assigned our gender or do we perform it based on what values we have learnt. She seeks to radically reconceptualize, challenge and help alter our ideas on how we understand gender and sex. She starts off by saying that existing feminist movement are limited in how they define gender. She says that this definition is outdated but still reflected by the world’s treatment of gender as a set of binary categories, this means that when we are born we are distinctively placed into one of the two categories i.e. male of female and these categories define how we behave.
Judith Butler’s Gender Trouble (1990) and Bodies that Matter (1993) works are fundamental texts of study for this thesis. Both works are deeply influenced specially by French structuralism and post-structuralism schools of thought. In Gender Trouble, Butler deconstructs the established, normative, Western construction of the Gay/Straight and hetero/homosexual binaries to discuss the lack of perspective regarding the heterogeneity of sexual identity and diversity as it is present in twentieth century society. Her arguments focus not only on the production of binaries and their rigidity from a sociological standpoint, but also on how the use of these binary structures can affect us in processes of sexual identity construction because of interpretations and constraints coming from various fields such as: the economic, the philosophical, the medical and the psychological and the use of language. Butler focuses repeatedly on the production of language.
Gender Roles and heterosexuality Gender has played a major role since the beginning of time, dictating how individuals should act within society. Gender is a fabricated concept which is shaped and brought forward by various institutions, such as the media, religion, culture and other systems. These hugely influential gender roles are so deeply rooted in individuals that they are accepted as social norms and standards that are rarely questioned (Johnson and Repta). According to Trier-Bieniek and Leavy (n.d), gender is the certain expectations of how femininity and masculinity should be acted out based on people 's assigned biological gender. When men and women enter into a heterosexual relationship, their gender roles are at play and sexual scripts need to be upheld over time in order to continue following the social expectation.
There has been plentiful controversy regarding the true definition of feminism. Some may correlate the word feminist with the notion of anti-male or simply put, man-hating. Others may view the feminist movement as an attempt for females to dominate. Unfortunately, few truly recognize the pure intention of the feminist movement to establish equality between the two sexes. Feminism is defined as “a multi-disciplinary approach to sex and gender equality understood through social theories and political activism.” Over time, it has gradually evolved from “… the critical examination of inequality between the sexes to a more nuanced focus on the social and performative constructions of gender and sexuality” ("What Is Feminism?," n.d.).
The text involves gender differences, stereotyping and socialization. Gender development has come a long way, conducted by a relatively small group of investigators interested in gender development. Sex roles have provided a great dedication on the research topics with gender development. According to the text, the authors hope that there will be more diversity in topics and methods in gender development research. At first they explain the history of gender roles, providing information about the 1960’s to 1970’s era, which had been a turning point in society, about gender roles.
They refer to the rights and responsibilities, including relationships in all individuals. Yet, much gender relations are not as highly known. For instance, in terms of the sociological imagination: “Patterns of gender relations are found throughout society, although much of the time these patterns remain invisible to us” (Mills, 2000), explains huge breakthroughs in society that are still patterns of gender relations found throughout society. I have always been identified as a female and have enjoyed partaking in activities that society has deemed ‘girly.’ For instance, as I mentioned in my daily routine, I love to do my makeup and hair. But, I also love fashion, shopping for clothes, draw, and listen to pop or female centered music.
Gender and Dailiness : A Convergence The concept of gender and gender roles has been sewn into the very fabric of society. The stereotypes associated with them shape the habits, thought and lifestyle of an individual and influence their actions. Gender is a routine influence in life, whether in a subtle or forthright manner. This “dailiness” of gender is seen in Joan Scott’s essay “Gender: A Useful Category of Historical Analysis” and in Imtiaz Dharker’s collections of poems “The Terrorist at my Table” and “Postcards from God”. The relationship between gender and dailiness enables us to examine its the very foundation.
In Gender as an analytic category, Guy-Sheftall affirms, “Sexual attributes are a biologically given, but gender is a function of historical process.” The example she states, “The fact that women have to bear children is due to sex; that women are assigned the major responsibility throughout the world for nurturing children is due to gender, a cultural construct” This constructs is formed and reformed though many institutions such as school and jobs, and through others means such as religion, language and media and etc. We are what we continuously do. Society achieves this success of these constructs by continuing to normalize these roles and make others feel bad as soon as they step out of these bounds ensuring this process. Additionally, within Gender Talk, the phrase “the personal is political (pg. 4) is coined to depict how women are taught these roles.
The definition of a gender role is; “the pattern of behavior, personality traits and attitudes defining masculinity or femininity in a certain culture. Determined by the upbringing that may or may not conform to a person 's gender identity” (Psychology Dictionary). The study of gender roles is not a new topic in social psychology. What is new though is how “traditional” gender roles have been continuously evolving. “Today we accept a lot more diversity and see gender as a continuum (i.e.