The Cultural Construct Of Gender Appropriation

1060 Words5 Pages
The Cultural Construct of Gender Appropriation In Mariah Burton Nelson article “I Won. I’m Sorry” she discusses how ingrained the concept of gender roles are within American society. She states how women are expected to be feminine while men are anticipated to be masculine. Nelson’s article highlights how these assumptions cause society to delegate standards of beauty and submission for women to fulfill while assigning standards of dominance and aggression for men to fulfill. In Aaron Devor’s, a professor of sociology, essay “Gender Role Behaviors and Attitudes” he debates that the existence of gender assumptions are not biological but rather a cultural construct. He refers to people who follow this cultural construct of gender as actors; which shows the audience his belief that the male’s display of aggression and the female’s characteristics of vulnerability are not genuine trait. Devor concludes that people aim to live up to these gender appropriations established by culture as opposed to having unique definitions of gender appropriation based solely on one 's actions and personality. It is evident that Aaron Devor would adamantly support Mariah Nelson 's claim that the drastic differences seen between male and female character traits are not natural but figments supported by society. Both Devor and Nelson believe that gender codes are conjured and promoted by cultural construction. Nelson announces that, “The most popular sport for high school and college women is basketball...But the most televised women’s sport is figure skating,” (529). Although studies have shown that basketball is the sport that thrives more in the women’s community pop culture manipulates society into believing this is not the case. When television... ... middle of paper ... ...of a person rather than the anatomy of a person. So when individuals fail to religiously adhere to these gender codes they are at risk of failing to adequately communicate their gender, which can lead to being ostracized in the dating world or by pairs. Nelson highlights how the culture uses television to promotes and enforces gender roles; which assist society in identify what is gender appropriate. Society puts so much emphasis on gender appropriation that people fear the outcome of not fitting into a category of male or female because there is no inbetween. Men are supposed to dominate with aggression while women enable them by remaining vulnerable and submissive. Both authors believe that there are no natural character traits in men and women and that the creation of these differences were culturally created in an effort to keep women oppressed by male dominance.
Open Document