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Why Trying On Gender And Intersectionality Matters, By Susan Williams

In the Article, Ding Culture With Girls Like Me: Why Trying on Gender and Intersectionality Matters, by Susan Williams, Williams examines, outlines, and identifies how race, ethnicity, and class play a role in how girls try on gender, while also gathering information on the intersectional and experimental aspects of the process. She highlights diversity of girl’s experiences to strengthen the ability to asses ways in which societies participate in gender. Williams does this by identifying and highlighting the way girls do gender, examining intersectionality through her concept of trying-on gender, and by including cross-over literature to show how girls make a multi-constructed sense of self. Through this process Williams was able to find that…show more content…
William began her process by explaining and reviewing social constructionism. She defined social constructionism in her article as providing the most comprehensive body of theoretical concepts to explain experiences of girls from different social locations. She then proceeds to explain how social constructionism has its roots in social interactionism and how all meaning in society, including gender, are made through interactions, thus society produces gender. She explains and discusses how this relates to gender and intersecting factors. Intersectionality is the idea that gender is not an isolated status that we experience but instead it intersects with our other identities. This is explained by examples of previous research done, such as the doll experiment where black and white girls pick the white doll as the good doll, and the black doll as the bad doll. Williams then begins to give an overview of her review and research with a concept she developed call trying on gender, to help understand intersectionality. Trying on gender refers to a provisional, experimental version of doing gender. Williams argues that trying on gender captures one segment of…show more content…
Intersectionality is defined as the process of gender that is not an isolated status that we experience, but instead it intersects with other identities, such as race, class, sexuality, ability, ethnicity, body size, etc. (Prohaska, 2015). Intersectionality happens with everyone. In my instance, I am a white, middle-class, lesbian, able-bodied, 20 year-old, female, who lives in a heteronormative society. That is my identity, and each component of that is experienced in part with the others, they all intersect. I am able-bodied, so I am expected to take care of myself and rise up to my gender expectations. As a 20 year-old female I am perceived to be timid or shy, reserved, go out regularly, dress a specific way, wear make up, enjoy shopping, and even cooking. I am also expected to look presentable, even when dressing down, to do well in school, and living in a heteronormative society I am expected to have or be looking for a boyfriend. As a lesbian society perceives me to me assertive, more masculine, to look and act more man like, and to not like girly
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