Gender And Gender : A Common Mistake Essay

Gender And Gender : A Common Mistake Essay

Length: 1721 words (4.9 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

A common mistake individuals make is that they describe sex and gender as one in the same. Sex is assigned at birth and is based on a person’s genital appearance. Gender is a social construction; it reflects a culture, which means it is associated with a performance of femininity or masculinity. Sarah Rosetta Wakeman was born with the sex of female, but as she grew older she would be seen associated with the gender of a male. Wakeman was a simple farm girl from central New York and was the oldest of seven children. She left home and began dressing as a man and later joined the service in the 153rd regiment for the Union. She used the alias’ Private Lyons Wakeman and Edwin R. Wakeman. Wakeman’s ability to pass as a man in the Civil War shows the flexibility of gender in the mid-nineteenth century America. Exploring this will help to understand the social constructs of this time period.

To better understand how Wakeman decided to dress as a man we must look at her upbringing. She was the oldest of seven, of which five were girls and two were boys. Her brothers were the youngest in the family. Wakeman is the oldest and it can be assumed that she had multiple responsibilities. Her family was farmers and since the boys were so young, she was asked to help her father with the farming responsibilities. Her mother also wanted her to fulfill womanly responsibilities like helping with her siblings. She did not fit into the gender form of female because she had to help her father on the farm. To better comprehend this she is perceived as a tomboy.

She did not fit the social norm of a woman for that time. She was strong and willing to do manual labor. This seemed to be a strain on the family dynamic. The strain on the family can be shown...

... middle of paper ...

... a man. In her letters home and her descriptions of work experience it is clear that her male counterparts were not concerned with her sex. Through Wakeman’s ability not to be exposed she in turn was successful in her performance as passing as a man. She was successful in gaining male supporters that did not feel the need to expose her sex, such as her cousins and friends from her home in New York that were soldiers. Wakeman’s look as well as her work ethic made her an effective representation of a man.

It was not only her ability to perform the tasks of a man that made her successful in her portrayal of a man, but it was also the era that she was in. It made it much easier for her to hide her female identity simply by her appearance. It would not be as easy to do in our generation, as appearance does not identify your sex as easily as it did during the civil war.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay on Gender And Gender : A Common Mistake

- An Uncommon Solider A common mistake individuals make is that they describe sex and gender as the one in the same. Sex is assigned at birth and is based on a person’s genital appearance. Gender is a social construction; it reflects a culture meaning associated with a performance of femininity or masculinity. Sarah Rosetta Wakeman was born with the sex of female but as she grew older she would be seen associate with the gender of male. Wakeman was a simple farm girl from central New York and was the oldest of seven children....   [tags: Gender, Male, Gender studies, Female]

Strong Essays
1109 words (3.2 pages)

Media Analysis of Gender Essays

- First of all, in The Simpsons, the scene where we get into the actual plot of the story opens with Marge and Lisa walking into a department store that sells dolls. The gender stereotype that girls are only interested in playing with dolls is reinforced here as a huge selection of Malibu Stacy dolls is on display with a throng of screeching, bloodthirsty girls tearing the store apart. Lisa says, “I’m warning you mom, I might get a little crazy.” and immediately knocks down a girl and snatches another in a choke-hold to be the first in line for the new Malibu Stacy doll....   [tags: Gender Studies]

Strong Essays
1742 words (5 pages)

Feminist Approaches And Perspectives On Gender Essay

- Feminist approaches and perspectives on gender The two articles by Reed (1999) troubling boys and disturbing discourses and by Ringrose (2007) gender and education. Both of these articles highlight how gender plays a role in education. For example, it shows how girls outplay boys in exams. Feminist believe that society is dominated by males as in the past women have been disadvantaged in the society and men had power. In schools girls studied subjects like cookery that helped them to become a good housewife and a mother (Trueman, 2015)....   [tags: Feminism, Gender, Patriarchy, Emotion]

Strong Essays
1014 words (2.9 pages)

The Problem Of Gender Inequality Essay

- ... In more simple terms, three things describe inequality. First, men tend to experience better opportunities, higher social regards and more freedom than women who have the same social characteristics. Second, men normally have a stronger influence in direct relationships between women and men, such as marriage. And third, men dominate certain social positions that hold significant political, economical, and cultural power. In the effort to understand gender inequality it is necessary to characterize between gender differences that do not represent inequality, aspects that are shared by many forms of inequality, and exclusive features of gender inequality that work different from other typ...   [tags: Gender, Sociology, Male, Sex]

Strong Essays
761 words (2.2 pages)

Racism And Gender Discrimination Motivated Essay

- ... It seems that being white could enjoy societal privileges. Many black people like Tiana experienced different kinds of racism in their lives on many different levels. Not anyone like Tiana determines to spend her life fighting for racial and gender equality because they do not have opportunities to learn and explore the history of the race and the essence of the racism. School education does not only teach students the necessary knowledge about ethnicity and develop their awareness of differences, but also encourages them to rethink the troubling history and root causes and figure out ways to challenge, change, or conquer social inequality, discrimination, and oppression....   [tags: Discrimination, Racism, Gender, Sociology]

Strong Essays
1338 words (3.8 pages)

Essay about Analysis of the Worst Mistake in Human History by Jared Diamond

- Jared Diamond makes the argument that when humans decided 10,000 years ago to no longer be hunter-gatherers and made the decision to become sedentary and start domesticating their animals and crops, the result is that the human race has experienced a steady downfall. Diamond makes the point that “with agriculture came the gross social and sexual inequality, the disease and despotism that curse our existence,” (Diamond). While the present system certainly is far from being perfected, Diamond’s various complaints and solutions certainly would not be of much use in the present time either....   [tags: human, agriculture, group, crops]

Strong Essays
773 words (2.2 pages)

Globalization and the Gender of Women Essay

- Class this semester was widely based on the ideas and problematic events in which revolve around the idea of globalization. This term, idea, or concept poses many negativities to the gender of women. Despite the media and the common portrayal that the idea of globalization is a positive thing for the world, in many instances it is causing great negativity for people, specifically women. Globalization can be applied to many aspects of culture but many times it is applied in terms of economics. In the patriarchal world in which exists when speaking about economics it is typically a male centered conversation due to the males typically being in lead roles of the work force despite many women in...   [tags: Economice, Education, Society]

Strong Essays
1899 words (5.4 pages)

Essay about The Issue Of Gender Inequality

- ... The essay is a beautiful distillation of her understanding and experiences within influential French society. Having been a successful and authoritative figure, Anne 's caution and judgment proved to be a great path of preparation for her daughter. In the course of the late sixteenth century, women were very rarely influential figures in politics, business or education. The aristocratic and royal women, of that day, were accustomed to receiving a reasonable amount of respect and authority in comparison to common women....   [tags: Human rights, Women's rights, Feminism]

Strong Essays
1986 words (5.7 pages)

Gender Communication Is Qualified As A Form Of Intercultural Communication

- Assignment 1 Gender communication focused on the method of expressing a thought or idea through the use of a gender in the relationship and the role of people. Some will argue that gender communication is qualified as a form of intercultural communication on the development of effective communication skills when we interact with an opposite sex. The communication between men and women have a huge difference because people from different culture speak different dialects. In the current society, it is common for us to hear phrases such as “ you men (women) are from a different planet,”these phrases are developed due to the miscommunication between men and women over the course of evolution...   [tags: Male, Female, Sex, Communication]

Strong Essays
832 words (2.4 pages)

Gender Issues in Religion Essay

- Gender Issues in Religion Amongst the world religions are many different attitudes towards gender issues and sexuality. A hundred years ago, or even a lot less, these different perspectives did not exist, as they were often considered unimportant, as King noted 'until recently little attention has been paid to gender differences and their impact on religious teaching and practice.'[1] With some religions, their scriptures are considered to be infallible and therefore not to be questioned....   [tags: Papers]

Strong Essays
1642 words (4.7 pages)