Essay about Homosexual Individuals and Gender Norms

Essay about Homosexual Individuals and Gender Norms

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“Beni, I have something to tell you,” my friend Marie said to me one year ago. “I am a lesbian.” At that moment all my views and beliefs about homosexual individuals were shattered. Marie has been in my life for about 13 years now, and is a very good friend of mine from the church. Growing up, she has been a tomboy that expressed herself in ways that deviated from the female gender norms, or ciswoman (Wood, 2013, p. 26). “Sex is a designation based on biology,” therefore, Marie’s sex is female (Wood, 2013, p. 19). Gender, on the other hand, is “socially constructed and expressed” (Wood, 2013, p. 19). Marie’s personal view of her own sex is female, also know as her gender identity, but the way she displays her gender through clothing and actions coincides with a masculine gender expression (Wood, 2013, p. 21). For example, while most of the girls and women at our church were dressed in nice skirts, dresses, and blouses with heels, jewelry, and makeup, Marie would be wearing baggy shorts or jeans, loose t-shirts, and sneakers. She never put on makeup and even chose to wear clothing from the men’s department in stores because that is how she felt comfortable.
Marie hasn’t always been this way, however. In her house, her mother has multiple baby photos of Marie dressed in floral, pastel colored dresses with bows in her hair. I have also seen some of her old toys that include several baby dolls, tea sets, and fashion games. These artifacts express female gendered nonverbal communication. “An artifact is a personal object that can both express identity and influence how we see ourselves, …[and] personal objects for children define them as feminine or masculine” (Wood, 2013, p. 126). Parents send artifactual messages to their childr...

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...ifferent ethnicities, abilities and disabilities, class appearances, sexual orientation, and gender identities” (Wood, 2013, p. 74). Specifically, my friend Marie is represented by the intersectionality characteristic of this third-wave. She is a Lebanese, Catholic, female, lesbian. Shouldn’t the harassment she receives for all these separate identities be taken into consideration? “Third wavers focus on the intersectionality of oppression, pointing out that race, class, sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity are intricately woven together and must be addressed holistically” (Wood, 2013, p. 75). By addressing these individual differences, third wavers are giving a voice and a feeling of belongingness to women like Marie.

Works Cited

Wood, J. T. (2013). Gendered lives: Communication, gender, & culture. (11th ed., pp. 19-130). Stamford, CT: Cengage Learning.

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