Michael Kimmel And Judith Lorber Essays

Michael Kimmel And Judith Lorber Essays

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Many people view gender as a mostly solid, rigid, unchangeable thing, but they are only seeing it through their viewpoint as many cultures and individuals have their own way of viewing gender identity and gender roles. One way gender comes into play is with children’s toys which are divided into boys’ and girls’ toys in a very consistent manner. Elizabeth Sweet from The New York Times, discusses the gender-based marketing of toys and whether gender-neutral toys would help or hurt children and their gender development, stating herself that “making toys gender-inclusive doesn’t prevent a girl from selecting a pink doll or a boy from picking a blue truck- it just stops such a selection from being obligatory” (Sweet, 2014) . Michael Kimmel and Judith Lorber both have their own views on gender and how gender neutral toys would affect ideas of gender.
Michael Kimmel views masculinity as a fear of being weak or seen as weak, a fear of femininity. One way that men and boys prove that they are not weak and therefore masculine, is largely through violence, which according to Kimmel (2000) is “often the single most evident marker of manhood, rather it is the willingness to fight, the desire to fight” (p. 215). With the violence comes the constant need to prove manliness, and with that constancy, an anxiety and fear about one’s manliness. A boy or man must stick straight to society’s strict definitions of what a man is or else they are feminine, weak, a sissy, etc. In a way to relieve that anxiety and prove one’s manliness, men and boys engage in sexist behavior and harassment towards women or any men who are not masculine enough. More gender neutral toys might ease the strict boundaries of what is considered masculine and help alleviate anx...


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... Gender neutral toys would help break the confinements of gender roles.
I personally agree more with Lorber’s view than Kimmel’s view about gender. I have read several studies comparing the male and female brain and showing that there is no difference between male and female brains. I think the mere existence of transgender people show that sex and gender are not to be equated with one another. Transgender people were assigned their gender at birth based on sex and socialized a certain way but grow up to be another gender. If gender were rooted in biology this likely would not happen. I do agree with Kimmel’s idea that masculinity is rooted in fear. There is very little discussion of how sexism hurts men, but I feel his ideas could possibly use more discussion of women as you cannot talk about how men are hurt by gender roles and sexism without talking about women.

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