Social construction feminism often focuses on the construction of gender, and how gender stereotypes limit us. We live in a society that is heavily based on a dichotomous model of gender, always contrasting male and female, masculine and feminine. Judith Butler’s theory of gender performativity shows how the constant repetitive action of “doing” gender creates an illusion of a natural original gender, but gender is in fact liable to change because each repetition undoes and re-establishes gender (Butler 313). Stereotypes of masculinity and femininity are indeed socialized from a young age; its pervasiveness creates an invisibility that makes it very difficult to overcome. “We are gendered because we do gender, and we do gender because we are constantly subject to gendered social processes and struct...
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...still perceived within the limitations of social constructs but nevertheless they provide a way for people to reclaim and assert control over their bodies and identities.
Western culture is built on a foundation of social construction. Every expression of identity we have, from our words and gestures to our bodies and appearance, is governed by societal norms of beauty and gender. Combined with factors such as race, class, ethnicity, sexuality and disability, we are trapped in a culture that will have made many assumptions before we’ve said a single word. Our means of expression will forever be examined through a lens of social standards. Even actions meant to subvert social construction and hegemonic institutions are not impervious to those standards. However the fact that our choices are restricted by social construction does not mean that we cannot make a choice.
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