COMS201 Fall 2011

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Lecture 9

Filed under: Uncategorized December 2, 2011 @ 19:48

Have you ever experienced a situation where you were very aware of “performing” your gender?

Do you agree with “gendering”? Or do you think there are some biological determinants to gender dictated to us by our sex?


  1. Evangelos Lambrinoudis:

    I would hate to be obvious here but having sex is the first thing that comes to mind. I think from a very young age we learn “how” mean and women have sex beyond the biological sense… What constitutes good and bad sex hugely ties into these roles we playing during sex.

    Obviously gender roles interms fetish would potentially disagree with my point above but I would also argue that these fetishes where male/female expectations are reversed happen because of already constructed social roles rather then in-spite of.

  2. KelseyMcCay:

    Just in daily life with my boyfriend. I am very independent and like to do things on my own, make my own money, build things, etc. and I feel like that hurts my boyfriends ego. I feel like men want to feel needed. So there are times that I play into the gender role of being a woman and let him do the “manly” things.

    I agree with gendering. I dont think women would be so fixated on the image they portray (skinny, beautiful, sexy) if it werent for the media. And similarly men wouldnt feel the need to be big, buff, uber-masculine. We are force fed this ideal gender role from the time we are little kids and if you dont meet the criteria generally people feel insecure about themselves.

  3. Alva pailwe:

    i am constantly performing my gender. The most concrete example i can think of is when I started my first “real” job. It was brought to my attention that the look I was projecting was that of a ‘tom boy’ and that it was considered inappropriate by my co-workers. After that I began with the high heels, the skirts, the hair straightener and more. I still retain my love for martial arts and many other old tendencies, but I would say I am performing femininity more often than not. The sad reality is that these changes really did help people see me more positively.

    I absolutely agree with gendering. From day one we are branded with either pink or blue, hero or princess, pretty or handsome. I do not think there is a vast difference between the sexes but rather between individuals. Too often when we consider a male vs a female we picture a short, very slender woman, and a tall, very muscle toned male, but is this really an accurate depiction of the average male or female? I’m not saying that the five foot tall 100 pound girl should be a fire fighter or a bouncer but why not the 6’1 girl who weighs 200 and goes to the gym daily?

  4. Stephane Licina:

    I really found this topic interesting.
    I feel like usually, I perform my gender. From heavy lifting at work, to extreme conditioning and fitness. Because of our broad physical build, we are (theoretically and in general) able to do more physical tasks then women.
    I also agree with gendering Because of the media, we are “supposed” to portray what their idea of a man or a woman is. If the media did not have this influence, it would be like back in the day, big, bearded, strong, rough, dirty men would be the ideal man (not toned, but chunky), who would go out and do physical tasks and try to physically support the family, while an ideal woman in the past would be expected to be the ultimate homemaker. She should support her husband and children, cook delicious meals, keep a spotless home and embody an attractive, and be a mother by supporting the family in less physical ways.

  5. Jordan:

    Its obvious that on average man are bigger and stronger than women. But this does not mean that men must feel like they are obligated to do “manly” tasks to feel secure about themselves. I feel, personally, if you are worried about performing or boasting about how “manly” you are, you may have more then an insecurity complex going on.

  6. yamna:

    Have you ever experienced a situation where you were very aware of “performing” your gender?
    i feel as if i am always preforming my gender, weather it be at work,school, or home. i think its a very involuntary action- like breathing, you dont realize you are doing it until you pay attention to it, or is brought to your attention.

    Do you agree with “gendering”? Or do you think there are some biological determinants to gender dictated to us by our sex?

    i feel gender is more of a socail trait rather then a biloogical one, as our society changes so does our gender role. its a ever changing system where as sex is biological routed and change in this sector may take a while.

  7. Christina Druce:

    Have you ever experienced a situation where you were very aware of “performing” your gender?

    I was a working mother for a few years, loving my career and doing my best to balance both my career and my family as a lot women do. Suddenly circumstances changed and we needed a parent at home in our family. Though both my husband and I knew something had to change, it never occurred to him (or anyone else) that he should be the one to give up his career to stay home, it was always assumed by everyone but me that it was my job. After a year of pressure, I finally resigned and stopped working. If that isn’t performing a gender role, I don’t know what is! Though I don’t often think about it day to day, upon reflection I can see that I often sacrifice my own best interests and slide into my gender role. And how do I parent without passing these things on to my kids inside the home? I’m not sure it’s possible.

    Do you agree with “gendering”? Or do you think there are some biological determinants to gender dictated to us by our sex?

    I personally completely agree that the majority of gender expectations are learned. There may be small biological components, however I can say that I have a strong aversion to a lot of things considered “female”; the colour pink, being emotional some or all of the time, deferring to my husbands opinions or wishes, being the “homemaker”, deferring to males in the workplace (as if)etc. yet I find myself being expected to act according to female stereotypes in a lot of situations. Though to be and act as myself I would be characterized as less feminine. I dress feminine, but without frills, I act feminine, but without the overtly girly stuff, however have no problem playing competitive sports, conveying my opinions and advocating effectively on my behalf and others (which are traditionally male characteristics).

  8. CaitlinSimpson:

    I find a lot of time I am looked at with surprise because I do things that are considered more manly than feminine. Well, that’s the wrong wording. I just relate more with interests of my friends that are guys then I do with those that are girls.
    For example engaging in sports, or having a pint of beer rather than a “spritzer”

  9. Arkady Eidelberg:

    It’s a bit funny, but my expirience controdicts that of some other comments in here. In fact, the way I know the world of dating and boyfriend/girlfriend (even though I haven’t expirienced it in Canada yet, so that might be where the difference comes from), usually it is the male that is expected to be the dominant one.

    I mean, if I am at a party or a bar, and I cross eyes with this atractive young female that looks interested in me. I, as the male, am expected to aproach her. If at a later time, I ask her out for a date, it is usually expected of me to atleast offer to pay for both of us. (be it a dinner or a movie, or something alike. She might object about me paying, but it is still expected of me to insist and bring it up…)

  10. vincents2:

    I am from east asia and this is my first year in North America. It is surprising to find out that masculinity of North American culture is shown in a really firm way of being stronge and intimidating, and the boby size shall be big with a pair of huge biceps. In asia, pop-stars and celebrities are showing another form of image. Men are are presneted as being smart but no physical intimidation. Men’s body shape are generally being silm and fit but not a huge body. Like they wear skinny jeans but nobody does that here.
    This makes me feel even stronger that gendering do exist and many of our values are cultrually construted.

  11. Kadie:

    Have you ever experienced a situation where you were very aware of “performing” your gender?

    I do agree that gender is a performance to an extent. I think it is part of attracting the opposite sex. Guys like to be the men, and girls like to be the little lady (atleast for me) if I see a spider, I do a little scream (it’s legit, i am terrified) and the boyfriend will step in, man up, and kill it with his thumb. We both are satisfied with our performance – I don’t have to deal with the spider, and the boyfriend is the hero.

    Do you agree with “gendering”? Or do you think there are some biological determinants to gender dictated to us by our sex?

    Gendering starts at birth, girls get the pink blanket, and the barbies, and boys get the blue room and the G.I Joes. It would be interesting to see what would happen if this got switched and how it affected the way the kids grew up.

  12. Kanza Anjum:

    I think we are constantly performing our gender in our everyday lives. I’ll give example of my home, I, my sister and my brother we all live together with our parents and at home its mine and my sisters duty is to do household chores like cooking, cleaning etc. my brother and dad wouldn’t do that at home because they are supposed to do manly stuff, like physically and financially supporting the family.
    and I agree with the above comment that gendering starts at birth. since childhood, we are being told that you r girl and you are not supposed to do this, and same thing with the boy that you are boy and you are supposed to do this. If a boy gets hurt and he cries parents told him not to cry because he is a boy. Girls get gifts like barbie, homes, dinner sets and kitchen stuff while boys get cars and tools etc.

  13. Crystal She:

    Have you ever experienced a situation where you were very aware of “performing” your gender?
    I think I am always performing my gender, when I get ready for school I think about what clothes I will wear or how I will do my face. The clothing choices I make are usually more “girly” types of clothing like skirts or dresses and although men can wear those articles of clothing as well it would just be a little awkward. I think we all perform our gender, its even in the way we walk. I found out that I walk with more of a “skip” when I’m excited which looks more feminine. But then again these are all socially constructed ideas of what is considered “feminine”. If I do something that is more “manly” like carry heavy objects people assume that I am “showing off” when all I’m doing is carrying a box. I feel bad for males though because they are expected to do all the physical work and although they may seem to enjoy doing it I would hate that, partially because i’m extremely lazy.

    Do you agree with “gendering”? Or do you think there are some biological determinants to gender dictated to us by our sex?
    I agree with gendering and I believe that gender it is socially constructed. The problem is there is really no way to test this. In my sociology class we talked about the genderless baby and how “it’s” parents won’t tell “it” if it is a female or male that way it can see what path it takes. But of course media and generally everyone around “it” will be able to change that. Here is a link to that story

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