Doing Gender - How Society Creates Differences Between Girls and Boys

1805 Words Jan 23rd, 2010 8 Pages
In this essay I discuss that "doing gender means creating differences between girls and boys and women and men...." (West & Zimmerman 2002:13) I am concentrating on the female perspective, how societyputs forth expectations of what is 'natural' or biological even though, in some cases, it can be quite demeaning and degrading. I am using some examples from the local media and also a few childhoodexperiences that have helped me to now strongly suspect that the quote from Simone Beauvoir (1972) "One is not born a woman, but rather becomes one" most likely has quite a bit of truth to it.

There is continuing controversy about the differences between girls and boys, men and women, the biological make-up and also how men and women grow up in
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The bodyparts beingthose of women, of course.

Catherine's older sister Karin was the same age as me, 12 years old. Her parents had the latest 'mod cons' shipped out from the USA and her bedroom was decked out with hot pink shag pile carpet and a white fourposter bed with gold trimming and pale pink floral fabric, which flowed delicately in all the right places. My bedroom had the bare necessities, which was all I really needed or wanted. My bedroom was very basic with no signs of femininity and I was okay with that. I also didn't like wearing frills or lace. I thought it was rather 'lame'. What I initially found very fascinating about Karin was thatshe had 'boobs', which she was particularly proud of, and I was very flat chested. I'd never met anyone my age with 'boobs' before. She convinced me that that's what boys like, and also emphasized the greatimportance of being liked by boys. She persuaded me to wear one of her old training bras and stuff it with tissues. I was so in 'awe' of her that I complied. There were only a couple of older boys on the mission station and they were actually teenagers, so their approval of our maturing young bodies, well... hers in particular, was very important. Before Karin had arrived the thought of attracting the attention of a boy didn't even register in my mind seeing as I was just one of them, mostly. I grew up with two brothers and mostly all male cousins so taking part in 'boyish' activities
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