Taking a Closer Look at Gender

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From the beginning of their lives, individuals are associated with a specific gender, influencing behaviour, opportunities and expectations. The basic inequalities and disparities between men and women are generally seen as the result of the innate, essential differences between the two biological sexes. This theory presumes that each and every member of the female gender is identical, and that the same can be said for males but “not all women are the same, just like all men aren’t the same” (Tarrant 63). One of the fundamental objectives of feminism is to dissolve traditional gender standards, thus liberating gender limitations for both men and women. The social construction of gender shapes masculinity, devalues femininity and sets gender expectations through parental and societal influence. Analyzing the foundation of gender, how gender is reinforced and its production of masculinity, feminism can be shown to break down gender stereotypes.
Looking across various societies, significant differences between men and women are distinguishable but this is not because of people’s plumbing rather it results from societal gender expectations pressed upon individuals as “most gender differences [are] culturally induced and widely malleable” (Diamond 48). The conventional characteristics associated with each gender have no biological foundation as “sex basically refers to our biology - what’s between our legs when we’re born” (Tarrant 59). Whereas “gender refers to the array of
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