Doing Gender In College Essay

Best Essays

The Consequences of Doing Gender in College

The most commonly preached and accepted social path for an individual is to go through elementary and secondary school, and immediately follow that with some sort of a post-secondary education. We must take the skills we have learned in grade school and apply them, as we become adults. Schools where a student can receive a degree are regarded as the highest quality by society. We are lead to believe that the college or university campus is filled with equality and equal opportunity. In reality, college reaffirms the gender frames we have understood throughout our lives thus far and strengthens that reality even after we graduate. The gendered division of labor that we see in the workplace is …show more content…

This process involves acting out what we believe to be society’s perception of what it means to be masculine or feminine (West and Zimmerman, 1987). The initiation before a man and woman begin dancing together is perhaps the clearest example of individuals ‘doing gender’. In this space, men are almost exclusively responsible for initiating conversation or some sort of physical interaction. The idea that men must be aggressive and women must be passive only reaffirms our gender stereotypes. This relationship is even more evident in fraternities, as there seems to bee an even wider range in terms of what is deemed to be appropriate behavior (Boswell and Spade, 1996). These behaviors can have very detrimental effects after post-secondary life. When it becomes more and more acceptable for men to continuously make physical and sexual advances on women, it normalizes the idea of male dominance. Furthermore, in Ronen’s research regarding college dance floor conduct, men were never reprimanded for their behavior. The women who were observed dancing politely declined the invitation from the men they did not want to dance with. Men were seen having limited success with some approaches, yet continued to do so. Doing gender in this way leads to a rationalization by man of potentially violent

Get Access