Night To His Day Analysis Essay Example
If you had to summarize in ordinary language the concept of "gender as structure," what would you say? (How would you explain "gender as a social institution" to a relative or a friend?)
According to many people, gender is stated to be a social structure. The reason for stating this fact is that it has its origins developed from the human culture. It has been claimed that gender has been classified as a gender institution (Lorber). Gender being a social institution has enabled people to be able to organize their lives. Human beings are dependent on the structure that is created in the society. In the structure, there is the allocation of resources, the division of labor and the assigned responsibility that people have in the society for the children, disabled or elderly people. The different tasks in the society are based on gender, one’s achievement, age, race, and ethnicity. All the societies in the world are defined by their gender of either being a female or male. There are some particular tasks that are designed for specific gender status. According to most societies, women are meant to be homemakers while men work in the fields or companies (Acker). These roles, however, are slowly fading in many countries. Women can now work as engineers or architects. These jobs were previously stated to be strictly for men. There are many men who look after the children and the houses while women go to work.
Gendering of people begins from birth and people have to look or act according to how their gender roles are defined in the society. After birth, the sex of the child is what will determine, which gender names or clothes they are going to be given. Adults of a different gender treat the children of the same gender differently. They are treated the same by the same gender. This fact will cause the children to learn from an early age what type of gender they belong to in the society (Risman). This will make them grow to know that they are of a certain gender group. It is a fact that gender is a normal part of life that always disrupts people’s perceptions and expectations towards the men and women especially on how they should act in the society. People usually feel very comfortable when they have acknowledged one another in accordance with their gender status.
How did Judith Lorber demonstrate the significant differences that gender categories have for the individual and for society? (Hint: It may help to recall Lorber's discussions of "sameness" and "difference.")
According to Judith, individuals believe that gender means sameness. Human beings cannot be essentially stated to have the character of maleness, femaleness, femininity or masculinity (Lorber). The society is the one that ascribes the gender roles. This will cause people to stick to their gender roles in order to fit in the society. There are certain expectations that are required for people of a certain gender. The people who do not follow gender status they as individuals will be failing themselves and, therefore, their characters will come into question. The society’s views of how the women and the men act or behave are based on the gendered practices. These gendered practices have been justified by people’s cultures or norms, law and the religion. This fact is the reason why anything that looks different with regards to gender is unaccepted by people in the society (Risman).
Society believes that gender means the difference among people. These differences are identities, interests, sexual preference, experiences and talents. According to the social construction, men and women do not have to do anything that is similar (Lorber). The society will still state that they are different. When the men and women are doing similar jobs, they are segregated. The reason for doing this is so as to maintain the gender separation. This fact can be seen in the military. Gender difference has been created by the society. This fact is the reason why people act the way they do in the society. According to gender, women and men have their own social identity, and that is the reason why they behave the way they do. An example that can be used in this matter will be the transsexuals. The men are changing into women. The men have to change their behaviors and let it be more like that of the women. In the case of women to men, the women change their behaviors and attitudes into that of men.
Acker, Joan. Hierarchies, Jobs, and Bodies: A Theory of Gendered Organizations. Gender and Society (1990): 139-158.
Lorber, Judith. Night to His Day The Social Construction of Gender. 2013. <http://22.214.171.124/Students/phys29_2013/ElectronicReadings/Week%2012/Lorber.pdf>.
Risman, Barbara J. Gender as a Social Structure: Theory Wrestling with Activism. Sage Publications, Inc., 2004.