doing/undoing “gender”

“Hello, and welcome to my blog.”
Below, you will find a collection of pictures that I have put together to what I believe exemplifies the word “gender”. A few of the photographs represent what it’s like to “un-do gender”, while the others point out specific gender roles that are overlooked by society everyday. We have clearly seen throughout history how sharp the blade is that divides what it’s like to be “female” or “male”.

The Pressure of Gender in High School

This is a picture of my beautiful sister all fancied up the night of her sophomore homecoming. We went to 3 different salons to get her nails, hair, and make-up done, on top of the 3 separate shopping trips it took to find her a dress that she was comfortable in. Allison chose not to attend her first homecoming because she simply did not want to. If you saw Allison on a typical day you’d know that she is a total “tomboy” who would rather be out riding her bike or playing Fortnite. I’m sure that if it were up to her, she would have chosen to wear sweatpants instead of a dress. This is an example of doing gender and how, especially in high school, teens feel the need to express “who they are”. This is usually followed by choosing to dress as a male or female.

Twinkle Toes

Football is a huge sport in the united states. So much so that the term “powderpuff football” began to develop for girls. This is a less extreme, less physical strain, and usually “feminized” version of the sport. For example, instead of tackling, flags are provided so that the girls don’t get hurt. This is an example of doing gender because it separates males from females in regards to the stereotype that “females are delicate flowers”.

Finny Mae

Finally, an example of UN-doing gender. This is my little cousin Finley. Maybe her name gives it away, or maybe it’s because I just said the word “her”, but if you were to look at this picot without knowing any of that, would you be able to tell if the baby was a boy or a girl? Probably not because her hair is neutral along with her sunblock shirt. I chose this picture to show that parents dressing up newborns in pink vs. blue clothes or butterflies vs. trucks is a prime example of portraying a specific gender.

Pets Doing Gender

This is my old roommates cat Rowdy. Because animals do not communicate and the only female/male thing about them is what they are biologically gifted with, humans tend to feel the need to make a point of their pet’s gender. Rowdy is a boy, so naturally, my roommate went out and bought a tuxedo cat harness since tuxedos are seen as masculine.

Chivalry or Degrading?

This is my boyfriend, Josh. One night, we were watching a movie and I went to get a tea from the fridge. As soon as I sat back down, he took the bottle from my hands and said, “I can open it for you, I know these are sometimes hard to open.” From Josh’s perspective, I know for a fact that he only said that with the kindness of his heart and had no harsh intentions. However, in my head, I was like, “Um okay, I am a strong capable woman who can open a plastic bottle of tea, just because you’re a boy with more muscles than me doesn’t mean I’m incapable………but thank you.”

3 thoughts on “doing/undoing “gender””

  • I love the broad perspective of gender you portray in this essay. We get an insight from many perspectives, including a neutral picture which everyone has to question. Overall, the question of gender binaries are broken, and the example of stereotypes seems to be an elusive term.

  • i really like how you mentioned girls doing football its such a good example of how women are treated differently when it comes to contact sports. I personally wouldnt play football myself but im a huge fan of watching it and i have friend who play flag football. Where its not as much of a contact sport as it is for the men women can kick ass playing.

  • I love how you mentioned pets! I think sometimes we forget about how we do gender when it even comes to our pets. Also, I have many moments like this with my significant other and I have the same feelings towards it as well.

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