Up@dawn 2.0

Friday, November 20, 2015

Section 12 Pt. 1/3, The Evolution of Gender Roles

What is Gender?

I want to start my project with a brief definition of gender to show how different the term is with sex. It’s a common misconception that gender and sex are synonymous, but they aren’t. Sex is considered more physical attributes, such as the reproductive structure, while gender, in much of Western culture, has been come to be known as a dichotomous relationship (male or female) and is directly tied to a person’s sex. However, rather than using this uneducated quick “check in the box” technique, gender has actually been identified a continuum, ranging from men and women, transgendered, intersex, to gender fluid people, etc. 

My project is going to be following the evolution of gender roles between my mother’s generation (the cusp of Gen. X and the Boomers II) and Generation Y. For this project, I interviewed my mother, sister, and my sister's wife to gather their opinions, feelings, and experiences with gender roles and societal norms with regards to gender roles.  Installment two will be majorly comprised of the interview with my mother, while installment three will be the interview about my sisters. Ultimately, with this project I want to show how gender roles are a product of social construction through not only these interviews but also some short videos, such as this one : Pizza Rolls Not Gender Roles, which is a humorous way to get the message, or this video, Pink and Blue which is bit more informative about how we communicate preconceived notions of gender/gender roles onto children at an early age.
A meme from Monty Python about the imposition of gender roles.

In my mother’s generation, they were often referred to latchkey kids, mostly because parents were away working and they had no choice. This was true of my mother. My mother, the youngest of four children, was raised most of her life by a single parent because her father was killed when she was young. This is one of the reasons I thought it would be intriguing to gain her insight on the topic, especially since my grandmother was such a strong matriarch.

Generation Y ( I know some of you will be in Gen. Z 1995+) has been said to be a generation  that question authority and constantly seek out challenges. By interviewing my sister and her wife, I not only sought out their experiences with societal norms with regard to gender roles, but I also wanted to interview them about their experiences with the age old, ignorant question “so who’s the guy and who’s the girl?” in their relationship. 

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