Monday, January 23, 2012

Gender Development

Theories, theories, theories... What is gender, really? Theories on gender hold even an influence on how we view ourselves as men and women. Is gender biological, interpersonal, cultural, or a mix of all of those? The idea that gender is a completely separate thing from sex was a hard concept for me to grasp. At first I thought of gender as the difference between X and Y chromosomes, but it's more than that. Since the time we were just little girls and boys, we were being taught what to do and say. Daughters naturally connect better with their mothers. To this day I call my mother at least 3 or 4 times a week. She knows what is going on in my life whereas my father doesn't know much of anything in my life. My parents are still together, me and my dad love each other, but I'm more likely to talk to my mom about boys I crush on or girls that drive me crazy. I remember about two years ago, I had a pretty serious boyfriend that was always around my house. When I went to college, we stayed together, but long distance wasn't the best for our relationship. A few months later we broke it off and my mom was the first to know. About two months after we broke up I was talking about how weird not having Joe around was. My dad turned to me and said, "You guys broke up?" It blew my mind that he didn't know after two months that we weren't together anymore. What seemed like such a huge deal in my life, my dad had no idea.

The story about the girl that wanted to play football really caught my attention. The coach had a valid point that girls' bodies are different than boys, but everyone is a little different. I think it would have only been fair to give her a try-out just like all the other boys. I've known boys that I know I could win in a fight. The saying, "You throw like a girl" isn't fair when some girls could throw you across the room.

Ever since we were kids, media has taught us about gender. Girls wear dresses, cook and clean. Men go to work and bring home the bacon. Boys like girls, and girls like boys. It's embedded in our minds. Gender is who we are, it's who we have become.

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