gender as performance
Whereas sex is solely our biological make-up, gender is a social construction that distinguishes women from men. Gender is the way in which we can identify ourselves and others can identify us as male of female. The idea of gender as performance indicates that this distinction is one that we must act out; we must act a male or act a female in order to be identified as such. Most of the time this performance is subconscious; however, we may consciously act our gender in different ways depending on the situation and who we are with.
Judith Butler argues that â€śwhile gender is inauthentic, it produces the very real social conditions we live in.â€? While I do not believe this to be so, Butler believes that gender is unoriginal; it does not really exist. Society has constructed gender. In her statement Butler defends that though gender is not real, it decides malesâ€™ and femalesâ€™ place in society. Men and women are equal, but the gender construction puts women at a disadvantage in society. Men are still very much superior to women in Western culture.
Changing the way that we â€śdoâ€? can affect the way we are viewed by society, yet there are limitations. I feel that no matter how much a woman acts a man, she will always be viewed a woman by society, placing her at a disadvantage. However, a change in our performance of gender can influence our societal status to an extent. For example, an ambitious, hard-working, intelligent woman can be respected as a man would in the workforce. Similarly, a father who chooses to stay at home with his children rather than work may receive less respect from society.