« Week Two | Main | Doing Gender »

Week 2 blog assignment for chole005

Gender as performance, as described by Candace West in “Doing Gender�; is a façade put up by human beings as a result of societal pressure, rather than what she refers to as our “essential sexual natures�. These acts are used to form our identity, to portray that identity to others and perhaps prove it to others or ourselves.

The reward for satisfying this coercion to conform to an ideal that insists our sexual organs predictably dictate the core of our true self rather than performing biological function as any other organs we possess is the acceptance of our peers. In a society where a male/female dualism is the standard and a country where heterosexuality between these two parties is the only legally recognized demonstration of human sexuality, the either/or gender identity is not truly a choice, but a mandate.

Gender is the construct in which we manifest ourselves and our sexuality to others. Even if it is a performance, the fact that we view the world through the pane of terms like gender allows this construct to deeply impact both our society and how we see ourselves in it.

An objective view of gender would show the flimsiness of this construct as a ‘fact of nature’. Definitions of gender have been just as capricious as any human trend or superstition, being fully dependent if not defined by the popular beliefs of the time.

In my opinion, gender’s most compelling effect on humanity is that of a tool that has been utilized by those in power to exploit humanities’ need to categorize ourselves and others along imaginary lines, frustrating any collective outcry against the status quo.