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Austin Maloco
Professor Rodrick
Queer Studies 115
23 October, 2016
Project Space Draft 1 (Insert Title Here)

Gender, a topic that for many years has been viewed as a two way street. The images
above is what people used to define gender for a long period time. It was either someone was
viewed as female or male. People who viewed themselves as as another gender or wished to have
a romantic relationship with someone of the same gender were often harassed and outcasted. In
modern times there began something quite interesting. New genders, a way a person defines
themselves, started to develope. These genders can range in between the established male or
female genders or can range outside even in its own categories. Eventually many people in
society started to accept these genders as fact. However the past only repeats itself as many
people in society began to treat people, who identify themselves outside of the gender norm, as
social aliens. Due to the social definitions of male and female that are deeply rooted in the social

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construct of society, any and all individuals are discouraged from identifying themselves as
someone who does not fit the title of male or female. This could be the result of early instillment
of gender definition at a young age. This idea is then supported by the fear of harassment and
hate that surrounds the notion stereotyping and labels.
The concept of male and female is deeply instilled in society. The idea of gender is
presented to children at a very young age. Daniel Curran and Claire Renzetti, both sociologists
whose works focus primarily on gender related issues, writes, in the article From Women Men
and Society, about how children are taught by their parents about gender roles at a young age and
how this influences the child's development in terms of gender identification. The authors go into
detail, including how the child was treated based on gender, what characteristics they were
introduced to, such as behavior and clothing, and how the toys the children were given are
gender specific. One example according to the work is that, Clothing, . plays, a significant
role in gender socialization in two ways. First, , certain types of clothing or discourage
particular behaviors or activities [such as rough play for boys and girls cannot due to the design
their dress] [and] Second, by informing others about the sex of the child. (77). This example
shows two aspect of gender roles and it is that according to this role the males are supposed to
play rough and that females are supposed to be elegant and avoid any of the behavior of the other
gender. The other idea is that males and females should be distinct from one another. This idea
could be a sort of setup for children to fall into a role that has been prefabricated for them. This
not only sets up the child to follow this said role it also could limit their choices in gender. If the
child is shown that their is only two gender sets to follow they will follow the ones that they are
assigned to, since the adults did not show them the possibility of the other genders. Ultimately

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this limits the childs ideas on gender, and sets up a social barrier or rule that cannot be broken,
or face the judgement of everyone else who follows the social norm.
Society is constructed of social ideals and norms that the general population of a society
accepts as fact, but people do make mistakes and are not perfect. As such, the norms and ideals
are made by people, there is the possibility of some of the ideals being wrong. And if ideals are
forced upon an individual even if they do not want to live by these ideals, this
could be then considered tyranny. Petra Doan, a professor of urban regional planning whose
work focuses primarily on gendered spaces, argues in her work, The Tyranny of Gendered
Spaces: Reflections from Beyond the Gender Dichotomy, that public spaces are ruled by
gendered norms and that individuals who would go against that norm would be alienated and
harassed, Professor Doan herself being a transgendered person faces the scrutiny and harassment
for breaking this norm.(53). As this would entail, if a person acts out of line in terms of the set of
rules, then this person is subject to the social stigma of the rest of a group who follows a the
rules fed to them. This would discourage a person from acting in certain way out of the paranoia
that anyone could assault them physically or vocally. Fear seems to be a driving force to the
maintenance of the social order of defined gender. Harassment and fear are a big deterrent for
people to take action or to even speak about certain subjects. Avoiding something and having
fear as a motivator can cause a person to have paranoia, which then can cause people to
potentially hide aspects of themselves for years. This is what Morgana Bailey, a human resource
activist, did for most of her life. Bailey through her Ted Talk video discusses how she has hidden
the fact that she has been lesbian for several years. She says how she used to a very life filled
person until she started to conform in college, she then shied away from every opportunity to tell
anyone about her homosexuality, out of fear of judgement. As the video has shone Bailey was

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deterred from telling anyone about her homosexuality out of fear of being labeled into
stereotypes. This frear acts as a driving force that forces people to conform to the social order.
In conclusion, the definitions of female and male roles discourage any individuals from
expressing their own interpretation of gender. This is usually done with scare tactics, in which
the victim can conform in order to save oneself from the negative backlash to going against a set
norm. Unfortunately as history repeats itself it becomes apparent that this will be a constant issue
until things begin to change. Although change is happening slowly, there are still other issues
that need resolving.

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Works Cited
Blue 3D male Symbol. Digital image. Clipartbest.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Oct. 2016.
<http://www.clipartbest.com/clipart-xigrgxjiA>.
The Danger of Hiding Who You Are. Perf. Morgana Bailey. Ted.com. Ted, Nov. 2014. Web. 19
Oct. 2016.
<http://www.ted.com/talks/morgana_bailey_the_danger_of_hiding_who_you_are>.
Doan, Petra. "The Tyranny of Gendered Spaces: Reflections from Beyond the Gender
Dichotomy." Composing Gender. By Rachael Groner and John F. O'Hara. Boston:
Bedford/St.Martin's, 2013. 53-64. Print.
A pink 3D female symbol. Digital image. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Oct. 2016.
<http://vgc.wikia.com/wiki/File:Venus-female-symbol-pseudo-3D-pink.svg>.
Renzetti, Claire, and Daniel Curran. Composing Gender. By Rachael Groner and John F. O'Hara.
Boston: Bedford/St.Martin's, 2013. 77-84. Print.