Gender Binaries

Essay by gigglemacUniversity, Bachelor'sA-, November 2014

download word file, 6 pages 0.0

I can recall from an early age, just observing how boys and girls interacted on the schoolyard playground. The boys would go off running like chickens with their heads cut off, playing sports, wrestling each other to the ground, and generally just doing all the physical activities that they were expected to do. Whereas, the girls would always huddle up in a group closest to the school door and just talk, gossip and generally just doing all the social activities that they were expected to do. On one occasion, a girl decided that she would like to play basketball with the boys and went to join in. The result was disastrous, the boys ridiculed her, exclaiming that girls were too weak to play sport and that she was not good enough to play. When she went to return to the girls who were talking in a group, she ended up being shunned and ostracized because she "wanted to be a boy".

As early as infanthood and even before that, through colours of either 'blue' or 'pink' to identify which sex a newborn baby shall be, we are taught by society to conform and abide by various roles emplaced upon us based on our sex, race, and other various factors. This assertion of gender binaries enforces us to behave by our respective binary in order for society to govern and maintain power over the way everyone within it acts.

Claude Steele references stereotype threat, which can be described as the pressure placed on minorities when they are asked to perform tasks that their ethnic group is perceived as being mediocre at based on the stereotype (1997). This also relates to the prejudice on females' ability to compute algorithms and perform mathematical operations. Stereotype threat influences a person's confidence to do work...