A person looking in a mirror, applying red lipstick. Huffington Post I have to cringe when I think about my early days of putting on makeup. Then there was the long, awkward process of finding the right looks for me. I thought the pink lip glosses looked awful on me because my lips were too big, and the glittery eye shadows looked strange because my skin color was all wrong.
The main feminist motivation for making this distinction was to counter biological determinism or the view that biology is destiny. A typical example of a biological determinist view is that of Geddes and Thompson who, inargued that social, psychological and behavioural traits were caused by metabolic state.
It would be inappropriate to grant women political rights, as they are simply not suited to have those rights; it would also be futile since women due to their biology would simply not be interested in exercising their political rights. To counter this kind of biological determinism, feminists have argued that behavioural and psychological differences have social, rather than biological, causes.
Commonly observed behavioural traits associated with women and men, then, are not caused by anatomy or chromosomes. Rather, they are culturally learned or acquired.
Although biological determinism of the kind endorsed by Geddes and Thompson is nowadays uncommon, the idea that behavioural and psychological differences between women and men have biological causes has not disappeared.
In the s, sex differences were used to argue that women should not become airline pilots since they will be hormonally unstable once a month and, therefore, unable to perform their duties as well as men Rogers More recently, differences in male and female brains have been said to explain behavioural differences; in particular, the anatomy of corpus callosum, a bundle of nerves that connects the right and left cerebral hemispheres, is thought to be responsible for various psychological and behavioural differences.
Anne Fausto-Sterling has questioned the idea that differences in corpus callosums cause behavioural and psychological differences.
First, the corpus callosum is a highly variable piece of anatomy; as a result, generalisations about its size, shape and thickness that hold for women and men in general should be viewed with caution.
Second, differences in adult human corpus callosums are not found in infants; this may suggest that physical brain differences actually develop as responses to differential treatment. Third, given that visual-spatial skills like map reading can be improved by practice, even if women and men's corpus callosums differ, this does not make the resulting behavioural differences immutable.
Fausto-Sterling b, chapter 5.
Psychologists writing on transsexuality were the first to employ gender terminology in this sense. Although by and large a person's sex and gender complemented each other, separating out these terms seemed to make theoretical sense allowing Stoller to explain the phenomenon of transsexuality: Along with psychologists like Stoller, feminists found it useful to distinguish sex and gender.
This enabled them to argue that many differences between women and men were socially produced and, therefore, changeable. Rubin's thought was that although biological differences are fixed, gender differences are the oppressive results of social interventions that dictate how women and men should behave.
However, since gender is social, it is thought to be mutable and alterable by political and social reform that would ultimately bring an end to women's subordination. In some earlier interpretations, like Rubin's, sex and gender were thought to complement one another.
That is, according to this interpretation, all humans are either male or female; their sex is fixed. But cultures interpret sexed bodies differently and project different norms on those bodies thereby creating feminine and masculine persons.
Distinguishing sex and gender, however, also enables the two to come apart: So, this group of feminist arguments against biological determinism suggested that gender differences result from cultural practices and social expectations. Nowadays it is more common to denote this by saying that gender is socially constructed.
But which social practices construct gender, what social construction is and what being of a certain gender amounts to are major feminist controversies. There is no consensus on these issues. See the entry on intersections between analytic and continental feminism for more on different ways to understand gender.
Masculinity and femininity are thought to be products of nurture or how individuals are brought up. They are causally constructed Haslanger And the mechanism of construction is social learning. Feminine and masculine gender-norms, however, are problematic in that gendered behaviour conveniently fits with and reinforces women's subordination so that women are socialised into subordinate social roles: That is, feminists should aim to diminish the influence of socialisation.
Social learning theorists hold that a huge array of different influences socialise us as women and men. This being the case, it is extremely difficult to counter gender socialisation.Videos on Women's and Gender Studies Body Image and Beauty Search this Guide Search.
Jhally explores Goffman's central claim that the way the body is displayed in advertising communicates normative ideas about masculinity and femininity.
The film looks beyond advertising as a medium that simply sells products, and beyond analyses of gender.
Status. Further complicating the feminine ideal for women is the bombardment of images in advertising, films, popular music, the fashion industry, books, television, and magazines. women, media are the most pervasive and one of the most powerful.
Woven throughout our daily lives, media insinuate their messages into our consciousness at every turn. All forms of media communicate images of the sexes, many of which perpetuate unrealistic, stereotypi-cal, and limiting perceptions.
Three themes describe how media represent gender. This ideas that one may potentially lose their masculinity strikes fear into men, and propels them to deny manhood to others (Kimmel, ).
References Body Image and Advertising ().
The beauty academy of Kabul c A group of Western hairstylists open a beauty academy for Afghani women in post-Taliban Kabul. 1 videodisc (74 min.) MEDIA Beauty before age Johnny Symons.
Explores the power of youth and beauty in the gay community. History Of Body Image In America: How The ‘Ideal’ Female And Male Body Has Changed Over Time Nov 6, AM By Lecia Bushak "The Large Bathers" was painted by Pierre-Auguste Renoir in , depicting an ideal female form in the late 19th century.