Uploaded by Jasmine Banks

response paper

Jasmine Banks- Sociology of Gender Midterm Paper
Judith Butler, an American gender theorist argues that people have desires that do not
originate from their biological drives or needs, but rather, from social norms. She believes
behavior creates gender by ways of social norms and learned gendered behavior which she has
termed “behavior performative theory.” Butler argues that we are socialized to behave as a man
or a woman and that the roles of “man” and “woman” are created for us, she says that gender is
the identity we create through a repetition of acts.
I support Butler’s argument and believe it to be true in that gender especially in presentday has been largely influenced by our society. Since taking Sociology of Sexuality with Dr.
Viamonte in 2017, I have been more observant to the way we as a society socialize and
normalize gender assignments even to children newborn babies. I notice this trend on TV shows
and film as well, there is an animated show called F is for Family on Netflix based on a family
the 1960’s. On the show, there is a daughter who is great at math and sciences and wants to play
hockey and the treatment from her friends, family and teachers all suggest that she should stick
to more girly ventures and hobbies, we can still see this trend today too. This is just one example
that supports the behavior performative theory, it can also be identified in many other shows and
movies, even those for children. This is just one of the many revenues that perpetuates and
passes on social norms.
Our society is so focused on prescribing gender even to an unborn child. The new trend is
gender reveals and the parents of the child usually use pink and blue to distinguish between a
boy or girl. We buy new parents’ dolls and pink toys for girls, and trucks and blue toys for boys.
However, I do believe that more and more people are beginning to realize this pattern and try to
not contribute to these norms by using gender neutral colors, toys and clothing for children. I am
interested to see if we will experience a shift in patterns and norms now that these ideas are being
vocalized and shared more and more in our society, or if these norms have been so ingrained that
they will need more than just awareness to create change.