March 19th- the gendered body.docx

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21 Apr 2012
Week 9- The gender bodies
We think about our body in two ways-they are very contradictory. We think our body is our personal
think, and at the same we say that the machines in our body that control us. Arguing, thesis of the
lecture: in fact the body is a very much a social entity, even more than being the biological one. The
things that effect our bodies, health care, nutrition and work conditions. These are all social. In more
complex level we must include cultural ideologies about men’s and women’s bodies. What is deemed as
feminine body and muscular body? Ideas are dominated by dominated culture. These ideas influence
how social and economic institutions regulate women bodies and health. Other factors such as race,
ethnicity also affect the way we look at our bodies. EX: white body and facial is desirable then ethnic
black, face, the able body is more valuable than bodies with other abilities and capacities. How do u
respect your body? < Better working conditions and health care. For women to control your
reproductive ability. Bodies get socially influenced, how ppl luk at you. Assumptions are made that sex
and sexuality are biologically determined. Guidelines tell us what is appropriate and what is not, and
more than biologically, these scripts tell us how our bodies must behave in a sexual manner. Nothing
could be more gender, then our bodies. The body is not mutual; In fact for women and for men, the
body has become the primary definer of a gender identity. The first thing to do is when you say you’re a
feminine individual is through your body (send the msg thru your body).
The body as a gendered entity
In what ways our bodies are gendered? We become gendered beings through what we call the system
of gender signifying (DEFF IN THE PPT). Describes our body with wide range of culture and social
symbols and our sexuality is an expression of social norms and expectations. In a way a body is a social
text< that what the theory argues. This concept has been used a lot in post-modern theory. We
construct our body as gender, in order to be read by others. Men’s and women bodies are social text,
social zone or social spaces, through which struggles through many things are fought EX: medical care,
beautician. Who has the right to write the women’s bodies, within the system of gender signifying<
everybody must signify one gender and the desirable body. The desirable body must adhere to the
narrow definition of masculinity and femininity.
Example 1: ideal of beauty-women
Some examples…the idea of beauty and attractiveness: is this idea gender specific, came about by
accident? We know a lot about women beauty standards and men are the ones who give us those
standards. Numerous study shows, in society where a women status (socially or economically) is
advanced, smaller breast are considered more attractive. One reason for that is, in society where
women are economically equal, the gender inequality is minimized. The other reason is that smaller
breast help women move around easily. Some studies show that there is a link btw economy and men’s
preference for breast size EX: in olden societies larger breasts and hemlines are preferred. Ideal is to
show the private and public differences. Studies show during the economic downturns, women
hemlines come down and smaller breast size are preferred and become norm as women and men tend
go out at work. The emphasis on breast size varies from culture to culture EX: tropical society, women
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