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ANTH 3230 (2)

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York University
ANTH 3230
Lee Wiggins

QUESTION ONE: In her article, “Is there a dominant ideology?” Anklesania argues that the dominant ideology, specifically regarding gender, is inescapable. We live in a society where the dominant ideology significantly impacts our daily lives. Gender has such an emphasis on who we are that it has become inescapable as our society has given it the importance of describing and labeling individuals based on characteristics that go along with performing gender. This way of thinking is the main reason as to how our present day society is organized based on gender. It sets the rules one must follow or a specific understanding of how things are “suppose to be” which becomes the norm our society believes to be acceptable. We as a society accept the rules we set out relating to the two genders and abide by the rules as we ourselves implement them in our daily lives. Women are seen to be caregivers, housewives whereas in contrast men are seen to set out and work to make money; hence becoming a stereotypical point of view that has been normalized, further dividing our society into a sex/gender binary system. Sex/gender Binary system is what classifies sex and gender into two very different things, as it becomes the foreground of what it means to be masculine and to be feminine. We have created normative ideals of what femininity and masculinity is, and judge individuals based on the characteristics that stereotypically follow these ideals and the image that is created behind these two categories. Being skinny, being kind, being sensitive and being emotional are some characteristics of what being feminine and being female is. Being taught, strong, and aggressive are some characteristics that follow masculinity and being a man. It has become a norm and as a society this is the behavior and actions we expect from males and females as it separated the two genders. If this ideology is tested, we automatically assume that the male who carries feminine traits is gay or the female who behaves in a masculine manner would be considered a tom boy; which as a society is not considered ideal or normal pre say. The media and the role of popular culture has an enormous amount of impact regarding gender. What the media displays as feminine and masculine is what we as a society have come to agree upon. We are regularly shown images that demonstrate masculinity and femininity as movies, magazines, and advertisements display gender. Although time has passed and ideas have been altered, even today similar ideas have been maintained as we have established a common image that follows “being masculine” or “being feminine.” Growing up, most of us have been taught what how to perform gender as a classification of who we are. We as a society should problematize this because rules have changed, time has passed and we need to move on from this stereotypical way of thinking allowing us as a society to become greater and move past what has been created to be the dominant ideological way of thinking. QUESTION THREE “X: A fabulous child’s story”, is a story about a couple Mr and Mrs Jones, adopting a baby named X. the baby was called “X” so that no one would be able to tell whether the child was a boy or a girl, as the couple participated in this very exclusive experiment. No one besides the parents knew what the baby was and were not allowed to tell anyone as the only and most important rule of the experiment. This article summarizes the events and obstacles that both X and the parents must overcome as they participate in this experiment. This story challenges popular naturalist thinking about boys and girls, simply because the parents did not classify the child as either or. The parents did not display the child in a stereotypical way which kept others guessing whether the child was a boy or a girl. A normal parent would dress their child accordingly as blue would be worn if the child was a boy and pink if the child was a girl. Mr and Mrs Jones were not allowed to do the normal thing, as that would go against the rules of the experiment itself. Some theoretical explanations this story demonstrates and important insights about gender that this article provides is how our society is so prone to being able to describe an individual as a boy or a girl. The importance of gender is significant as you saw other kids and parents constantly question both X and the parents and insisting for them to tell them what X was. The scientific experts also did a phenomenal job by providing the Joneses with a manual highlighting all the different situation
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