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Sina Dehner Gender and Identity Universitat de Barcelona 1. Essay
Judith Lorber: Night to his day
In the Essay „Night to his day“ Judiht Lorber speaks about the conceptions of gender in our
contemporary society. She states her point, that there is a reason for the movement of an equality in
the treatment for both genders and the roles that they (are supposed to) perform, since sex only
becomes „a gender status through naming, dress, and the use of other gender markers“ (p. 55).
She talks about the gender construction, which is, according to her, only happening through
cultural and social creation and is determined only by the genital the baby is given by birth, which
makes the child belong to a specific sex catgory. The society than makes the genderless child, by
different treatment, expectations, cultural behaviour, rules and tasks to a gendert man or woman.
The expectation held to those are mostly oppresive to female beings, starting with their rights,
expactions on their behaviour, looks and their subordinate role to a man, which is acutally in many
countries still the present state. Furthermore there can be differences in physical, intellectual or
emotional characteristics between men and women, but the question is, if they would have been this strong, if they both have had the same treatment from the beginning. Only the given body
differences and shapeso do not automatically make a human being talk, act, live or think differently,
only the given cultural and social norms.
Lorber states, that those norms are used by humans to organize their daily life and put the society
into order. Clearly, women and men are both the cause of life for each other and therefore for
society, which is the combination of those. Even if there is still room to argue that gender is not
only a social construction but also a biological consequence , I would agree, that gender mostly is a
construction made by the society. This can also be seen, when we look into different societies, to
find out that their gender construction may be completely different from ours. Going to the extreme
example, the Saudi Arabian states, where women nearly don't have any rights aren't allowed to do
or say anything without the approvement of a male, while there are societies, where the differences
between men and women are only visible when it comes to reproduction.
I hope that one day, people will more and more focus on our similarities than stressing the
differences the both genders allegedly bring with themselves.