Constructions of Gender, Race, and Class

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Throughout history in the United States, people have always been categorized into different groups based on distinct factors. In today’s society, gender, race, and class tend to be the main three distinctions of the human species. Everyone fits into these categories and being neutral is generally not an option. Starting at a young age, you are conditioned to identify with your gender. Girls wear pink and play with Barbie’s while boys wear blue and play with toy trucks. Although it may not seem as obvious, certain items continue to be marketed to specific genders or races throughout all ages. Gender is socially constructed. This means that our concept of men and women and what they are supposed to be is built by our society. Doing gender means that we carry out the expected roles of men or women through our everyday interactions. When a baby is born, he or she is “made” into a man or woman through education and social norms. Therefore gender is not biological. Regardless of the physical differences between men and women, we are automatically assigned roles that are associated with male or female organs. Color is one of the most apparent distinctions we use to identify with gender, especially with toddlers. When a woman has a baby shower and is expecting a girl, there will most likely be gifts in all-different shades of pinks and purple. On the contrary, a baby shower for a boy will most likely have blue decorations and toys. Hygiene products also tend to follow the “color rule”. For example, it is very blatant which razors are meant for men and which are meant for women, even if the packaging does not specifically say so. In Wal-Mart, the razors intended for girls had very vibrant colors and had names like “Gillette Daisy” or “Venus Bella”. The male razors were silver, dark blue, or black. They had very masculine names such as “Quatro Titanium”. The type of

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