Disparities are related to religion, ability, culture and other variables. Disparities related to gender are the most spectacular. When a boy is born, celebrations are intense. For a baby girl, celebrations are conducted as a formality. This introduces gender-based practices. For instance, black clothes are bought for boys and pink clothes for the girls. Gender is communally constructed through our daily practices.
The parents play a great role in determining the primary socialization of a child. They teach their children about the concept male and female. This influences the perception of children towards gender roles. The differential socialization is made clear in toys that are advertised and selectively purchased for children. For instance, “in house” toys are tailored for girls and tool-toys tailored for boys. This makes the boys dominant and active. Girls become passive at home.
As the child grows, secondary socialization begins to set in. This involves the contributions of other persons outside the family circle. Such people shape the view of the child on masculinity and femininity. In schools gender is constructed through gender segregation. For example, the duties of the boys are different from those assigned to girls.
The institution of sport and the arena of music play a great role in reinforcing masculinity. In a basketball game, images of players wearing baggy clothing, tough, aggressive and competitive are portrayed. If a player cries after a loss he will be deemed soft, gay, and other feminine and homosexual characteristics. This makes the men to grow restrained to certain norms and adopting certain behaviors they see from sport and the arena of music.
The individuality of the feminine gender is shaped by various institutions. The media plays an immense role in perpetuating negative conceptions about the feminine gender. The childhood magazines are crammed with ways in which girls can vary their outer look to please men. A woman is again expected to be submissive to her husband.
With socialization starting when a kid is born, the practice continues as the infant grows and varies athwart the two gender classes. With the direction from parents, sports, media, schools, music, gender differences are perpetuated. This socialization inculcates expected behaviors in children.
In the past, women have been oppressed through sexual exploitation, denial to access of education and hindrance from ascending to power. In some instances they have been denied the right to talk. Traditionally, women were expected to be submissive to their husbands. Their primary work was to do all the cleaning, cooking and taking care of the children. This discrimination led to the rise of movements that advocated for gender equality.
In the late 18th century and early 19th century, the first wave of feminism took place. The main goal of the wave was to open opportunities for the women. At this early stage, feminism was closely related with abolitionist movements. This opened discussions about the differences between men and women.
During the 1960s, the second signal began, and it progressed into the 90’s. It was simply marginalized since it had limited support. It drew in women across the world.
In the mid-1990’s, the third wave set in, characterized by ideas of “universal womanhood”. It engrossed strong and empowered girls into action.
Nowadays, one can easily dismiss the need of feminism since the issue has been dealt with. However, there is still gender disparity in the world today. Women are still underrepresented in politics, public offices and other leadership positions. Also there are still cases of sexual harassment that still affect women, such as rape cases.
Lorber, J., & Farrell, S. A. (1991).The Social construction of gender. Newbury Park, Calif: Sage Publications.
Ringrose, K. M. (2003). The perfect servant: Eunuchs and the social construction of gender in Byzantium. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.