Gender Roles and Technology of Gender

The Technology of Gender by De Lauretis proposed multiple ideas in which I had a lot of thought about. A huge chunk of this article is basically elaborating on how gender can be defined in multiple different ways. Some people define gender as a representation of the individual in a social relation, or some define it as a classification of sex. The article then elaborates and speaks about the theory of sexuality as “technology of sex”. This in my opinion was the main idea of this article and this idea states that gender is the product of social technologies, such as the movies we watch or the things we see on television, or even just our day to day interactions. This idea had me questioning and thinking about gender roles in our society. While watching movies or reading articles, women AND men are portrayed a certain way. In Romantic movies you see frequently how the man holds the door open for the girl, they pay the check when out to dinner, and the man is even the one to propose to the girl at the end of the movie. These are seen as “ideological” gender roles, the way we should act and the things we “should” do. Even while looking at the websites last week in class, I realized that they had a certain section called “how to be a girl” in which they gave beauty tips, clothing styles and suggestions, and other topics in which girls are “supposed” to be interested in. Media and technology play a big role in establishing and portraying these roles. Another point that is brought up in this reading is Gender and Reading. I thought this was interesting and never gave much thought to it until it was brought up. Basically the author talked about how men are resistant in reading things that are seen as “girly” or “feminine”, such as romantic novels or things on how to cook. I was kind of shocked by this because personally as a girl that likes to read a lot I know that if it sounds interesting to me, whether it be sporty, romantic, comedy, etc., I will read it without having a second thought about whether it is “girly” enough for me. In my opinion, I think gender roles should be a thing of the past because in today’s society they are not needed. For example, over winter break I went out to eat with one of my guy friends, and when we got the check he immediately grabbed it and offered to pay. I thought in my head how nice it was how he wanted to pay, but why is it always the guys job? I knew he was in college too struggling with money so why was i going to make him pay for the meal I just ate? We ended up splitting the check which I thought was the perfect plan. The point that I am trying to get at is that I feel men and women shouldn’t have these expectations of themselves and they should be able to freely act and do the things without it being not “gender norm”.

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One thought on “Gender Roles and Technology of Gender

  1. I agree with the fact that men and women should not have to live up to these gender expectations. Growing up, boys are taught to not like the color pink because it is a “feminine” color, and they are taught to play sports and video games because those are “guy” things. Men are taught to pay the restaurant checks, bring home paychecks, always make more than their wife, and they should always be the one in charge of the house. Women are taught to be quiet and do household chores and raise a family. It is unnecessary to adhere to these basic gender roles; nowadays, women are encouraged to have dual leadership in a family rather than let the husband take all responsibility of the dirty work. Men should be encouraged to do household chores as well, and help take care of the family rather than only deal with work and bringing home the paychecks.

    I also noticed as well that in some articles I came across on the websites from a previous class were titles “how to be a girl.” It angered me seeing that title because women should not have to having to read about how to adhere to these typical gender norms. There should be other articles not consisting about how to keep up with the latest trends. I agree that social media plays a large part in establishing and portraying these roles, which truly affects how we see.

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