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Identity: Acting out Culture Essay


These interviews explore such a concept as gender roles, especially the idea that men and women are often forced to adhere to certain norms, standards, and rules. Both Kate Bornstein and Michael Kimmel believe that such roles can actually limit the freedom of a human being and his/her ability to take independent decisions.

One of the main issues is that sex differences can be social constructs that are imposed on individual. As a rule, they are not biologically determined (Bornstein unpaged). This is one of the main issues that people should take into account. Moreover, in many cases, such beliefs lead to the discrimination of a person who does not comply with the norms (Kimmel unpaged).

Special attention should be paid to such problems as homophobia or sexism. To some degree, the questions discussed in these articles are related to my life, because I also have to adhere to certain standards and roles that are obligatory for my gender. For instance, I can say that males are supposed to possess such character traits as resoluteness or fearlessness. This is only one of one of the ways in which gender stereotypes can affect the life of a person.

Furthermore, these interviews are related to the concept of identity. The thing is that people can perceive themselves in different ways, for example, they can attach importance to gender, nationality, or race. Such an approach does not appeal to me, because I think that the identity of a person is defined by what he/she does.

In my opinion, this is the most important criterion. However, very often an individual can be forced to perceive oneself only as a male or female. Fortunately, my parents paid more attention to the talents, interests, or views of a person, rather than only gender. This is why I can say that the problems discussed by Kate Bornstein and Michael Kimmel do not significantly affect my life. So, in my daily life I do not pay much attention to gender differences or stereotypes.

Nevertheless, I have to admit that there are certain gender norms that inevitability affect the behavior of an individual. A person, who wants to integrate into the society, has to comply with specific standards. For instance, one can speak about clothing that is often gendered. So, a man should be dressed in a certain way, if he wants to be accepted in a heterosexual community. I also have to follow these rules. This is how popular views on gender and sexuality can influence or limit the behavior or an individual.

Another concept that should be discussed is border transgression or the behavior of a person that does not correspond to existing gender roles assigned to both men and women. For instance, according to a popular stereotype, males have to play the main role in decision-making. I do not share this belief because gender does not affect a person’s ability to think or evaluate different options.

Some of my friends have a different view on this problem but this disagreement did not affect our friendship. So, the problems described by Kate Bornstein and Michael Kimmel are relevant to the life of the society. However, modern communities allow more freedom of thought or expression. So, such problems as sexism or homophobia are more likely to be resolved.

Works Cited

Bornstein, Kate. Gender Outlaw: An Interview by Susan Bridle. EnlightenNext.

EnlightenNext Magazine, 2010. Web.

Kimmel, Michael. Interview. Frontline. PBS, 2009. Web.

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IvyPanda. (2018, December 9). Identity: Acting out Culture. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/identity-acting-out-culture/

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"Identity: Acting out Culture." IvyPanda, 9 Dec. 2018, ivypanda.com/essays/identity-acting-out-culture/.

1. IvyPanda. "Identity: Acting out Culture." December 9, 2018. https://ivypanda.com/essays/identity-acting-out-culture/.


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IvyPanda. "Identity: Acting out Culture." December 9, 2018. https://ivypanda.com/essays/identity-acting-out-culture/.

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IvyPanda. 2018. "Identity: Acting out Culture." December 9, 2018. https://ivypanda.com/essays/identity-acting-out-culture/.

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IvyPanda. (2018) 'Identity: Acting out Culture'. 9 December.

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