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“Introduction: Gender” by Blair-LoyGender is a socially and culturally constructed concept. It is not biologically based and changes over time.“Human Beings” by Michael KimmelKimmel argues that most gender differences are socially constructed. Social construction of gender begins at birth and continues through life (Kimmel 325). Social and cultural structures are “gender factories” that create gender inequality and gender differences, channeling males and females into different roles, bodies, and feelings. Gender inequality is caused by these gender differences. For example, before the 1960s, women were not found working outside of the home. They usually did house chores like babysitting and cooking for the family, while the men worked in factories and offices outside of the home, and were the moneymakers. This is because women are seen as less capable and weaker than men. In this reading, inequality is a social structure that reinforces difference, a cultural structure. Inequalities are reinforced by gender differences and life chances are tied to those inequalities that women face(328). Kimmel suggests that we don’t think of male and female as opposite sexes, but rather, neighboring sexes. “Gender factories” that place men as long-term workers are basically found everywhere, including the family, workplace, and school. Gender factories, education (different majors) that one obtains, and job labeling are social structures. These stem inequalities because when men are labeled to work tougher jobs like hard-core science while women are labeled to study
humanities, men are earning more money than women in general. Men have increased life chances because it’s easier for them to get higher/more authoritative positions. Cultural structures include the belief that men and women are biologically different, genders that are unequal in abilities and skills, and the idea of how men and women ought to be.Men are supposed to hold leadership positions, while women should be more devoted to the home and men should be more devoted to work. These all affect life chances because men are expected to work longer hours at work, and people are more likely to hire them over women because they can work longer hours and not have to do anything at home.“Competing Devotions” by Blair-LoyBlair-Loy discusses two devotion schemas: work (men), which suggest that people tend to assume that men can work longer hours because they aren’t found in the home taking care of the family, which is seen as a woman’s job to do (family). She suggests that it is hard to be both, or incompatible because of structural limits and the lack of time to do both. Ultimately, parents today have to pick one or another for full time. The two designated tasks for men and women stem from the remnants of history of separate schemas.