in society. There's nothing innately natural about what women do and what men do--as you grow up, you
learn how men and women are supposed to act in our society. You learn the gender roles through
socialization, then adopt them and internalize them yourself. You develop a picture of how males and females
are supposed to act, and adjust your behavior accordingly.
These gender roles, as mentioned, are socially constructed. Each society constructs its own notion of gender
roles, and as members of that society, people internalize and adapt them.
The social construction of gender and gender roles has not been constant through time. In fact, it
varies over history. What women can do now in our society wasn’t possible 150 years ago. For
instance, they weren’t able to vote. They also weren't working out in the public space--only men
were doing that. Thus, conventions of gender and gender roles change through time.
Expectations for behavior based on one's gender status (male or female).
2. MATRIARCHY AND PATRIARCHY
Just as gender roles change through time, they also vary from society to society. For instance, what it means
to be a man and woman--the gender roles associated with those meanings--in Pakistan is not the same as
what it means in the United States today.
Given constructions of gender socially, people organize power in society accordingly, along different gender
lines. In the process, they establish matriarchy or patriarchy.
Matriarchy denotes rule by female, or a female-dominant society; it is maternal.
Patriarchy, on the other hand, is the opposite, meaning males are dominant and more powerful in
society, stemming from the word "pater."
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