What is gendering and gendered?

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davidmk4126's profile pic

davidmk4126 | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

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Gendering is the formation of attributing of “maleness” and/or “femaleness” to a particular aspect or circumstance. For instance, one could attribute some characteristics to a role, person, position, etc., normally producing some kind of power and advantage or disadvantage, being demarcated within the scope of sex and gender. This process may generate something that is gendered.

Gendered is the phenomenon that makes an apportionment that is established on gender or sex and one that favors one gender or sex. This may cause an effect that might stifle the other. An example of this process could be assigned to the role of a flight attendant. This role is somewhat gendered due to the fact that it might be expected that a female should carry feminine traits seen as paramount to execute the role sufficiently. One could espouse that on the other end of the spectrum the opposite transpires in roles attributed to laborers, etc.

pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Gendering is the process of associating something with one gender or another.  When the process of gendering has taken effect, the thing (many things can be subjected to gendering) has become gendered.  It has become associated with one gender or the other.

In most cultures of the world, if not all, various objects and various behaviors are gendered.  In other words, they are associated with one gender.  These are not necessarily natural associations.  Instead, they are associations that are created by society and that can differ from one society to another. In the United States, for example, any skirt or skirt-like piece of clothing is associated with the female gender.  By contrast, a kilt in Scotland is not associated with femaleness nor is a lava-lava in Polynesia.  Behaviors can also be gendered.  In some countries, smoking is seen as a male thing to do.  In the United States, caring for children (as in a daycare) is a female activity. These things become gendered through the process of gendering. 

Gendering, then, is the process by which a society associates a particular thing or behavior with one gender or another.  When enough of society accepts this process, the thing is gendered in that society.

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