Yes, we are what the society shaped. Some of our true selves has been chipped out because of norms and gender roles we were born to. I am not talking about the sex organs we have, but about the identity we care, feminine or masculine. Judith Lorber discusses in her article “The Social Construction of Gender”, how the society tends to sculpt our paths in lives. She states, “Gender is so pervasive that in our society we assume it is bred into our genes” (126). That is very true. We can not even tell anymore that what we do is part of us or what society compels us to do.
When babies are born, we directly buy stuff according to their sex. Pink and barbies for girls, and blue and cars for boys. I had my cousin who refused to say the sex of her baby before she gave birth even to her own mother, because she does not want to get a bunch of gender specific gifts. Most of the family and friend were devastated, they did not know what to buy or how to handle the situation. What is wrong with a girl with a blue shirt?
Also, if we do not go along with these norms, we will get judged by society and face sanctions. A girl with lose clothes and no makeup and likes soccer is a Tomb Boy of course. A boy who likes to knit, umm Gay. That is how we encourage gender differences in society, we complain about differences and then encourage them.
Another thing she discusses is how kids realized gender before they show interest about their sex and sexual activities, which does not come up until puberty. If we show up Barbie and Ken to a 5 years old and ask them who takes care of the babies and cleans the house, they will point out to Barbie of course. If you tell them how do they have a baby, they will not say sex. Hence, they know their assigned gender roles way before they know their sexual desires and sex.
We should give the children more opportunities to break away from these boundaries, and let them to do what they want without being compelled to feel that they are deviating from being normal. I think more and more individuals are begin aware of this issue, and are trying to break free from norms and that is a good thing.