Summary | English homework help

Judith Lorber

 

From Believing Is seeing: Biology as Ideology

Judith Lorber is an internationally renowned scholar and one of the most widely read gender theorists writing today. She is a professor emerita of sociology and women’s studies at Brooklyn College and the Graduate School, City University of New York. Her acclaimed book Gender Inequal- ity: Feminist Theories and Politics is currently in its fourth edition (2009). This essay is reprinted from a 1992 lecture, and in it she explains an idea central to her research: that the behaviors we think of as “natural” to men and women, and that often make men and women seem like opposites to each other, are actually cultural inventions. Lorber, along with other soci- ologists of gender, argues that most of the ideas we hold about men’s and women’s “oppositional” attributes are not traceable to biological differ- ences but are the result of a social need to justify divisions of labor and activity. Further, she notes that this division of assumptions about men and women most often favors traits perceived to be masculine over those perceived to be feminine. In this essay, she uses examples from sports and technology and what she calls the “bathroom problem” (think about where the lines are longest!) to help us reconsider our assumptions about gender.

In all her writing, Lorber is interested in helping her readers see with fresh eyes the many small cultural activities we engage in every day that reproduce these oppositional gender categories so that they come to seem natural. She argues, “It is the taken-for-grantedness of such everyday gendered behavior that gives credence to the belief that the widespread differences in what women and men do must come from biology” (para. 9). Here, she opens with some historical background on changing under- standings of biological differences between male and female humans, not- ing that as those understandings changed, we can see culture stepping in to rejustify gender differences, even if they do not make sense biologically. So, for example, Lorber asks us to rethink our assumptions about who should compete against whom in athletic competitions. (For some sports, weight class may be a better categorization method than sex parts, for example.) She also helps us revisit any assumptions we might have about who might be “naturally” better at technology, offering historical examples that reveal why certain gender myths are launched at particular moments in history, to open or close doors of opportunity to particular groups.

As you read, pay attention to places where Lorber anticipates skeptical readers, as in paragraph 12, where she clarifies: “I am not saying that phys- ical differences between male and female bodies don’t exist, but that these differences are socially meaningless until social practices transform them

Prime Paper Help
Calculate your paper price
Pages (550 words)
Approximate price: -

Why Work with Us

Top Quality and Well-Researched Papers

We always make sure that writers follow all your instructions precisely. You can choose your academic level: high school, college/university or professional, and we will assign a writer who has a respective degree.

Professional and Experienced Academic Writers

We have a team of professional writers with experience in academic and business writing. Many are native speakers and able to perform any task for which you need help.

Free Unlimited Revisions

If you think we missed something, send your order for a free revision. You have 10 days to submit the order for review after you have received the final document. You can do this yourself after logging into your personal account or by contacting our support.

Prompt Delivery and 100% Money-Back-Guarantee

All papers are always delivered on time. In case we need more time to master your paper, we may contact you regarding the deadline extension. In case you cannot provide us with more time, a 100% refund is guaranteed.

Original & Confidential

We use several writing tools checks to ensure that all documents you receive are free from plagiarism. Our editors carefully review all quotations in the text. We also promise maximum confidentiality in all of our services.

24/7 Customer Support

Our support agents are available 24 hours a day 7 days a week and committed to providing you with the best customer experience. Get in touch whenever you need any assistance.

Try it now!

Calculate the price of your order

Total price:
$0.00

How it works?

Follow these simple steps to get your paper done

Place your order

Fill in the order form and provide all details of your assignment.

Proceed with the payment

Choose the payment system that suits you most.

Receive the final file

Once your paper is ready, we will email it to you.

Our Services

No need to work on your paper at night. Sleep tight, we will cover your back. We offer all kinds of writing services.

Essays

Essay Writing Service

No matter what kind of academic paper you need and how urgent you need it, you are welcome to choose your academic level and the type of your paper at an affordable price. We take care of all your paper needs and give a 24/7 customer care support system.

Admissions

Admission Essays & Business Writing Help

An admission essay is an essay or other written statement by a candidate, often a potential student enrolling in a college, university, or graduate school. You can be rest assurred that through our service we will write the best admission essay for you.

Reviews

Editing Support

Our academic writers and editors make the necessary changes to your paper so that it is polished. We also format your document by correctly quoting the sources and creating reference lists in the formats APA, Harvard, MLA, Chicago / Turabian.

Reviews

Revision Support

If you think your paper could be improved, you can request a review. In this case, your paper will be checked by the writer or assigned to an editor. You can use this option as many times as you see fit. This is free because we want you to be completely satisfied with the service offered.