The Stratification of Men and Women and other Minorities

January 29, 2012 § 1 Comment

While reading Judith Lorber’s essay about gender and the social construction of it, I found the stratification part to be very interesting and it really made me think about the system that our society has to separate gender. She talks about not only gender but race as well. She starts off with Nancy Jay’s quote about “A” and “Not-A”, she talks about how A is pure and Not A is the left overs but not necessarily imperfect. Lorber goes on to talk about this concept in terms of gender and then race. The man is A and the woman is Not A, but the stratification doesn’t stop there, for instance, white is A and African American’s are Not A. This is the example that Lorber gives in the essay. This got me thinking that people can be an A and a Not A at the same time. Or you could be at the complete end of the spectrum, completely A or completely Not A. I started thinking, how is this fair. Just because some has all of the qualification to be an A, why is that individual so much more entitled to power than the Not A. All of the qualifications are beyond our control. Your race and sex are not up to you as a person. Even though class can be changed by a person’s actions, it is not always an option to move up. Although we may not like this system, it has been working so far. It doesn’t always seem fair, but what is fair? In my opinion, a stratification system can never be fair.

Another point that stood out to me from the stratification portion and it was actually more prominent to me than the A/Not A idea was the part about men’s work and women’s work. Lorber talks about how men’s work is normally viewed more highly than women’s work and I have always know that this is true but then when I read the quote from Mencher, a whole new idea opened up for me. The quote said, “Whenever a task is done by a women is considered easy, and where it is done by [men] it is considered difficult”. This quote made sense but then it seemed somewhat backward? You would think that men would want to say that the work they do that is the same as women would be easy for them. I always thought that men would say that women’s work is easy because they are more manly, but this quote is saying that men have to work so much harder to do a job that women do. Doesn’t that take away from their masculinity a bit. I would think it would. In my opinion, if men want their work to be valued more then it should actually be harder than women’s work to prove that they can do more.

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