Gender is a social construction.
Even if you take the most extreme biological determinist stance (which a lot of the “gender isn’t a social construction” crowd take), you cannot deny the following:
- What it means to be a “woman” or “man” changes over time (often within the timeframe of a generation — ask your grandparents if you don’t believe me).
- Further, right now, the traits associated with each of those roles are different in different parts of the world (watch a sitcom from another country if you don’t believe me).
If our understanding of gender changes faster than our biology could possibly evolve, and currently exists in many forms around the world reflecting cultural differences, it’s socially constructed. End of argument. That’s what those two words, combined, mean.
And gender is real.
Just because something’s a social construction doesn’t mean it’s not real (despite many fellow “social construction” folks saying so). Keep reading…