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My name is Louisa, and I am a first year student at university in Australia, studying 'Introduction to Gender Studies'. I currently have an assignment which I am wanting more information on and was wondering if it would be possible for you to help better inform me.

"Simone de Beauvior argues in THE SECOND SEX that woman is "made not born". More recent post-structuralist feminists and sociologists of gender have taken up this view arguing that gender is a social construction rather than a natural given. Draw on some of the major lines of thought and theory on this topic to argue your perspective on this debate."

OR, another one I am interested in is:

"Men and women have, according to Leslie Kanes Weisman, 'different relationships to space based on their different valued gender roles'." Drawing on some of Weisman's ideas in DISCRMINATION BY DESIGN, analyze the ways in which spatial organisation could be seen as 'gendered'.

I was not sure whether to include these essay questions or to just give you topics that could help me, so I am very sorry for any inconvenience. Thank you very much for your time. Kindest Regards, Louisa

Thanks for your note to FEMINIST.COM. Perhaps an easier way to look at the de Beauvior quotes is as a part of the "nature v. nuture debate." The root of this is that though individuals are different in and of themselves from one another--gender is a construct and therefore, there is no such thing as "man" and "woman" as we know it, but only two different human beings with different biological functions, but the potential to be the same person in other ways. The idea of the gender then develops out of how we are socialized. For instance, men learn to be "masculine" and women learn to be "feminine"--we aren't born this way--or with these instincts in us innately.

As for the second quote, I think what's going on is that because we are "taught" to be masculine and feminine--an outcome of this is that we relate differently to our environments. Essentially, our feminine qualities mean that we are more likely to do one thing while men who have masculine qualities are more inclined to do something else.

Does that make sense? I hope that helps with your report.


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