“Doing Gender” by West and Zimmerman: A Self-Reflection Essay

People typically face gender inequalities in every social interaction because they are a cultural product. West and Zimmerman address the uncertainty in the discussion of sex and gender. Few people know that there is a difference between the two terms—sex has a biological component, whereas gender is a social and cultural construction (West and Zimmerman 126). I had firsthand experience with gender inequality when out shopping with my mother. Before enrolling in the course and reading West and Zimmerman’s “Doing Gender,” I had not given the experience much attention. I’ve discovered that the social and cultural creation of gender influenced every facet of the gender experience.

My shopping trip demonstrated the difference between gender and sex. Because I am a woman, I should act in feminist gender roles, at least in accordance with social norms. My mum gave me tips on items made for women as I was shopping. She believed that women were required to dress and groom their bodies in a certain way, and by extension, so did society. But I never gave it a thought that some smells were made for men and others for women. This was the first time I went shopping, allowing me to evaluate my selections critically. My mother made sure I carefully chose everything we bought as a result. My experience supported West and Zimmerman’s theory that gender equality is a common accomplishment rooted in daily social interactions (126). As a result, the society set the rules for my purchase decisions, and I had to follow them.

I’ve come to see that the contrast between the two notions results from how people interact with one another in their social environments rather than being required in and of itself. Gender is a social construct that designates specific social behaviors (West and Zimmerman 126). As a result, predictable…

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