Judith Butler once said ” There is no gender identity behind the expressions of gender; that identity is performatively constituted by the very ‘expressions’ that are said to be its results”. What it means is that ” the substantive effect of gender is performatively produced and compelled by the regulatory practices of gender coherence”. Is that the notion of gender really given out by the repeating practices in contemporary society? This essay is going to explain the ideologies of femininity nowadays and examples of female clothing and sports.
Whereupon it will demonstrate the socially constructed aspect of gender performatively in modern society. In the viewpoint of modern society, an ideal female should be tall, slim and has a curvy figure. Or we can say she should be seductive. For example, Jessica Alba, Angelina Jolie and Kate Winslet. They are famous film stars who are known for their sexy bodies and charm. However not every woman are as tall and slim as the celebrities mentioned. So they wear high heels and low rise pants to create an illusion of elongated torsos and legs.
Woman also wear crop tops to show their abdomen and low-cut clothing to emphasize the display size of their breasts. With help of these clothing, they may show an image that they have a so called perfect female figure. At least they can looked better. Then the women are charming now. Man always goes to gyms when he realize he should have a more muscular body, whereas woman goes to gyms when she think she need to lose measurements. In brief, she wants to be slimmer. Apparently, women go to gym with reasons totally different from men. They do not want to build up a muscular body like what men want.
Their target is to lose measurements for the purpose of being as slim as those ideal women. With this aim, women rarely take part in intensive sports, such as football, soccer or basketball. Furthermore they nearly never engage in very intensive sports like bodybuilding so as to develop and then keep their ideal female figure. And with their ideal female figure and the assist of those clothing which are designed to enhance female’s charm, they should become seductive ideal women. That’s how the idea of woman should be seductive given to us. Female are passive, gentle and always in charge of private places.
This ideology of woman are invariably popular in traditional culture of many nations and somehow still is the dominance of contemporary society. So how come this notion of gender role is yet popular nowadays? The high heels women wear bring about discomfort to them and limit their movement. Therefore they cannot run when they are wearing high heels. Sometimes they cannot even walk fast. For the purpose of showing an ideal body which is presented before, they should not walk fast. Because of the limitation of mobility, women are always the one who is waiting.
In other word, they are always passive. In addition, maxiskirts has a low hemline which restrict women’s extent of motion. Women who wear miniskirt have to be careful with their movements in order to avoid exposure. As a result, women cannot perform an action which require a large extent of motion because their clothing limit their abilities of doing so. Therefore they can only make some gentle actions. Even more women are not encouraged to do mostly all outdoor sports. So they are more likely to stay at home in free time and doing quiet and gentle activities, reading and cooking, for instance.
People started to think of women are passive and gentle because they actually could not walk fast or perform an action with a large extent in most of the time. Although it is not absolutely and biologically true, female are always treated as fragile human being. Women rarely engage in intensive sports. For that reason, most women’s sports, such as yoga, tennis and badminton, do not require much energy. And the other reason maybe is because these sports are safer than those intensive sports. Then they will not easily get hurt. The women’s sports mentioned before are often indoor.
It shows women are not encouraged to do mostly all outdoor sports. Staying indoor is also a protection from sickness like the sunstroke when the weather is terrible. The material used to make women clothes are often cozy which will not harm their skin and provide them comfort and warmness. Because of all these protections, women may have only a few chances to train themselves and make them stronger. Therefore, in many cases, women are not as strong as man who always keep on training. Women are sometimes viewed as vainglorious in contemporary society. This is because their clothing are usually made with expensive coatings.
And the design of most famous brand clothes are often needlessly gorgeous and resplendent. Women also wear shinny or costly accessories and treat it as a proof of a high social status. In past time, a woman is not allowed to have a high social status by herself but by her husband or relatives. This situation is not as serious as hundreds years ago. However, women are still harder to achieve a higher social status. So they can only show their social status, power and wealth by the accessories or clothing they wear or how expensive are the products they buy.
Women are especially proud of themselves when they are wearing beautiful and luxuriant clothing and accessories. That’s why the society view women as vainglorious. To sum up, the female clothing and sports almost fulfill the ideologies of femininity. If not doing according to the examples mentioned hereinabove, a female can hardly be an ideal woman. For example, a female who is fat and short is not considered as ideal woman. People called those girls that engaged in so called men’s sports as tomboy. Or in some extreme case, those girls are called lesbians.
Both of them are not even considered as a normal woman. We can draw the conclusion that if a female does not regularly wear women clothing or engage in intensive sports which can also called the men’s sports, she is not a woman but only a female biologically. Therefore a female has to follow the gendered practices, for example wearing beautiful skirts, crop tops and high heels, going to gyms to lose measurements and doing indoor sports, and repeat them so as to be a woman or an ideal woman in society nowadays.