A feminist movement of the 70's makes a clear separation of sex and gender in the roles of the feminine and masculine as there are known up to this point; from then on sex defines the biological function and gender is defined by the construction of society and the norms that regulate it functions.
The aim of this paper is to discuss whether popular culture which defines the roles in society in the very end is capable of undermining the roles of the genders in society as these are defined. For this purpose examples are going to be laid out on the topic that sustain of reject this proposal and a research of academic papers and journal articles will be discussed.
The next section includes all the following starting with laying out the definition of the two terms and their role in the society. A small discussion and personal viewpoint follow in the last section where the summary is provided.
Schlegel in his book "Wisdom from a Rainforest" describes a unique experience. Among the forest Tedurays even if a buy is born he has the choice to live as a girl. Such a boy is termed among the members of the tribe as one-who-became-a-woman and is referred to as she (Diaz, Quevedo, OMI). This is a clear evidence that a physiological characteristics do not predetermine the lifestyle of the individual and furthermore, that there exists society where determination of the gender lies on the individual and is perfectly accepted by the member of the rest of the culture.
Schlegel himself on the phenomenon asserts that this experience gave the understanding that for the Tedurays the penis did not defines the gender of the person in the society but the function he played: the clothes that are worn, the way the hair is dressed, the every day activities and the social environment one comes in contact with and finally the way people address and perceive the person to function in their society. It is finally the acceptance of the rest of the society members of the role you declare that defines the gender, and the role, of the individual in the society.
Butler in "Bodies that Matter" (1993) also declares that sex does not determine gender; sex is the mere "performative" of the gender meaning it defines the biological function of the individual but not the function declarative.
Toril Moi, who has been elaborating on Butler, draws on the same line to propose that gender serves as a performative; "doing the gender" rather than "doing the sex".
All the above make two things clear; firstly that the sexual organs of the person merely declare what their function upon sexual reproduction is and second that there has always been the case of a clear distinction between the sexual reproduction organs and the identity the individual chooses to take up in the society. The physiological characteristics therefore one is born with do not determine the role they decide to take up in the society. The very differentiation of gender and sex determine that there is a unique meaning given to the morphology and social roles of the individual in every society. As every society is founded and defined by its culture gender and sex take up meaning that reflect