“Just because you think everything is a social construct doesn’t mean society won’t care” A very attractive friend of mine once said inside of screaming match with me (I find the attractive comment to be necessary to my story, bear with me here guys). After hearing this statement, I gave it more thought than I should have, not because his response to my argument was philosophical or anything, but because I had perceived this boy to be a total airhead. Of course, with thinking about his response, I did start to wonder if maybe he had said something that was worth actual thought, and then I realized that he was right about what he said.
Many people, like myself, believe that everything is a social construct that we follow in order to appease the standards that have been placed upon us. This includes little things such which side of the hallway is the “right” side to more serious topics such as gender. Everything is built upon how society wants us to behave and act to fit their ideas and not one of your own individual accord. This, of course, is always open to interpretation, and I am simply supplying my own views on this subject. In my own mind, I find things such as clothing and “gendered” clothing to not exist and just simply were created by society in order to make it easier for everyone to be put into categories (aka; male and female) Gender, next to race, is one of the biggest social constructs, clearly, as we can see it lines up with the election that just happened, it is extremely prevalent. Females and people of color will always be held to a lower standard than the average white male, simply because society was but on having them as their main standard. This just goes to show, that if we, as a society, had never been exposed to this kind of division, we would have seen each other as equals from day one.
Aside from this, social constructionism also plays a big part in how people view themselves in being “pretty” or not (see my articles titled Hypersexualization of Women in the Media I / II for just this topic) since as a whole we promote one type of person as being beautiful. Of course, this is just social constructionism at work. Forcing us to conform to our own standard of beauty instead of seeing everyone as looking attractive. This type tends to be slim and having long, straight hair, and normally being white, which isn’t something someone sat down alone and thought up, it is a product of how our society has evolved.
The topic that inspired this idea, of course, was more mind-numbing and unimportant: three of the boys I was with at the time were going to the gym and none of them were in gym “appropriate clothing” (which was including but not limited to board shorts, vans, and a shirt that had a pocket on it). Now while this did start out as something to just argue about, it turned into a conversation that made me think about how we really see things as an entire group. Why does our society focus so hard on such ideas and values when in the end they really don’t do anything for people as a whole, seeing as it just helps to create boxes for people to conform to, which they shouldn’t have to because it does limit creativity? Or does it? Is creativity also just a social construction, because everything really is just one big construct.