Here we discuss the notion of intersectionality – that which looks at the multiple, socially-constructed categories that interact in complex and multidimensional ways to produce and reproduce structures of inequality. It is hinged in the idea that themes of gender, race and class should be perceived not as independent from each other, but as overlapping structures of oppression and exploitation that must be addressed and resisted together as it “shapes those upon whom it bestows privilege as well as those it oppresses.” (Frankenberg: 1993: 131).”
If we begin to trace the root of gender differentiation, and even subordination, it is imperative to consider the notion of gender as social construct and see how men and women are assigned different social roles and are treated or considered differently because of perceived biological differences. As expressed by Lorber (1994: 56) –
Western society’s values legitimate gendering by claiming that it all comes from physiology – female and male procreative differences. But gender and sex are not equivalent, and gender as a social construction does not flow automatically from genitalia and reproductive organs, the main physiological differences of females and males. In the construction of ascribed social statuses, physiological differences such as sex, stage of development, color of skin, and size are crude markers.
As a result of this, women were then considered less able than men and therefore must be submissive to the husband. Her greatest asset is her purity. Women have been considered as the weaker sex, unable to carry out masculine tasks and duties requiring intellectual development. In the past, a little girl would learn from her mother that a woman’s place was at home – doing household work like cooking and cleaning and watching over young children. Indeed, societal norms have greatly affected women in many cultures. Women, in most cultures, are