Women Today

Today at Union College, there is no question that women have remarkably different roles than they did at the onset of coeducation fifty years ago. Women are at the helm of many programs and intiatives, and they have generally gained acceptance as leaders. As we know, however, there is work to be done, whether at Union College or in wider society. Gender identity itself is no longer considered a static trait defined by one's biological make-up, and women are able to understand and define their roles and gender for themselves. "Gender refers to those social, cultural, and psychological traits linked to males and females through particular social contexts. Sex makes us male or female; gender makes us masculine or feminine. Sex is an ascribed status because a person is born with it, but gender is an achieved status because it must be learned."42  We can now define our gender as we understand it ourselves, and we do not have to be bound by limitations or expectations of society that once governed us. For the most part, today we are able to understand the whole of the human experience, including what academia has to offer.

42Lindsey, Linda L. "The Sociology of Gender: Theoretical Perspectives and Feminist Frameworks." In Gender Roles: A Sociological Perspective. Boston: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2005: 4.
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