Gender Polarization in the Victorian era: A Steampunk Feminist Perspective

Cogpunk Steamscribe

Gender polarization is the concept of gender identity being dependent on men doing the opposite to the women and vice versa. I have several problems with this concept. Firstly, this binary opposition is a very Western concept, and doesn’t allow for any gradient of gender identity. As well, gender polarization creates a completely unnatural and exaggerated definition of gender, and usually this leads to the formation of stereotypes; one of my least favourite being strong men contrasting to weak women.Human beings as a species do have mild sexual dimorphism, but not to the extent that gender polarization would suggest.

In the Victorian era, gender polarization was at its peak. Men and women had different legal rights; wore different clothes; styled their hair differently; had different roles to play in society, in academia, and in the home; were educated differently; and the medical sciences even thought men and women suffered from…

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