Amina Mama’s Notes on Gender stress the historical specificity of the operation of gender, and Oyewumi considers carefully how this operation was, and is, placed within the organization of different societies: where and when is “gendering” a central political and cultural force? How, for example, does “gendering” interact with the dominance of class construction, or the weight of colonial influences?
We can begin to answer this question by returning to the theoretical model of “sex” and “becoming gendered”. If we ask seriously about the way in which class constructions, for example, influence the process of “becoming gendered”, we could imagine “class” as a colour which we could place holistically over the model we’ve been using to describe the predictions which flow between ‘sexing” a baby and “gendering” a human being. That would mean that every aspect of the model (how someone lives in relation to labour, authority, performance, and sexuality, as a result of their identification as “boy/man”/”girl/woman”) would be influenced by the operation of class in the society.