Featured Post from Kathreena Pedrealba for GENDERS
Gender, what exactly does that mean and entail? For most of us gender is only known by the biological differences of a man and a woman particularly their sexual organs. What we have to see is that it is so much more than that; it’s the socially constructed idea of what it means to be a man and a woman, it refers to one’s perception and feelings regarding masculinity, femininity, and everywhere in between (and outside). This distinction is generally used to highlight the existence of disparities in how power is distributed in societies. Men are known to be those who work and interact more in the world, while women are usually those who care for the children and the household. Although now in the growing liberal world we are faced by new opportunities and ideas. A lot of men and women in the 21st century are gender non-conformist, which means, according to About.com, they do not adhere to society’s rules about dress and activities for people that are based on their sex. They are people who may choose to present as neither clearly male, nor clearly female, but rather as a gender-free individual. In my class’ activity I learned more about how people (my peers and classmates) perceives the different “gender-free” individuals rather then what it really means to be one, though that was also explained by them and my professor.
Many people use the terms ‘gender’ and ‘sex’ interchangeably; it’s a little-known fact that they aren’t synonymous, I mean their meanings might as well be identical to most people. I think we can relate this to how people like uniformity and similarity and fitting in too much that when they see different and uniqueness, it is a strange idea for them to grasp on and understand. I think that it’s really unfair how people who are “gender-free” have to conform to this “straight world”. I mean we are all human beings with equal rights, one of them being the freedom of expression. I began to comprehend that a lot of people stereotype those that have a “different” gender identity from their sex and this can be very bad for the person involved. Complications can take place with the stereotyping, or gender typing of behavior for individuals with behavior related to a specific sex, when they clearly identify as a different gender based on their biological forms. This can cause people with that to have gender identity crisis and it can affect them greatly even cause them to end up doing irrational things. We have to think that they are human too and just because they do not conform to the societies need and mindset about the “proper” and “right” doesn’t mean that we do not acknowledge their existence and even interact with them. Most of us even lessen their rights and that is basically unjust and totally against the teachings of our parents and even religion. Im sure that if we just give them a chance things will just work out fine and nothing about the society will really be changed, they can even teach us new things and new perspectives about certain topics.
I have this found illustration that perfectly portrays a certain point I’d like to discuss: The difference among the words ‘woman’ and ‘man’ from ‘female’ and ‘male’. ‘Male’ and ‘female’ are vocabulary that describes one’s biological sex. However, ‘man’ and ‘woman’ describes a person’s gender identity. I think the gender of one person is actually a lateral byproduct of the sex because behavior is always an interaction of nature and nurture, socialization can really modify, sometimes very significantly, the decisions on sex differences—if we so choose. The more supplementary knowledge you get about the understanding of biological sex, gender, gender identity, and sexual orientation, the more you may understand yourself and even how you relate to other people with different gender identities. Since sex and gender are very multifaceted, you may have numerous questions. You may even doubt your own personal sexual orientation or gender identity, even begin to wonder, figure out or understand things about someone you know. You may have different inquiries and opinions about how society views sex and gender and how they actually accept the different identities and orientations that are presented to them.
I interviewed someone older than me to see how different the societal roles and perception on women then and before were. She said that women at that time were expected to be very religious, respectful, puts very high regards on their dignity, morality and self-honor. They said women before give importance to celibacy. They wanted to keep themselves for their husbands and that was very important back then. Family always came first and nothing can ever replace family, it was the most important part of their lives. For wives, they have to be very responsible at home and make good meals; most of the women at her time were good cooks. Education was also very important, to land a good job and ensure a good future family woman had to work too, they didn’t just rely on the men in the house.
She said that right after she finished college she wanted to go to Cebu (she lived in Davao) but her parents wouldn’t allow her probably scared she will just be toyed with there and harm might cross her way but she still pursued on going there. So one day she just left with little money and clothes, when she got to Cebu everything were ok at first but then she lost her irregular jobs and she finished all her money. She called up her parents but they would help her get back to her feet wanting her to go back to Davao, but she still tried harder until she stumbled on an opportunity and then she realized that in order to help her family she should work and strive to make them have a better lifestyle. This woman I am talking about conformed to the societies needs and wants but in a kind of non conforming way, she still had her individuality and opposite opinions.
These days, we see more girls conforming to society’s wants but not its principles. More girls now-a-days conform to societies norms and definitions of beauty and desires. Women now have more voice and are now more equally seen with men. I think though that in this liberal world women’s dignity and morals are kind of (for some) thrown off the window. We see that women have come a long way from just being housewives to being a lot more than that, we are now competing in the “real” world with men and sometimes we can say that maybe we can be better than them. We now accept more liberal ideas and I think these both come with its ups and downs. More women have the “voice” and can express themselves better than before; they have more self- value and worth. Though in this generation I don’t really see that, women are kind of over-valuing themselves (some) that they actually kind of degrade other women. “Less is more” this line really represent one particular change in the society, more and more women get attention and not in a very good manner. I mean, if we acted like this back then some of us would be killed or hurt. Although now, women are more socially accepted to do manly chores and they have more freedom of choice and are given more opportunities and rights. That’s really good to hear because now we can speak up and defend ourselves without it being socially unaccepted or wrong. I think though some women abuse the right of being treated equally with men like for example they want to be treated equally but they still expect men to still treat them royally and take god care of them and pay for their dues and food, etc.
Men these days give less value to women with the thought that there are plenty out there, more and more men treat women as though they are replaceable objects. Unlike before, family was very important to both men and women, now it’s more of the fulfillment of need and desires that is valued more. Comparing these two different periods, we can say that they both have their advantages and disadvantages. I think we just have to think back and see what really is the most important things that we need and have to have, we can still change our corrupt ways.