When most people are obvious; their biology
When each of us was in our mother’s womb and shortly after we were conceived we did not have anything or anyone influencing the way we acted. After birth within a couple of months, although we do not remember but we can observe, our fathers and mothers were bearing an influence on our lives. While we were growing up and still to this day our surroundings influenced the way we think and behaved in our daily lives. We know people who are different in many ways and people who are similar to us in many ways. These differences and similarities take on different characteristics some are more subtle and some are very out right noticeable. However, for each individual the differences and similarities from one person to the next are going to vary in different ways. People all have relationships and these relations are how we identify with our friends and other people. One of the most noticeable characteristics between all people is the fact that some are male and some are female. On the other hand the masculine and feminine traits in people are not nearly as noticeable even though all people show characteristics of both.
The differences in males and females to most people are obvious; their biology is different causing them to have different sexual traits. They have different organs and different chemicals that make a man a male and a woman a female. However, biology is not selective within one generation and does not choose the characteristics males and females portray throughout their lives. I say one generation because an example of color blindness is brought up on page 16, but this is a random selection of one generation to the next generation in males. Also, some characteristics are learned and some are instinctive. I believe that much of society has played a role in what the male and the female so-called identities are today. An outrageous example being that the female is to stay at home with the kids and the male is to go off to work and support the family. Let me say this; I would love to stay home and have my wife go off to work, not that it is easy but I just don’t like work. These traits that people portray have been a cause of culture bearing down on society for a long time influencing people to become masculine or feminine. Though this is a tough statement to defend because it has been happening for so long that it seems normal. It seems as though there is a direct relationship between the male being masculine and the female being feminine, but is there?
After the reading and thinking in depth about this subject I now question the actual relationship of the masculine male and the feminine female. To put an answer to my stated question I would say that in today’s society the two are directly related. Society has forced males to be the masculine guys that work on cars drink beers and watch football. And in just the opposite case the women have been molded to think that they are supposed to cook dinner and clean the house. More frequently however, I have seen somewhat of an evening out in the role of the standard male and female. As people become more educated and better understand that females and males are just biologically different in some ways people seem to be realizing that they do not have to play a masculine or feminine role in life. Males are doing what may have been considered a more feminine task and females are taking on more masculine tasks in life. More equality is being achieved through individualization and education, and society is realizing that just because a female shows masculine traits or vice versa does not mean they want to be a male or a female.
With the knowledge that I have gained from the reading and the beginning discussions of class I believe that sex and gender are well defined for most use in common-day language. The author of the first article, Gentile (pg. 14), went overboard in trying to think of 5 terms to describe these two different words. I agree more with Deaux (pg. 22) in the sense that a clarification of each word could be taught, like “sex linked” or “gender linked.” This clarification would help people better understand that male and female roles do not have to be quite as closely associated as people believed in the past. This would alleviate much of the societal pressures and influences that come with the masculine and feminine definitions used to describe a person’s traits.
Man-Made medicine and Women’s Health: The Biopolitics of Sex/Gender and Race/Ethnicity. In: Questions of Gender: Perspectives and Paradoxes. (Anselmi, D.L., A.L. Law, editors), McGraw Hill, 665-689.