Stop “being a girl” !?

Why is someone who is “being a girl” mocked at ?

I don’t know how many of us know it, but there is a difference between “sex” and “gender”. While Sex refers to biological differences; gender describes the characteristics that a society or culture delineates as masculine or feminine.

So, your sex constitutes of being a female or a male, while being a – girl , boy, woman or a man would be your gender. Worldwide, a female is expected to act like a  girl or a woman (as per her age), and a male is expected to act as a boy or a man (as per his age).

Since the females hold a secondary status in the society, so any male who acts like a girl is mocked at ! Whereas, a female who exercises dominance is tagged as being a man ! why? Because that is what men are expected to do (to dominate). In discussion with a friend, she told me about a news article wherein dominating a.k.a “masculine” women in the jail were found raping the submissive a.k.a “feminine” women. Another thing we pondered upon was as to why the eunuchs ( who are neither men nor women) dress up as women in our country ? This may be because eunuchs ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hijra_(South_Asia)) occupy a derogatory status in our society, which is obviously closer to that of women.

Is this justified ? These differences in social roles of females and males aren’t even due to biological attributes ! Among the Chambri People – women are the bread-earners whereas men look after household work and spend time in combing hair, wearing different kinds of beads and other kinds of beautification, among the Mundugumor Tribe – women and men are equally aggressive and in some tribes, the father gives training to the son in dancing !

I know that females and males have only themselves and their own acts to blame for such characterisation, but it is time now to do away with it. It may not be possible to erase the words – girl, boy, woman and man from our vocabulary. But at the least, the concept of ‘sex’ and ‘gender’ should be segregated.

While one can not determine ones sex, one should have the freedom to embody any gender. I do not take this as being unnatural in any way, in fact it would be more natural than imposing upon someone the pressure to act in a certain way because of her/his belonging to a particular sex !

My sex doesn’t determine my capability

Certain statuses are “ascribed” to the individual before knowing her/his potentialities. These “determine and limit the range of statuses” which s/he may subsequently achieve. One of these is an individual’s sex, which is of course, a highly visible physiological fact.

It is wrong to assume that the female-male division of statuses is based on inherent traits alone. Further,  the social differences change from one society to the other. For example :-

1. Among the Chambri People  women are the bread-earners whereas men look after household work and spend time in combing hair, wearing different kinds of beads and other kinds of beautification.

2. Among the Mundugumor Tribe – women and men are equally aggressive.

3. Among the Trobriand Islanders – except for breast-feeding, all the other tasks of child nursing are done by the father.

In some tribes, the father gives training to the son in dancing. These differences can not be attributed to biological attributes.

In reality, the assignment of ‘female status’ to women is mainly due to their ‘child-bearing function’. They carry the parasitic embryo in their body for a long time and nurse it when it comes out of the womb. They are thus provided with the tasks that are compatible with this function. For this reason, in most societies, female work is more uniform and localised than that of men. It means for women, their ascribed statuses limit their attainment for achieved statuses.

By means of this blog, I do not intend to justify these limitations on women, but rather to REFUTE them. As Ayn Rand said :

” The question isn’t who’s going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me”.
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We need to stop feeling that we are controlled by someone and start believing that we can make our own decisions and do what we want ! Turn your can’ts to cans and dreams to plans !Reference: C.N Shankar Rao Sociology (6th Edition)