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 !