Women& Gender in the Modern World
Women& Gender in the Modern World
Inthe modern society, there has been the incoming and establishment ofthe new gender or what the Indians call the ‘third sex’. Thetraditions and the societies of the new world both male and female has coined alternative identities which entails aspects suchlesbianism, gay, cross dressers, transgender, or in other words theykind of possess multiple genders. This aspect was referred in NorthAmerica as two spirits. This in turn has become one of the changingelements toward the way women are regarded in the community (Ward &Edelstein 158). According to Ward & Edelstein,(168) one of the theories used to explain the aspect of the thirdgender entails the issue of limitations of gender roles within anyvulture. In addition, the author has stated that, both gender andsexuality are flexible, as third genders are institutionalizedhomosexuality, however, as its clear from the Indian and northAmerica scenarios, social behaviors are more inclined towardsdefining characteristics that the choice of sexual partner (Brettell,Caroline and Carolyn 228).
Differentaspect are used to define the sex of a baby these includes aspectssuch as biology, social as well as cultural genders (Ward &Edelstein 150). According to (Ward & Edelstein 149), the sex of ababy is long known even before they are born. This is due to the factthat, biologically human being are made of chromosomes areresponsible for the determination of the baby’s sex. The sex of achild is determined during birth. However, unlike biological sex,gender is socially constructed meaning that it is the society thatdetermines the roles to be played by a boy or a girl. These rolesthat are socially constructed are not always adhered to by themembers of the society. This has led to the modification of thegender roles with many societies allowing people to live outside thegender roles. An example of such a controversy in the gender roles isthe freedom given to people to live beyond their biological sex withsome men dressing as women and some women dressing as men. Such arestill allowed and celebrated in some cultures and include people ingroups such as the lesbian, the gay, bisexual, transgenderrepresenting the two spirit people. They are usually revered probablydue to their courage to go beyond the norms of culture.
Theexistence of the two spirit people has led to the inception of athird gender, which is the female male gender on top of the twouniversal genders of Male or female. This also means existence ofpeople with both feminine and masculine characteristics, in aspectssuch as sexual lifestyle, sexual identity, as well as gender identity(Ward & Edelstein 150). The study of the third gender can helpus learn some important facts about its evolution. It can also helpus understand the two spirited people and how they are viewed in thesociety and therefore device mechanisms to learn to live with themwithout any discrimination.
Mostcultures have strict standards about the concept of gender andsexuality. Individuals are seen as either male or female and the twospirited people are discriminated and mistreated with some countries,even banning them. The study of culture where the two spirited peopleare celebrated can help us to understand how the cultural standardsof such communities were lowered so as to accommodate the twospirited people. We can also learn how the cultural standards balancewhere such people operate in such a community.
Italso helps us to understand the rights given to such people and howthese rights are adhered to by the society. This helps othercommunities where the two spirited people are detested to learn howto respect such rights and protect such people. This in turn wouldencourage those in that category who are still struggling with theiridentity to come out clean in the open and join others of their kingfor support. The study would also help us in learning some of thefactors that lead to the emergence of the two spirited people. Thisis because sexuality is a combination of personal positions on ouridentities, cultural, historical and social experiences thereforesocially constructed. Such a study would reveal the cultural factorsthat promote the emergence of the two spirited people in an attemptto understand better the origin of the two spirited people.
Thestudy can help us look at gender from another perspective. It canalso deepen our understanding of the social construction of genderand show how different cultures define gender differently. Above all,the study of culture where two spirited people are revered and soughtafter can help us learn about how to accept the two spirited peoplein our community as well. The birth of a new child is important tothe community with the society eager to know whether the baby is aboy or a girl. Contrary to many customs, some parents may choose notto reveal the sex of their child and hence raise a genderless child.This has many advantages and disadvantages.
Mostmay choose to keep the sex of their baby a secret for privacyreasons. Some mothers do not like the idea of the whole communityknowing the sex of their baby. They would rather keep it in thefamily as this helps them feel secure. This also helps the mother toappreciate her freedom and choice in regards to decisions about thebaby. This secrecy also has the advantage of letting the childexplore his/her gender identity on their own once they are growing.This is because if the society does not know the child’s gender, nolimitations are placed on him/her as to how to act. Therefore thechild can choose either gender freely without any limitations fromthe society.
Onthe other hand, the raising of a genderless child has thedisadvantage of confusing the child even more as he/she grows up. Thechild lacks a sense of self and personal identity which is a criticalpart of normal healthy development. This is through placing thedecision of choosing his or her gender with no societal expectations.The social construction of gender makes it easy for children as theygrow since they know what is expected of them. By lack of suchexpectations, the child is bound to be confused with their gender.Personally, I don’t think it is possible to raise a genderlesschild. This is because the child is raised in a society where genderis of paramount importance. The interaction of the child with othergendered children makes it difficult to raise a genderless child asthey borrow from each other. It is also difficult for the parents andfamily to avoid being gendered on such a child, even when they do notwant to. According to (Ward & Edelstein 156), the Hijras of Indiaare regarded as both men and women due to their behavior. India hasgone ahead to recognize the ‘third gender’. Naturally the Hijrasof India are me who chooses to adopt female way of life such asdressing and other forms of female defining behavior. They in turnbring along the aspect of ‘third sex’. The practice of Hijras canbe said to be culturally defined as this is a well-recognizedtradition within the Indian community (Brettell, Caroline and Carolyn225).
Inconclusion, the social construction of gender is dynamic and has gonethrough changes over time. This has led to the emergence of suchgroups as the two spirited people and genderless children. However,it is important to identify these changes in advance adjust ourbeliefs so as to accommodate and accept every change for the greatergood of the society. It’s clear that, researches have been done onthe issue of women and gender, and the changes that has impacted theissue in the modern society. Different factors have been credited ordeemed to have impacted the women and gender issues, hence thetremendous change in the modern society compared to the traditionalways.
Brettell,Caroline and Carolyn Sargent. Gender in Cross-Cultural Perspective(6th Ed.) Pearson 2013
Ward,Martha and Monica Edelstein. A World Full of Women (6th edition).Pearson 2009.