In the recent General Election, we have seen the rise of female politicians like Tin Pei Ling (People’s Action Party) and Nicole Seah (National Solidarity Party); 32% of ASEAN region’s senior management roles lies in the hands of women, while the global average is 21%; and myself writing this paper is another example of how women enjoys equal education opportunities in my society. Yet there is still such an article dated so recently, and while we condemn the brutal act, we have to see the tragic truth beneath: the society has the larger part to play. Activists fear eight million girls have disappeared in India, many did not even get to breathe their first breath like Zainab. The reason is horrifyingly simple: their families want sons instead of daughters.
While sex is simply a biological construct that can be explained by chromosomes, gender is a social concept that is nurtured or instilled into the individual. Gender, and the conceptual roles of different genders, is a social structure that aims to maintain social stability by ensuring that the parts of society could operate together to ensure the smooth functioning of the whole society. One such example is the way heterosexual marriage are considered “correct” and “appropriate” while homosexual relations are frowned upon in Singapore, this is to ensure that man and woman can come together to start an “ideally functional” family. Gender is also meant to be a cultural categorizing tool that “must be so simplified that they can be quickly applied as framing devices to virtually anyone in the population to start the process of defining self and other”.
The social stability sounds amazing in theory, but the categorization of gender often causes conflict and division instead. When people are divided into two groups, it is very easy to identify which group is “privileged” and which group is “subordinate”, and when such groups comes into play, there will be oppression when the privileged group try to maintain...
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