Professor Lisa Munoz
December 7 2011
A Defining of True Men and Real Women
Camille Paglia once asked aloud “Heaven help the American-born boy with a talent for ballet.” It is not right to ridicule or target a child for liking something that goes against masculinity or femininity just because they belong to a certain gender. What actually defines a gender? Simple biology has taught us to differentiate men and women by females being able to bare offspring and our common sense merely perceives the physical anatomy. Believing that the world consists of only two genders has been a cultural invention that which does not accommodate the vast amount of experiences humans are capable of living. Even methods of parenting can play a major role towards forming their children’s sexual identity. However, although people are born either male or female, they are made and shaped into men and women.
True women and real men are only the image that children have been brought up to become as they grow. Little boys aren’t always hardwired to like only dinosaurs and trains. This is just the same as how girls don’t necessarily choose to play with dolls. Even colors such as blue and pink are made to be associated for specific genders at an early age. The concept is just a grouping of stereotypical male and female characteristics that don’t necessarily always apply to individuals in either gender. Examples include such statements as that men must not show emotion and that men believe the most important thing is sex. Masculinity is also thought to be displayed by a man who is able to provide for his family by holding a job and excelling at a profession. However, a hate of having to commit and to always act tough in all situations isn‘t in all male genes. Sometimes men in many cases actually greatly value a woman’s loyalty. A female can be independent and successful without a husband or any other men in her life. They take up jobs and strive towards furthering their own education. Staying inside to take care of the home and young children isn’t the only thing on the schedule. Fighting for suffrage was an important time for females in order to create equal rights and opportunities. Women can be strong and men can cry. These acts defy society’s hope of creating ideal men in its view for both men and women to pass down each generation.
Parents are a leading cause of how gender roles are formed early on. Their kids are raised with different expectations, care and compliments based on their gender. Girls are much more likely to have their safety questioned. They are also given more compassion than the boys. However, boys are allowed more freedoms and opportunities at independence. The parents are essentially deciding which activities are suitable for each child. Gender specific comments are also at fault. Praise dealing with looks are targeted at females which make them feel beauty is their most appreciated quality. Males are instead praised upon doing things successfully. If a girl likes to actively play, she is considered a tomboy. In contrast, if a boy is passive and not into rough play, he is labeled a sissy. These actions are what brings about the division of how men and women should behave in order to be socially accepted by others.
Since the beginning of our countries birth, women have suffered discrimination at the hands of society. One of the largest issues that would contribute to stereotypes for women were assigned gender roles. The men were predominantly given the ability to have higher status then women. They were never given “Women’s work” which consisted of nurturing, feeding, caring for family and keeping a good home. Females were expected to be cared for and kept out of the way. If any position of power in the work place was achieved by a female, they were commonly discriminated against and harassed while on or away from the job. Women were also often discouraged...