Essay, Research Paper: Homophobia

Sexuality

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There are many definitions of gender in society today, and there are many
reasons for these different definitions. To every person gender may have a
different meaning depending on personal experiences or depending on how they
choose to view it. I tend to lean towards the more typical definition of gender.
I see gender as a way of categorizing people by their actions and or physical
appearance. Gender is an issue brought up a lot in today’s society, and has
been an issue for many years. Issues such as whether or not women can do the
same jobs as well as men, or whether or not women are as smart as men comes up a
lot in discussions about gender. In my opinion anyone can do anything they set
their minds to whether they be male or female. It is obvious that men and women
are different physically, but there is no scientific evidence that says that men
are smarter or more superior than women in anyway. This image of women being
inferior is slowly disappearing and will hopefully someday be non-existent. I am
a very sensitive person and people may attribute that to me being of the female
gender, but in reality it doesn’t have to be that way. People are branded as
feminine or masculine by their actions, their emotions, and their physical
traits. I find myself defining gender along with society. I myself have stated
many times how for instance, women body builders have very masculine builds. I
have also made many other similar comments conforming to the way society
stereotypes femininity and masculinity. I have never sat back and tried to think
of what it would be like if women typically were very muscular like a
bodybuilder. Would the bodybuilding men be considered “very feminine
looking”? Society stereotypes people in this way because it is a way to
categorize and define people. By saying a woman is masculine it is insinuating
that their physical build is not that of the “typical” female. Society’s
typical female is definitely evolving, and has come along way but has a long way
to go still. Femininity to me is a way to state that a female is very old
fashioned. If someone said to me, “she looks so girlie” my first thought
would be the girl in question is wearing some little pink dress with lace or
something frilly. I think this, because I don’t think of a modern woman when
someone refers to someone as feminine. I also usually think of femininity as a
way to describe someone is wearing or how they are acting. A very feminine
person to me would be very reserved with very old-fashioned morals, and I may
refer to someone of that description as being “girlie” as well. So, in my
opinion if someone said that I was a girlie person. I wouldn’t take it as a
complement because it really isn’t the ideal definition for a woman of the new
millenium. And as a woman I see this as a step in the right direction, it shows
how much we have grown throughout history. We as women have become a more
important role in society, and we can now say being weak and quiet is a
stereotype of the past. We should be proud to say we are changing for the times
rather than being insulted when we are associated with the female of the past.
On the contrary men are proud of how they were the “rulers” of the house and
the decision-makers in the community. Therefore to men being considered
masculine generally isn’t taken offensively. I view masculinity as a very
domineering and strong trait, both physically and emotionally. Physical traits
often included in the society’s “brand of masculinity” are, large,
powerful, and muscular. Seeing someone as masculine in my mind is not
insinuating anything bad about that person, though it is not uncommon for people
to link together being masculine with being very rowdy or unruly. For the most
part masculinity and femininity are used to describe physical attributes rather
than anything else. Unlike how it was in the past, where as there used to be set
standards for how a woman could act and look, and for how males could act and
look. Now we are setting new standards, and who knows what femininity and
masculinity will be defined as in the future. Culture plays a large role in the
definitions of masculinity and femininity also; different cultures have set
different standards and different roles within their individual cultures.
Culture is a way to define different ways of living and different ways of
expressing oneself, through morality and day to day life. Culture defines the
way that each family or grouping of families lives their lives. Within different
cultures families raise their children differently and therefore are educating
their children in ways that are not common to other cultures. This in turn is
creating a variety of people, whom each have different histories, or at least
interpret their histories in different manners. In some cultures women have the
powerful domineering role in the household, and in others it is the male. Within
some cultures it may be considered manly to be very insecure and emotional.
Where as in our society these traits are generally thought of as being feminine.
Gender plays a big role within all the different cultures, and it is interesting
to see what their typical male and female rolls are within the community and the
home. Different cultures have pre-conceived ideas about masculinity and
femininity, so the definitions may differ depending on which cultures are
defining it. Some cultures may see women as domineering and men as very weak and
dependent. Different perceptions depend on the background and history of that
culture. In the American culture women in history generally acted in a very
passive manner, but now women are showing their strengths and who knows what the
future holds for defining women in America.
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