Gender is a complex social construction that has been developed for centuries. Yet many people still do not understand the differences between sex and gender, or that gender is not as simple as whether you have a penis or a vagina. With the onset of industrialization and capitalism, this problem has gotten even worse, as objects are gendered as well as people.
The way this process works is ideas, clothing, traits, and even personal preferences are characterized as masculine or feminine. These labels themselves are constructed through social norms and societal expectations. This assignment is vital, as it then isolates said idea to its category, where it’s status is then determined. More often than not, masculine traits are valued and feminine traits are devalued. It is through this framework that …
The Perils of Being A Feminist in the Dominican Republic
I’m currently a senior at my high school here in the Dominican Republic. I was born in the States and have lived overseas almost my entire life. I’m also Hispanic– both my parents and the rest of my family are Cuban. I think this is a great thing, a blessing even. We’re all pretty close, we’re bilingual, our food is delicious, we have friends all around the world, and now we have many opportunities that we wouldn’t have been granted if we hadn’t moved around. I’m extremely grateful.
Nevertheless (did you feel there was an impending catch?), if you’re also Hispanic or if you have had any exposure to Latino culture, you’ve probably witnessed the drawbacks of the close-mindedness and conventionalism that are evident in my culture, and maybe you’ve …
“Let me buy you dinner,” he said with a smile. He looked at me with confidence. He was close to me in age, and handsome. His actions were presumably innocent. On the surface, there was no reason for me to refuse. He thought he was simply asking me on a date, but it implied a deeper meaning.
He didn’t phrase his proposal as a question, but I still had a choice. I could say yes and smile endearingly; I could take the sandwich he wanted to buy me and thank him for his generosity. But I knew that if I wanted to live with myself, the answer would be no. I could not carry on as a hypocrite. I could not relinquish my self-respect for a sandwich.
I know a lot of people – gay and straight – who believe that bisexuality, specifically bisexual men, exist about as much as they believe that unicorns exist. It seems that there are people who believe that only women can be bisexual and that women are more fluid than men when it comes to sexuality. They believe men can’t be bisexual, but are either gay or straight. Hell, a few years ago I didn’t even believe bisexuality was real and now I identify as bi.
I have big problem with this, and I mean a BIG problem. You might ask, “Why? You’re a woman, why should you care about bisexual men?” I care because I think the gender stereotypes and gender roles that trap men are wrong.
We all have a favorite children’s picture book – one we read over and over, or that our parents did funny voices for. After revisiting my childhood and experiences growing up through Harry Potter, I wanted to look to some of my earlier literary experiences.
When I was in my local bookstore last week, I perused through the Children’s section and picked up some books clearly aimed towards girls. One, the Girls’ Doodle Book, included pictures you could finish – mostly structured around things like butterflies, flowers, baking, and nesting. Boys, on the other hand, had a doodle book where they drew inventions, action scenes, machinery. The other was geared towards “tomboys”, showing that it’s OK to like worms and sports and hate wearing dresses – but in that …
Over the past few weeks, the story of a Canadian couple who is keeping the gender of their baby, named Storm, a secret, has made headlines. Their reasoning seems to be that they want to allow their child to choose his/her own gender. They want to help him/her avoid feeling trapped by gender and to give him/her more freedom to express himself/herself. Of course, controversy ensued, even resulting in a segment on the Today show.
Afghanistan has had a rough time in recent history. The sudden transformation from fashionable escape for the West to war-torn warlord-ruled landscape to complete Taliban control (and now it seems that the whole place is more or less up for grabs as the current government’s complicity with the Taliban has been revealed) has been something shocking to look at independently of any time period before or after a given moment, or in a historical panorama of the past century.
Kabul was once named the “Paris of the Middle East.” The high society women were very well integrated into European society and many took on French as a second language in an aristocratic gesture to their high-brow city’s namesake.
But the times have changed considerably since then. Anyone who kept up …