Friday, March 20, 2020

Gender Issue and the Feminist Movement

Gender Issue and the Feminist Movement Gender issue has been a sensitive matter in the society since the period of feminism movements. Consequently, it has become a fundamental field of study for scholars interested in gender studies. Today many scholars discuss the issue of gender and its causes while the other scholars study the manifestations of gender at workplaces, homes and in society at large.Advertising We will write a custom term paper sample on Gender Issue and the Feminist Movement specifically for you for only $16.05 $11/page Learn More That is why the story about a â€Å"genderless† baby Storm from Toronto has attracted the audience’s attention and was widely discussed by scholars and by the public. Is it possible to determine a sex, but not a gender? Changes and developments in society have given new perspectives to gender studies. Gender should not be considered as a biological phenomenon like sex because it is the achieved status. Nowadays social scientists focus the ir studies on both relationships among people and individuals in order to know the various parts of gender divisions and social systems that result in different gender orientation of individuals in society. People achieve the status of gender through cultural, sociological, and psychological means (Risman, 2004). Storm’s parents insist on his or her right to decide what gender principles to follow or not as well. Fox notes that social scientists have not paid much attention to the area of parenthood despite the fact that it is a significant field for understanding gender differences and inequality (Fox, 2001). Gender roles are plays the main role in families. Moreover, the nature of motherhood in the society puts high responsibility on women. Fox also emphasizes that motherhood is the most gender-imposing activity in the lives of women. Nevertheless, the peculiarities of the relations between heterosexual parents and the division of their roles in families can influence great ly the child’s perception of the gender roles in the future (Fox, 2001). That is why it is rather difficult to prevent Storm from becoming interested in gender roles because it is one of the most important social effects which Messner described in his work with paying attention to children’s games with gender orientation (Messner, 2000). West and Zimmerman discuss the gender issue from a perspective of usual patterns fixed in people’s everyday relations (West Zimmerman, 1987). The authors set to differentiate between sex and gender in order to understand both perspectives accurately. The scholars studied such factors as the division of labor, social subordination of women, and formation of gender identity. They noted that people begin to acquire gender status starting from the age of five years.Advertising Looking for term paper on gender studies? Let's see if we can help you! Get your first paper with 15% OFF Learn More Their study led them to conclude that gender is routine, methodological and recurring accomplishment. Thus, we can emphasize that Storm cannot avoid determining his or her gender in our society. West and Zimmerman state that â€Å"gender is unavoidable because of the social consequences of sex-category membership† (West Zimmerman, 1987, p. 145). Therefore, if a child has a definite sex, he will be perceived in society as having a definite gender. In his turn, Joan Acker notes with references to labor and organizational hierarchy that, though feminist scholars know that hierarchical organizations are male dominated, they can be gender neutral (Acker, 1990). Ackers article Hierarchies, Jobs, Bodies: A Theory of Gendered Organization refutes these claims by feminist writers. In fact, Acker affirms that organizations are not neutral in terms of gender orientations, but instead images of mens bodies and masculinity dominate organizations processes (Acker, 1990). This only serves to marginalize w omen. In addition, men’s occupations of higher positions enhance the maintenance and promotion of gender separations at workplaces. That is why Storm is at risk to be not admitted in society in which all the roles of dominance and substitution depend on the gender hierarchy. The discussion of the question of gender has a long history. Paula England looks at some of the gender revolutions that have occurred since 1960’s (England, 2010). England highlights changes that have taken place and why gender achievements are not even. She notes that women chores have undergone some minimal changes. Consequently, women have had chances to enter into male jobs in the organizations. Nevertheless, men have no interest in entering female jobs or activities (Norman, 2011). It is the reflections of femininity and masculinity in society. As women continued to acquire status in society, some of them began to resist male dominance and imposed roles on them. It is the fact that a womanâ₠¬â„¢s body is her key weapon. That explains why feminists and social scientists like Rose Weitz can use, for instance, hair as a source of resistance and at the same time accommodation to gender issues (Weitz, 2001). Weitz notes that the body is particularly fundamental for power struggle between men and women. Men have always justified their dominance over women by claiming that women have inferior bodies and brains. In turn, this has created a unique set of activities that have created a submissive, feminine body. However, women are aware of society and cultural expectations regarding their bodies and minds. Women have realized that they can consciously seek power by accommodating or resisting cultural, and society expectations imposed on them. Occasionally, women may combine both approaches in order to get power (Weitz, 2001). Storm’s parents have declared that there are few people who know the sex of this child.Advertising We will write a custom term paper sample on Gender Issue and the Feminist Movement specifically for you for only $16.05 $11/page Learn More They have decided to complete this ‘social experiment’ because they do not what their child to suffer from any cultural and social expectations which can be imposed on him or her. Nevertheless, their child has the body which is of man or a woman. That is why all the expectations can be imposed because of the social tradition to divide people into men and women not due to their sex, but gender. In relations to the body issues, Willis, Miller and Wyn note that a theory gendered embodiment can explain the differences between men and women (Willis, Miller, Wyn, 2001). The authors argue that social construction of masculine and feminine as social practices creates a male who is more able to survive than his female counterpart. The authors established this through studying men’s and women’s attitude towards death, career, body image and meaning i n life. The authors concluded that differences in attitudes between men and women were due to social organization of society particularly in the gender division. Ridgeway and Correll maintain that hegemonic cultural beliefs about gender are too strong in our society (Ridgeway Correll, 2004). These values and their impacts are what the authors refer to as social and relational ones. According to them, social and relational aspects are among the key components that influence the gender system. The authors take into account the cultural beliefs that have become embedded to include parts of gender relations. At the same time, they look into issues of bias and performance, and their effects on the individual’s lives. Therefore, Storm cannot grow as a person without paying attention to these cultural beliefs. Ridgeway and Correll analysis of the role of social and relational contexts reveals that it affects the differences and inequality, including race and class (Ridgeway Correl l, 2004). However, they tie these roles to gender system in society. The idea of gender relation once again features in this article by Correll and Ridgeway as expressed by Fox. However, these authors note gender is the part of everyone. However, they argue that gender is significant to the extent of defining social relational among individuals. Therefore, social, relational contexts influence gender systems. Feminist scholars approach gender matters from different perspectives, but they all revolve around the issue of male dominance over their female counterparts. The gender revolution of 1960s has enhanced the status of women in society. However, women movements have not achieved much. This is because gender systems and relations in society have deep connections with the cultural beliefs. This uneven success has led feminists to derive several ideas in attempts to explain what influence the progress of women.Advertising Looking for term paper on gender studies? Let's see if we can help you! Get your first paper with 15% OFF Learn More Some scholars note that society imposes gender systems on people at an early age, which makes the gender relations embedded in this society. That is why it is a very difficult task for the parents to bring Storm up without references to a social gender. Today our society which is based on the division of definite gender roles is not ready to admit such an idea. Even when such a strict division can be rejected, it has an impact on society. References Acker, J. (1990). Hierarchies, jobs, bodies: Theory of gendered organizations. Gender Society, 18(4), 139-156. England, P. (2010). The gender revolution: Uneven and stalled. Gender Society, 24, 149-166. Fox, B. (2001). The formative years: How parenthood creates gender. CRSN/RCSA, 38(4), 374-390. Messner, M. A. (2000). Barbie girls versus sea monsters: Children constructing gender. Gender Society, 14, 765-785. Norman, M. E. (2011). Embodying the double-bind of masculinity: Young men and discourses of normalcy, health, heterosexuality, and individualism. Ridgeway, C. L., Correll, S. J. (2004). Unpacking the gender system: A theoretical perspective on gender beliefs and social relations. Gender and Society, 18(4), 510-531. Risman, B. J. (2004). Gender as social structure: Theory wrestling with activism. Sociologists for Women in Society, 18(4), 429-450. Weitz, R. (2001). Women and their hair: Seeking power through resistance and accommodation. Gender and Society, 15(5), 667-686. West, C., Zimmerman, D. H. (1987). Doing Gender. Gender Society, 1, 125-151. Willis, E., Miller, R., Wyn, J. (2001). Gendered embodiment and survival for young people with cystic fibrosis. Social Science Medicine, 53, 1163-1174.

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