Posts Tagged ‘Ways How Sex and Gender Binary is Reinforced and or Destabilized’

Ways How Sex and Gender Binary is Reinforced and or Destabilized

Thursday, February 18th, 2021

Ways How Sex and Gender Binary is Reinforced and or Destabilized
The concept of masculinity has influenced gender studies across the globe. Additionally, it has attracted equal hate and criticism at equal measure. Incarceration of women especially in the field of health, politics and economy has rendered many women fail to access health services. However, with increased incarcerated transgender campaigns across the globe, women are now able to meet health services. Dissatisfaction with strict binary sex orientation and gender system is not a new concept. It is neither a creation of language, body modifications or models of expression. What the world is concerned about is the entrenchment, legitimization, proliferation and widespread of dissatisfaction among women and men.
Thesis Statement
Gender binary is a system where a society pairs sexes based on person’s reproductive system. Further, gender refers to the societal construction and perception on a particular sex. Societies have distinguished gender into two distinct groups; the men and women (Connell, et al: 26). The quality of any gender, whether masculinity or femininity is attributed to the manner a particular sex is perceived. The perceptions are built culturally, there are actions that a certain sex must undertake, but within the confines of societal norms and expectation (Connell, et al: 17). Some regions are more susceptible to gender binary compared to others. Gender binary are detected through dress, names, sexual orientation, career and public behaviors. This paper will focus on the factors that reinforce or destabilize gender binary
The following are some of the factors that reinforce or destabilize gender binary;
Masculinity and Femininity
Femininity refers to the qualities associated to being female; on the other hand, masculinity is an attribute associated to an individual being a male. Societal make up disgrace feminine attributes and look down upon women as less beings and shameful (Connell, et al: 09). Further feminine qualities are perceived as embarrassing, while those for the men are embodied (Connell, et al: 14). These attributes may be physical such as the manner of dressing or biological or biological.
Biological traits such as lack of masculine bodies and unrestrained emotional attachments such as sadness betray women. Femininity is considered as a sign of weakness in many cultures (Wingfield and Adia, 2009: 29). On the contrary, being male is perceived as a sign of power, strength, leadership and aggression. Luckily, over time this concepts and perceptions have been deconstructed from societies (Wingfield and Adia, 2009: 11). In the modern world, women have been empowered and societies appreciate that the stereotypes pegged on femininity and masculinity are inaccurate.
Social Conditioning of Gender Identity
Gender roles between boys and girls are learnt at an early stage in life. Children learn, inherit societal, cultural beliefs and practices from their relatives, friends, parents and older people in their communities (Wingfield and Adia, 2009: 32). Further, children learn and adopt structural and gender roles culturally, in school and from media platforms such as radios and televisions (Wingfield and Adia, 2009: 27). As children grow, they adopt cultural ethos, norms, beliefs normalized and rewarded by their communities. Besides, children begin to hide behaviors subject to ridicule and contempt from their communities.
This life adjustment occurs during the early stages of life. By the children are three years, most of them learn attributes that are acceptable and regarding according to their gender. As they grow and become adults, some start feeling embarrassed as they get ridiculed for non-compliance of cultural ethos aligning them to specific gender (Wingfield and Adia, 2009: 35). Fortunately, the world is moving from the cultural ethos. There seems to be positive attitudes towards roles that were aligned on sex or gender (Wingfield and Adia, 2009: 72). Fortunately, people are now growing being tolerant to other people’s lifestyles and views that were traditionally viewed as controversial.
Legal Discrimination
There are only two genders recognized in many of the countries. With this concept, there are outstanding concepts, principles and issues concerning gender and the law (West, Candace and Zimmerman, 2009: 64). With this provisions, people who cross the gender-line of being a man or woman, cross certain boundaries of either socially or legally. People who fall outside being male or female, lack gender identities (West, Candace and Zimmerman, 2009: 64). Gender queerness is considered as incompatible, contemptible and unintelligible. The legality and legitimacy of transgender lack identity criminalized and ignored. Transgender individuals in some communities are unrepresented.
Sex orientation or the gender a person is associated with determines how they are treated and the legal status of the person. Being male of female is detrimental especially in matters of marriage, separation, immigration, employment, inheritance or divorce (West, Candace and Zimmerman, 2009: 28). Transgender individuals face difficulties especially where they unable to identify themselves either in heterosexual marriage. Moreover, gender status affect accessibility of services such as housing, and medical services.
Social Discrimination
Biological differences between male and female affect their way of life. Gender issue is personal; however, occasionally they become political concerns (West, Candace and Zimmerman, 2009: 52). Gender binary is culturally ingrained, and any deviations results to negative attitudes, mistreatment harassment and prejudice. Transsexual and transgender individuals in most countries face discrimination, violence, hate, and harassment from family members and societies. Fortunately, in the modern world, societies appreciate these individuals and societies are less concerned with their lifestyles (West, Candace and Zimmerman, 2009: 49). Most countries are now liberal in their recent laws, legislations concern transgender and transsexual individuals.
To many people, being male or female is lifelong and an absolute part of being a human being. Gender issues are reinforced culturally, by religion, sense of duty, sense of self and daily life. On the other hand, some perceive gender as fluid, unimportant and a concept identified by an individual. Communal categories on either masculinity of femininity are unrealistic, constraining and limit people’s rights and freedoms. To deconstruct these concepts, the society must deal with legal, societal and religion that constraining gender understanding. The truth is that all people are similar, with similar potentials and weakness.

Connell, Robert W., and James W. Messerschmidt. “Hegemonic masculinity: Rethinking the concept.” Gender & society 19.6 (2005): 829-859.
West, Candace, and Don H. Zimmerman. “Accounting for doing gender.” Gender & society 23.1 (2009): 112-122.
Wingfield, Adia Harvey. “Racializing the glass escalator: Reconsidering men’s experiences with women’s work.” Gender & Society 23.1 (2009): 5-26.