Sunday, January 25, 2009

Gender issues

I was suggested a blog idea by one of my friends. Gender issues always seems to be concurrent with any time period. It is particularly notorious amongst the younger crowds. We always get into heated debates on different gender issues. Although this is also a touchy topic I am willing to share my thoughts. I will reiterate, these are MY thoughts so feel free to add to it in the comments section. The most popular type of gender issue seems to be none of other than the double standard. I will focus on the double standards between men and women.

First off I wanted to state the textbook definition of gender: sexual identity, especially in relation to society or culture. The textbook definition of the double standard is an ethical or moral code that applies more strictly to one group than to another. The biggest double standard that everybody talks about is the one regarding sexual activity and image. This double standard states that if a man has various sexual partners he is deemed a "player or a "pimp", but if a woman has various sexual partners she is viewed as promiscuous or unclean (which of course is a euphemism for "slut" or "hoe"). I owe this double standard to the patriarchal society we live in. To me it is a pseudo-patriarchal society because the women are the ones really in control. They just let us think we are in control most of the time in order to cater to the male ego. A perfect example of women being in control is the relationship between Michelle Obama and Barack Obama. In the interview they had with Barbara Walters there were numerous questions that she asked Barack Obama in which Michelle Obama interjected and answered before he could. This was her way of conveying the message "I have the final say in any issue". In every household the women usually "wear the pants" and usually raise the kids. The only reason why patriarchy is still such a dominant tour de force in society is because it is perpetuated by males in power and some females.

In present day society, females are viewed as submissive because of the ideals of the American culture that emanated from the European culture. Therefore females get the shorter end of the stick in respect to the double standard. In no way shape or form do I agree with the double standard. I think it is absurd and unfair. We were all created equal by God so we should all be held to the same standard. Unfortunately there aren't many males who agree with me.

Although I think that men who have many sexual partners shouldn't be glorified I don't think females should be neither. But I personally think that there should be certain traits that characterize a woman. For example I like when females speak a certain way, dress a certain way and smell a certain way (that lovely fragrance that they wear.) I think rather conservatively in those terms a paradigm is if a girl likes me she shouldn't directly tell me or be aggressive instead she should take the more subtle approach and send me hints or wait until I ask her. The same thing goes for sexual intercourse and any other male-female interaction. In addition I believe that girls should have an emotional and profound reason before they partake in sex.

One of the ways that the double standard is perpetuated is through misoginy. Although I do not condone misogyny I understand why it exists. It exists because females that seek economic prosperity, attention, and/or glorification will compromise their self worth to do so. It is prevalent in the rap videos and in everyday relationships between a woman and a man that are portrayed by the media. This causes people to call these women "easy" and "sluts" (both women and men). So not only are guys perpetuating the standard but ladies are too, by calling girls derogatory terms. I have also noticed that females who lack fathers seek attention so much more than females who have father figures at home. Usually the females who seek the least attention are those who have healthy and strong relationships with their father and and/or any other significant males in their lives. Their fathers gave them the necessary affirmation, confidence and encouragement so that they wont go looking for it anywhere else. In fact girls that seek attention either subconsciously or consciously by wearing revealing clothing or by having sex with many guys are usually insecure and have low self esteem. If the root of the problem is self esteem this means they need to build themselves up. Some of them think that if they receive attention from the opposite sex this is all of a sudden going to give them confidence and make them a superstar. This is an inflated and artificial sense of confidence that disappears whenever the opposite sex is not present. Therefore certain females must dig deep and build themselves up before any guy can. they need to find that true confidence and believe in themselves before anybody else can!

I also think that females should not put themselves in vulnerable positions to be called "sluts and hoes". If you are sleeping with everybody frivolously without any moral premise and telling everybody about your sexual encounters, then do not be surprised when certain guys call you demeaning terms. Again there are females who will call other females who are known for sleeping around deragatory terms. This means that certain females do not oppose the double standard but agree with it. It is a harder standard to fight when both females and males support it. One question for the females though. Some females do not like the double standard but do like the "player type". So in reality you support the double standard by having relationships or "talking" to the player type guys or guys that are womanizers in a sense. And trust me, the "player-type guys" get the most girls!!!!!!! This intrigues me so much, so please ladies feel free to answer!

As for guys that are under the false impression that the more sexual partners you have makes you more of a man, you are very wrong. I think the reason why guys have so many sexual partners is to inflate their ego. I also think we succumb to peer pressure and heed the images portrayed by the media of how we are supposed to act and think. A real world example is in a setting where there is a group of guys and one guy talks about a girl he had sex with, in this situation most guys feel the need to contribute to the conversation by saying a story of your own. This is where the peer pressure comes in, so you either fabricate a story or "get busy" so to speak in order to impress your friends and other girls. In addition most guys emotionally detach themselves in order to receive the instant gratification that sex offers. When you emotionally detach your self it is easier to have sex frivolously with no conscience; which is what most guys do. But we are in a new day and age and times have changed. Females are starting to revolutionize the way they think and have also emotionally detached themselves and "played" the guy before they could "play" them.

I think it is harder for males to fight the dynamic of the double standard because it is in favor of us (males), and as human beings we are naturally engineered not to fight things that are in our favor. Hopefully there will be a day where the double standard is eradicated and does not exist! Until next time this A-Rod signing off!

1 comment:

  1. Here is my opinion on the matter of gender issues: Let me just say Alex you are my friend and everything and I respect your opinion but I do not agree with a lot of what you say….

    First I really don't think we live in a pseudo- patriarchal society- first and foremost you mention the term ‘slut’ and ‘hoe’ both of which are typically associated with women- but you only discuss them as double standards whereas I believe that both terms are influenced by patriarchy. Back in the day women were expected to wait until marriage to engage in sex and did not view sex as pleasurable for themselves, therefore I think these terms, ‘slut’, ‘hoe’ and ‘whore’, are derived from these ideas of patriarchy so when a man and/or woman finds a woman who enjoys sex, and enjoys it without any emotional attachment then that woman becomes characterized as a ‘slut’ or ‘hoe’. Basically when women go against what society has deemed what is ‘natural’ for a woman – wanting a relationship, emotional then she is a hoe, whereas men who engage in what is ‘natural’ behaviors for themselves- sexual promiscuity without attachments are deemed ‘players’.
    Secondly, patriarchy exist in simply going out at night when some women dress in certain attire just to attract male attention, and even as you state: “They just let us think we are in control most of the time in order to cater to the male ego” – I think that in itself is a form of patriarchy. Why should any woman have to make a man feel as though he is in control (control/power typically associated with males)?
    Although I respect you and the type of women you like- I think the things you mention- that you like in a woman are too informed by patriarchy – you don’t like women who are aggressive- a characteristic typically associated with men. I just honestly believe that if we changed the ways in which we perceive gender, how we define it, and if both males and females could possess all characteristics without having to be called ‘dykes’, ‘lesbos’ or ‘fags’, not to mention men who say ‘no homo…’ then men would not have to make up stories about sexual conquest, men would not feel threatened by an aggressive woman, and I would like to take it even further and say that gender roles, and definitions impact so many things in our society such as men on the down low which affects AID’s population, as well as music, film, familial relationships etc. I think it would ultimately be beneficial to everyone if we could begin to change the role gender plays in our lives. I think the best way to do this is to start individually, and lead by example.
    Alex- “In addition I believe that girls should have an emotional and profound reason before they partake in sex.” Once again you are my friend, and I respect your opinion but despite your statement that we live in a ‘psuedo-patriarchal’ society your opinions are informed through patriarchy. In the above statement you say girls should have an emotional/profound reason for engaging in sex- and interestingly enough you do not mention men. If this is the case then the double standard still stands, where men are able (through the privilege of being a man) to have sex without sexual attachment while women must be emotionally attached. Consequentially women who do not have sex with an emotional/profound reason are deemed ‘sluts’ or ‘hoes’. Then you go on to state that women shouldn’t put themselves in the position to be called sluts or hoes. I am sorry but that is BS, because a woman doesn’t even have to do anything and a guy can call her hoe, slut and because of the way our society works he will be believed despite the truth. This too perpetuates the double standard- by only stating that women should be careful you too give men the upper hand.
    But I do agree that these double standards/patriarchy is being reinforced through both women and men.
    Alex-“Females are starting to revolutionize the way they think and have also emotionally detached themselves and "played" the guy before they could "play" them.” I do not think that it is necessarily about emotionally detaching ones self- but the simple fact that not every woman, especially those in our age range, are looking for relationships just like not every guy is looking for a relationship. Simply put some women enjoy sex just as much as men, and do not ‘catch feelings’ just like men ‘claim’ they don’t.