I was scrolling through my Facebook news feed and found a very interesting video titled the “The Pink Tax.” This video talked about how woman’s products such as razors, clothing, and shampoo are typically more expensive than men’s and how this is sexist. Why are women paying more for the same products that men are using? This brings me back to chapter 7 in our textbook. At an early age if kids are seeing that certain items are cheaper and they can get more items if they get the item that is essentially just “a different color” they”ll probably go for the cheaper item. This however could really effect a child’s gender identity. Being an unconscious process that is shaped at an early age, our gender identity is our own private experience of our own gender.
In Western culture, and many others, mothers are often expected to drop everything for their husband and children. I think that this is a very unfair and toll-taking emotional responsibility to place on women, and it is in fact what deters many people from even having kids. Mothers often carry an emotional guilt as a result of the media messaging that conditions society to believe that mothers must take care of everyone else first, before taking care of themselves. This is a social problem of gender inequity because fathers are not held to the same standard, nor should they be. In order to be in the position to care for others, one must first take care of themselves.
American actress, singer-songwriter, businesswoman, daughter, wife, and mother of two, Jada Pinkett Smith, shares some invaluable insight with her daughter Willow on the importance of cultivating your own happiness. She makes a brilliant point about how when someone isn’t balanced in life, they look to others to make them happy which leads to chronic unhappiness. So true and I hope people carry this message forward to help reshape how mothers, women and all people live, treat each other, and treat themselves.
One of the individual’s being documented in the film is an MMA fighter, and a transgendered woman. She talks about her struggle with being accepted as a woman because of what her sport entails; she was born with the male sex chromosomes, but she is fighting women. Many people see this as a dangerous disadvantage for women who were born with female chromosomes because biologically men are built differently than women. The MMA fighter asserts that because of the hormones she takes, she is no different than the women she is fighting against.
I thought this was a very interesting issue, and I find myself on the fence about it. I’d have to do more research about how much hormones alter someone biologically before taking a stance on this controversial circumstance. I want her to have the freedom to feel that she can express herself as a woman, but I do not know enough yet to feel comfortable with the idea of fighting against her in a ring, even if I knew anything about MMA fighting. It’s hard because, while I love playing soccer against boys, MMA is a sport where the objective is to throw punches and actually fight, so the potential degree of injury is a lot greater than that of other sports. I’m interested to see how everyone else feels about this.
Recently, I noticed a campaign video on Facebook called “Free the Nipple”, out of pure curiosity I watched it and was actually shocked at how I responded to the video, agreeging. Not because I want to go topless, but because of equality between males and females. If a man can, why can’t I? Also, why is it that if women are topless we would be asking for it? If a male walks on a beach, nipples and all, which by the way are the same nipples we have, no one is objectifying them or sexualizing them. In the video it discusses that if maybe women were not only allowed to show their nipples in a strip club or porno then maybe we would not be so sexualized. It would just be a norm.
Warning: Yes, there is nipples in this video. Male & female nipples.
I recently came across an article on Buzzfeed that was titled “21 Real Men Who Will Make You Believe in the Power of Makeovers”. When I read the title I glazed over it and started looking at all of the photos that truly did make me believe these men needed a makeover. However, after thinking about the idea of men getting makeovers I almost laughed at how easy it was for them. Most of the guys got a hair cut or shaved; but being a woman who puts makeup on, does my hair, and picks out a cute outfit everyday I found most of these makeovers to not really qualify when it comes to the work some women put into their “makeovers” everyday.
I was just curious how some of you felt when it comes to the role of makeup and getting ready in women’s lives compared to men.
We all have heard that hit song “Same Love” by Macklemore. I was listening to it in the car today, I mean really listening to the lyrics. In the beginning he talks about how he thought he was gay because he could draw and kept his room clean. He associated those skills with being feminine. He was putting him self in the “box” that we have been talk about in class during chapter one. His mom had to tell him it was okay that he has feminine factors about him self and make him relies that does;t make you gay. Later threw the music and lyrics he talks about how we just call each other faggots when we do something stupid or girly and we don’t relies that it can hurt. “Call each other faggots behind the keys of a message board; A word rooted in hate, yet our genre still ignores it”. If you really listen to this video he really explains the gender box we put ourselves as children or even as adults because we feel trapped to do so by society or even our parents.
I am sure we have all experienced something along the lines much like the people in the PSA with not being in your “correct” gender norms. For example I knew many girls in high school that played softball but many others thought that was not a sport women should play. Another example is being in a situation when you tell a young boy not to be a “wimp”. We have all done it, but we are all more aware of the implications it can have later on.
In class we have been going over the idea of gender boxes in which the society around us puts us in. However, I do not think that people outside of taking a gender class realize this. I did a basic google search about breaking the gender norms and stumbled upon this wonderful PSA. Both men and women have these ideas of what society wants us to be, but it is up to us in order to break them. This video is a great example of the “Act Like a Man” Box others are always challenging each other or putting one another down and testing our own boxes.
This Psychology Today blog talks about gendered attitudes about the environment. According to polls, women care more about protecting the environment than men, who are “more likely to support increased use of nuclear power and offshore oil and gas drilling (Burn, 2013).” The author says that this has to do with gender socialization, where females are “more likely to be socialized to be communal and other-centered (Burn, 2013)”. This is not saying that men don’t care about the environment, but that women are more likely to care because of the way they are socialized.
This blog is an example of gender socialization of the ego boundary. An ego boundary is how much a person separates their self and their identity from others and the rest of the world (Wood, 2013, p. 167). Females are socialized to have a more “permeable,” “thin,” or “open” identity, where their needs and interests are “interrelated” to others’ needs and interests. (Johnson, 2014; Wood, 2013, p. 167). Wood notes that this causes “women to feel responsible for others and for situations that are not of their own doing.”
In this case, Wood was talking about relationships, but ego boundaries affect a person’s worldview, too. Even though people with feminine socialization are not “responsible for” or “cause” environmental destruction or animal harm, they still feel like they need to do something. Their ego boundaries are “thin” so there is no “clear distinction” between their health and nature’s health (Wood, 2013, p. 167). Feminine people feel that all humans “are a part of nature (Burns, 2013).”
In our book, Wood (2013) discusses how some intersexed people are protesting “normalization” surgery, which makes genitals that do not conform to physical norms to be “more consistently male or female” (p. 21). “But,” Wood asks, “is it possible that intersexed people do not need to be ‘fixed’?” In other words, just because society constructs them as “abnormal”, are they in reality abnormal (Ibid, p. 21)?
Transgender people also face this controversy. There used to be a disorder called “Gender Identity Disorder.” Born females that felt like males, and born males that felt like females were diagnosed as mentally ill. Society felt that, because their physical sex did not match up with their psychological sex, then there was something wrong with their psychology. Now, as more gender identities become more accepted, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders has redefined Gender Identity disorder as Gender Dysphoria Disorder, where some transgender people are mentally ill. They aren’t all mentally ill because of their gender identity, but because of the “distress,” feeling of inappropriateness, and depression that comes from society trying to force them into their ‘Act-Like-Your-Sex’ box.
What do you think? What is normal, and what is normal (according to the culture)?