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Old January 21st, 2010, 7:55 pm
NightWhisper7  Female.gif NightWhisper7 is offline
First Year
Join Date: 06th August 2005
Location: Behind a good book
Posts: 43
Re: Gender: Roles, Stereotypes, Discrimination Version 2

1) Do you believe that men and women are inherently "different" on more than a biological level?

Not really. I think humans are more alike than we are different. I believe that hormones probably do have somewhat of an effect on some things, such as how strongly men and women feel emotion, but the ways in which we express emotion are probably socialized in us from birth. I mean, think about how gendered toys are for children. Gendering is a deeply-ingrained process unique to different human cultures, and not even parents can control how much of these gendered messages kids get from the rest of the world. I don't believe that all people are exactly the same, nor do I believe men and women are truly "opposite."

2) Do you believe that gendering is a matter of nature or nurture? A combination of both?

Like I said in the previous answer, I think hormones and biology accounts for a small amount of differences, but socialization is probably much more of a contributing factor. Socialization is an extremely potent subconscious force, and in our individualistic society, it can be difficult to understand just how much of what we do and feel is not entirely up to our conscious control.

3) Have you ever felt discriminated against or judged based on your gender?

Not yet, personally. I am lucky to have a family that does not have different expectations of me for being a girl. But I plan on going into a scientific career field, and I am hoping I don't face any discrimination for my gender.

4) Do you feel that your gender is misunderstood by the opposite gender? Have you experienced an "Us/Them" scenario with regard to gender in your relationships with other people?

I think both men and women can get into the habit of stereotyping people of other genders. I believe the structure of this comment is somewhat misleading. Sex and gender are both more of a spectrum than "opposite." Some people are born intersexed, which means they have ambiguous genitalia. The less accurate term is hermaphrodite. Also, some people identify as genderqueer/third gender as opposed to man or woman. Gender is a social construction, as other societies have different gender categories.

5) Are there any fundamental questions you would like to ask of members of the opposite sex?. Any misconceptions you would like to clear up that you feel are generally accepted about your gender?

My only advice is not to stereotype anyone. It's really problematic to treat all men or all women as exactly the same. We don't act or feel or think a certain way just because of our gender.

6) Have you ever felt limited by gender roles or ostricized by other members of your own gender for failing to live up to stereotypes and expectations surrounding your gender?

I feel most comfortable as a bit of a tomboy, and I've felt pressure to look more feminine. I think gender policing is really common. Girls are allowed to be a little more masculine, though being heterosexual and feminine is still the expected norm. But guys get almost no flexibility. There are really strong gender rules for men, from what activities they enjoy to what they wear to who they spend time with and express emotion. I wish that all people could be free to express themselves without having to worry about backlash from others for not fitting into their gender roles.

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