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Seth Andrew J.


November 22, 2012 Extended Definition Essay (Final Draft)

What People Think of Gender Inequality

What exactly causes males and females to be significantly different? Is it really just based on physical or physiological traits? Or does psychology play a part? Males appear to dominate our society despite the overall larger female numbers. What do the gentlemen think of this problem? Females are considered weak and dependent but are actually misunderstood. They also have a right to voice out their opinions. It is quite common for one of our kind to feel a sense of not belonging when in the presence of the other gender.

When I hurriedly stepped on the first car of the LRT, I instantly felt different. It was like I was an outsider, unwelcome in their own car, with eyes looking at me suspiciously. It was as if males werent welcome. I sometimes wonder what comes to peoples minds upon hearing an idea of an ideal, gender bias-free community, would it benefit or cause them more harm? Different perceptions to the other sex cause difficulties to arise and problems to worsen.

Between the two sexes, contrasting characteristics could be identified. To name a few, both have different sets of genitals. On a genetic basis, they have a pair of dissimilar chromosomes. Society provides each with different roles and obligations, hoping to even the distribution. The writer of this essay chose only three different main groups of differences: differences in physical traits, health, and psychology. In terms of physical differences, they have a lot. The following are a few examples. According to Mishra (2006), an average man is taller than the average woman. Men

have more body hair and are stronger than women. On the other hand, girls mature two years ahead of boys. Men have more androgens while females have more estrogens.

In terms of health, women are more likely to suffer depression and anxiety than men. In contrast to women, men have a higher chance of contracting HIV. Similarly, men are more prone to tuberculosis than females. Psychologically, both differ in certain aspects. They differ in their communication, thinking and creativity, to name a few.

People have a right to express their feelings and opinions concerning the gender divide. Whether positive or negative, all of us can freely profess them without being reprimanded, punishes or scorned. Women, as individual human beings, have their own positive and negative perceptions regarding this topic. Since females have physically weaker bodies, they think they should receive a lighter workload than men. Fison and Howitt (1880) say that tasks that require immense muscle power and endurance fall to men. On the other hand, the care of children and other house chores that need less energy fall to women. This is the general rule in labor division. However, some cultures are exceptions to this rule. British Columbian Indians hunted in the past and their skills were on par with the men, but due to the mockery of white settlers, they gave up on hunting. Among the Tasmanians, the women climb the towering gum trees, searching the trees for opossums for their next meal.

Still, most cultures follow the general rule. The Indians of Guiana exhibit a fairly common image of the sexual division of labor. The men work by hunting and cutting trees. The women plant their crops and tend to them, as well as care for their children. In these communities, the women carry the burden of agriculture. In a similar fashion, African women farm the fields, cook their food

and wash their clothes. The men tend the cattle, hunt food and engage in battle. Although females appear to have more chores, the males have heavier burdens as these carry more responsibility. Due to their lighter workload, women use their remaining time for the family. Since most of the womens chores take place at home, most children grow up in the care of the female parent.

Aside from positive insights, women receive maybe negative perceptions as well. Women are often placed in low positions in a community. In certain countries, women are not allowed to drive or travel without a present male member or the consent of a male family member. In Middle Eastern countries, husbands, if disgusted or annoyed by their wife/wives, may divorce them immediately. On the other hand, women in these countries have extremely limited rights concerning divorce. For example, their courts cannot allow a woman to divorce her husband on the grounds of physical abuse without real evidence. Oral accounts cannot suffice. Women are also given less priority in education. This is because of the extremely low number of female teachers and the low literacy rate. In Afghanistan, only 18% of women between 15 and 24 can read. Although the number of children enrolled in primary schools is increasing, the percentage of female students is not.

In fact, women and their female infants are given so low positions in society such that the babies are rejected. Baby girls are being aborted, neglected, and abandoned by their parents. In a few towns, the ratio of males to females has gone down to 114:100 from the normal ratio. In India, for example, the female infant birth rate has significantly lessened than the number of male infant birth rate. Apparently, the number of aborted fetuses and neglected girls contribute to these figures (Rushfan, 2008). Women may be physically weaker than men but that should not force them to accept the Boys are everything doctrine. As stated by Sue (2008), todays feminine magazines

support that ideology. These magazines project the idea that a males acceptance or desire is valuable and important.

Similarly, males also have their own perceptions, both positive and negative. Seeing as they are usually the breadwinners of the family, they are held in a higher position in society. As stated earlier, women catered for the family while the men provide and protect it. Todays world reflects the idea that men sustain the family, and the females should run it. Without the males, most families following this idea will struggle. Friedman (2012) says that men are more likely to work more hours and obtain higher-paying jobs to care for their families. Compared to men, women with jobs still make less than 7% of their male counterparts. Combining mens strength with the age-old duty of protecting the family, this essays writer can say that men could survive alone better than women. Men get stronger from their hard work, which makes them less vulnerable to fatigue.

Men also have negative views, aside from positive ones. Due to their supposed higher community standing, most of the problems are addressed to them. All their financial, family and unrelated problems are heaped onto them. Combine this with their endless duty of sustaining their families; this mixture of responsibilities causes the males stress. This is why most husbands lash out at their wives and children. Another negative thought is that men are thought to be irrational and perverse. According to Grossman (2008), most people think of gender inequality as discrimination of men towards women. While this is not entirely false, people fail to see the other side of the coin: discrimination against males is also true. As said earlier, society view men as irrational and unemotional. In certain ads, men are portrayed as weak when captivated by a womans beauty.

Todays global household contains a mixture of at least a mixture of at least 2 different perceptions under a common roof. Similar perceptions either reduce or enhance the family bonds. Conflicting perceptions, though, would always produce friction within a family. Therefore, only both male and female positive perceptions should be present in a family. Let us take an example with 2 negative perceptions. In a certain situation, males would think that all problems are thrown onto them. Similarly, females think that they are not thought of as important. When problems arise, the tension would cause disagreements and unbalance in a family. A similar situation would arise with a positive male and negative female household. Men think that they receive a higher role in a family and should learn to take responsibility. On the other hand, females get lower positions and are still thought to be weaker. Combining these two would cause a situation where the husband may get arrogant and cause them to abuse their wives. This, in turn, may cause the women to become more prone to difficulties and may unhinge them.

Another similar situation arises from a negative male and a positive female perception on inequality. Similar with the other situations, the males would think that they have to answer all their problems. This would already cause negative effects. Cohen (2012) says that differences in the 2012 US presidential election choices could cause arguments over American breakfast tables. He states that 52% women and 44% men vote for Obama while 51% men and 44% women side with Romney. These differences can cause conflicts in households. However, f positive perceptions meet, we could minimize these conflicts and discord. Men receive a higher role. Women have a lighter workload. Both cannot help their families separately, but together, the union causes the equal distribution on work. The union of the two would cause the promotion of unity in a family.

What would people think of a bias-free world? Would it benefit them? Would it even cause harm? An online poll asked netizens if gender equality is possible. In the poll, 50% of respondents said that equality is possible. The other 50% gave their own reasons why gender equality cannot be achieved. One said that equality could be achieved but differences by our potential and how we were raised. Another contradicted, saying that things have been this way ever since and would ever change and equality is not possible. A respondent said that equality could be achieved socially not biologically. Still, another shot back, Different entities can never be equal. Those who say that equality is impossible say that equality is not even desired by the two genders. The pro side believes that antique ideas can be surpassed and true gender equality can be reached. Additionally, some say that equality can be achieved when we change our views on gender and disregard it (Unknown author, 2011).

Seeing all these opinions and views makes the writer of this essay conclude that inequality among sexes is still lingering. However, these differences can be minimized when we view women as able and strong, and the men as emotional and supportive as well. The fact remains, though, that if a gender-bias-free world is possible, we still have a long way to go.