We live in a world where life itself is structured. Where children are expected to be respectful, to mature into hard working adults, and end their journey wise and fulfilled. This road map that we all embark on has different challenges for everyone; most of the expected bumps can be predicted based on what you like and how you identify. This can be broken down to what gender identifies you. Gender is socially constructed, and each culture has a different expectation regarding such trait.
There are five different combinations of these sexes, however our society acknowledges only two of them. When a baby is born out of the norm, a parent is forced to assign a specific gender to the child. This leads to a life of confusion for the child, often making them feel trapped in the wrong body. In Ancient Rome, these different sexes were acknowledged so this is not a new issue. Rather, it is rejecting human anatomy to fit the perfect ideals of the community. After birth you are expected to have specific characteristics, and grow to be like everybody else.Even though this is not new to the human race, people are still being discriminated against for not conforming to the norm. With the latest push to be the ban of gender less bathrooms. When an individual has to limit their bodily function to fit in, it is clear that it is just a tactic to isolate individuals until they conform. This war strips the individual of their rights and empowers corrupt legislation.
Gender roles are determined by culture. In the United States, there has yet to be a woman president, women make seventy cent per dollar that men make; Women are also largely misrepresented in their communites. Women make up half of the United States population, yet that is not reflected in Congress nor is it represented between CEO or high ranking leadership positions. Francoise Giroud once said, "a woman will be really the equal to man, if one day, an incompetent woman is designated to an important position". Women have to work harder to achieve the same status as men. Women are perceived as weak, dainty and emotional beings that would not be able to handle tough conversations or difficult tasks. That is why traditionally women have stayed in the homes, raising children while men worked. This tradition was changed in the 1960’s when women wanted to expand their rights, socially as well as politically. Even in the United States, the land of the free, women and men are still not ranked or looked at as equals.
In the Middle East, women are still fighting for their basic rights. It is due to their social structure which places men as the dominant power. This construction happens through their specific culture. In the country of Pakistan, we hear of young Malala Yousatzai who was targeted and shot by the Taliban due to her desire to get an education. Under Taliban rule, it is unacceptable for a woman to receive an education, a simple right reserved for men. This society deprives its citizens from the beauty of the written world. Her gender made her a target, as well as made her a hero. However, there are also African tribes where women lead the congregation. In the book, Things Fall Apart By Chinua Achebe we see how their social construct follows a more traditional route. In the Nigerian culture, northern women work all day in the field collecting yams and other vegetables, and are in charge of caring for the home and nurturing children. Their main goal is to one day get married and have their own families. In the south, women pursue and education and their goal is to work in the city, instead of being a house wife. Although they are from the same country, they have different views on their lives because of the different possibilities available to them. The way people view themselves and their capabilities are determined by their culture and what is expected of them.
The divide between genders is optional but due to centuries and centuries of oppression, people believe it is the only way we can survive. Every culture is structured different, and most of the differences can be broken down by how each gender perceives each other.
In order to make a change in this, individual’s have to take a stance against oppressive practices. More women, POC and LGBT members need to be put in places where they can too be role models. In order to change he narrative we must educate people of human differences and acknowledge them rather then think of a way to change them. By valuing an person individuality you are able to lift them to feel like the dignified person they always were.
This inequality is based off of bias and superficial beliefs. If every culture accepted everyone and saw no differences between him and her the world would be equal. To be truly free, we would have to allow everyone to be himself or herself as well as lift prior limitations. This would be easy if we judged based on the person and not their outer appearance, only then can we all be equal.