April 17, 2012
"It is not gender which is destroying our culture.... it is our interpretations of culture which has destroyed gender equality"
-Cambodian civil society group
“If women are expected to do the same work as men, we must teach them the same things.”
–Plato, The Republic There are many different ideas which define gender has many different qualities which have their advantages and disadvantages. Gender Inequality is one negative quality which is a big part of the definition of. Men and women have a long history of inequality which has lead up to where we are today; however there are many different theories on how this problem came to be. The reason we look at gender the way we do today is because of many different effort such as social change, and gender socialization which have impacted gender and how it is viewed today. The history shows a progress which started from birth. We are living in a world of women and men and although the way we view and act as different genders are all because of the history and creation of which can answer the question “what is gender?” Gender begins at birth, a time of happiness and joy for the family receiving the new baby boy or girl. The result of a typical birth would be a child is born with the genitalia of a certain gender and are raised as the assigned either male or female. As the child is raised, they are raised with the initial destination revolving around their gender roles. Gender roles are something we have invented, although there are some that are biological; a woman’s capability to have children and the man’s larger size and ability to produce testosterone. However some people argue that regardless of the biological differences, gender roles are only made up by society. Facts from the past prove that women and men use to equals, both had the very important job of feeding the family, men were the hunters and brought back meat for the family, however women were the gathers and caring for the children, they were a team that had to work together to be successful. Some people argue that the men still did most of the work bringing home the hunted animals to feed the family when in reality most of the food that the family survived on was the berries and other goods gathered by the woman; with these two different viewpoints of who may have done more for the family the conclusion of equals can be accepted. Once people discovered that plants could be grown as crops to use as food for people to eat the gender roles really faded for a period of time, both women and men worked in the field together and managed the farm. Not too long after farms ended up needing laborers and were run using plows and irrigation. With that warfare became a lot more apparent pushing the status of women lower and made men the stronger dominance, shortly after men began to rule taking roles in the government and religious establishments. (Coleman, 249) There are theories on gender, gender socialization is one of the main reason we have so many stereotypes related to ones gender. Some of these stereotypes we actually do every day often times without even thinking.