Hinduism society has told women that they are not as important as the men in their society are. They have burned it into the women’s minds that they cannot own any property or even remarry after they are widowed because they are not worth the trouble. Western societies also believe that women are the “weaker” sex. A Christian theologian from the thirteenth century, Thomas Aquinas, said; Woman is the gate to the devil, the path of wickedness, the sting of the serpent, in a word a perilous object.
Women are only seen as objects for men. Societies have drilled the idea that the homes are the natural habitat and workplace for women. Some cultures even believe that they have to keep the faces of women hidden. Being a female, transgender, or homosexual has become a horrible crime, punishable by death in circumstances, making this world a dangerous place for everyone but heterosexual men. What is gender? Why is it dangerous? Gender is used in reference to social and cultural differences, rather than the biological state of being a male or a female. The standard feminine “roles” are seen as inferior to the masculine ones. Masculine people are seen as physically and mentally stronger. This mind set is particularly strong in the west. Women are expected to cook, clean, do laundry, and other “feminine” jobs. While men are expected to do the more masculine jobs: mowing the lawn, weed eating, and all of the things that society sees as something that being a man should be associated with. They are also seen as the main income for the family. In developing countries, the culture basically tells the women that they have to marry and bare children, which hinders them from getting higher education and having a career, because who is going to take care of the children and home? Not the men because society says that they are too manly for child-care and nursing. Simons tells us in his book on the dangers of being a woman that in Brazil twenty percent of the men believe that women are equal to them (47). Only twenty percent, meaning that the other eighty believe that they are superior to their female counterparts. They believe that the women that cook their meals and basically keep them from living like pigs are not as good as they are. Men in the world also believe that colleges and universities are for males only because wifehood and motherhood are the only things that women should do. In Africa and Asia, girls have limited opportunities for education past the middle school level (Simons 48). Women also have less legal rights in developing and even some developed countries. In the Middle East men have said that they should be given jobs over women and they believe that they make better political leaders (Simons 48). Discrimination against women is not treated as a crime, some religions even encourage the practice. Cultures often times condone sex trade, honor killings, and sexual mutilations. Feminine people are more vulnerable to the violence because of their gender, because they are seen as weaker. They are thought to be overpowered easily. Peru has the highest percentage of women reporting on the physical violence against them, while Japan has the lowest (Simons 53). Four percent of the women in Serbia and Montenegro and forty-six percent of women in Bangladesh and Ethiopia have reported being raped (Simons 54). That is only the amount of women that have reported, most women are afraid of what may happen if they do report. In some cultures they are seen as a dishonor to the family and are sacrificed to rid the family of the flaw. A friend told me about a family member of hers that had been raped. Even after they caught the man who raped her and got a full confession out of him, they still didn’t believe the woman and he was let go. Gender Identities