Wednesday, March 28, 2012
"We've Got The Power"
In our last Sociology class, we discussed women and gender. Considering how there is an overwhelming majority of females in our class, the topics on femininity, neo-feminist cinema and power were highly intriguing.
I have witnessed and experienced a significant amount of sexism, not only from males but females too. Mothers in particular. They seem to conform to their roles as being housewives and homemakers; cooking and cleaning are an integral part of a married woman’s daily routine. Men, however, conform to their roles as being the breadwinner of the household. If men are placed in a situation where they can’t be the providers of the family they will submit to playing no part whatsoever in helping around the house. This is because they feel emasculated and since socialization portrays working around the house as a female’s responsibility, men would rather be useless than serve a purpose.
I have first-hand experience, in my own household, of my brother telling me to make him meals because I’m a female. I have also experienced something similar from my mother. She advised me to learn how to cook earlier on, in order for me to provide meals for my future husband. Parents, and the family, are the most prominent agents of socialization in any individual’s life. This explains how people can justify that they’re right for whatever reason – may it be on buying a house or car, or making the right choice on a certain issue - because their parents have cautioned them on what is right and what is wrong.
This week I attended the student-faculty dodge ball game. Seeing as the majority of students are female, some male students expressed bitterness because they saw this as disadvantageous to the students’ team. “The only reason we’re losing is because we have so many girls on our team,” said one male.
Men seem to be under the impression that women can’t exert physical power. This is mainly due to socialization – movies such as Rambo and the Expendables convey masculinity through strength and violence. But even when women play roles that show ‘power over’ others, which means getting others to do something even when they don’t want to, it isn’t interpreted in a serious manner. This is mainly because men find women playing aggressive roles attractive, and almost all of these roles played by women are sexualized.
Although the faculty won the dodge-ball game, there were quite a number of females on their team as well. The males on the student team purposely targeted the females on the faculty team, assuming that they would be the “weak” point. But the females played a large role in contributing the large number of points the faculty team won by, which shows that it is merely a social construction that “women are physically weaker than men.”