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Social Inequality

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Although gender is not as simple as may seem, Gender comes into play along with a number of different aspects such as sex, gender and gender roles. But what is social inequality? Social inequality is characterized by the existence of unequal opportunities and rewards for different social positions or statuses within a group or society. It contains structured and recurrent patterns of unequal distributions of goods, wealth, opportunities, rewards, and punishments. Sexuality has been evoked in multiple ways in the study of gender inequality. It may be considered as a possible motivating cause for inequality, examined for the ways it reflects or is affected by gender inequality, or incorporated as a peculiar tension between women and men that mediates both the causes and effects of gender inequality. Essentially everyone recognizes sexuality as critically important to gender inequality. (Sociology. About) Why have the roles of men and woman changed in today’s society?

There are two theroies to gender inequality. Functionalist theorists believe that inequality is inevitable and desirable and plays an important function in society. Important positions in society require more training and thus should receive more rewards. Social inequality and social stratification, according to this view, lead to a meritocracy based on ability. Conflict theorists, on the other hand, view inequality as resulting from groups with power dominating less powerful groups. They believe that social inequality prevents and hinders societal progress as those in power repress the powerless people in order to maintain the status quo. Positions are important so long as those in power consider them to be significant. Gender is seen closely related to the roles and behavior assigned to women and men based on their sexual differences. As soon as a child is born families and society begin the process of gendering. The birth of the son is celebrated, the birth of a daughter filled with pain; sons are showered with love, respect, better food and proper health care. (SocialJustice) Boys are encouraged to be tough and outgoing; girls are encouraged to be homebound and shy. All these differences are gender differences and they are created by society.

One of the first readings we read was “Framed Before we know it” This is when the author thought to think inside the box just like a frame. She believed a lot of people thought the same of gender, but she herself had too many unanswered questions. A primary frame is an organized behavior and or functional problem. She believed gender, race, and age were all part of a discipline, a constant and acted by all of us people. In my opinion I believe men and woman were raised into a certain social norm. Men were supposed to act like men tough and working while woman were supposed to act like woman emotional and support taker. Throughout history women have been brought up to be mothers and have been forced to practice staying home taking care of their children.

According to history, women have only begun their battle with sexism. About one hundred years ago women were still claimed as a man’s property. They had no right to vote; they could not be part of a jury and had no rights to property. Not too long ago in the nineteen fifties women could not even own a credit card in their name. Where are we today? Has it really improved very much? The society in which we live has been shaped historically by males. The policy-makers have consistently been male and therefore it is not surprising that our society reflects those biases which exist as a result of this male-domination. Where is to say, men are taking over. But im hoping womancan take a stand to erase that stereotype.

Women are over-represented in the ranks of the poor and under-represented among upper income earners. They are segregated by occupation, having too few good jobs and too many contingent jobs. They are additionally marginalized if they are women of color, aboriginal, with disabilities, younger or older. For women raising children alone, they bear tremendous poverty rates. •The poverty rates for women in general is 20%, for women of colour is 37% and for aboriginal women 43%. (sociology.about) Such as certain cass systems. From the book “Listen to the Herons Words” many points were given. All women had one voice. All the woman lived off a certain Cass system in which they were comfortable with. Woman would fear to change their ways. It was almost as if they needed a rebel in order to make change.

Woman would look into song lyrics for restriction. Woman believed resistance causes change, only if you win so woman never really knew until they began to look back at a situation. In the families homes woman would paint lines to separate rooms. If the line was very decorative men couldn’t cross the line from outside of the family. Men thought it was just a decoration while woman thought men shouldn’t cross there space and boundary line. Practices like these may be very strange to the American ways.

Digamore tribe’s roles are different as well; both men and woman were aggressive. In America we would consider the Digamore woman masculine. They were very rich from owning a lot of land. They had many trees, plants and they always kept it to themselves. They wouldn’t share it. In the Chila tribes woman got to go out and do everything. The men were more of the housewives. They would ask for things and tended to be more caddy, winey, and passive. Adrian Rich asked a very great question to people. “Why the hell are most women straight or why are some women straight? Woman should be experiencing their sexuality because it has to come from somewhere. The proper gender roles were to create children with sex being good and with woman having good orgasms. But at the time it was not very important to them. But who says woman have to like men and men have to like woman. We should be able to experience our own sexuality. Some woman weren’t allowed to more sex than there were months in a year, but like I said sexual desire was the last things on these woman’s minds.

The women who wanted sex were called nymphomaniacs. Eventually times changed. Sex started selling. This was a new pleasure ethic. People started learning to be consumers. Some woman would become very crabby and men began to think doctors could fix these issues with pelvic massages. When a woman became upset a doctor would use his hands and rub on a woman’s lower region until they would orgasm. They then believed this cured a woman’s crabbiness. As time went by people began to realize that vibrators were starting to be used for pleasure. Other countries however, studied different gender tegniques. Another article was argued by Okin. Whatever was going on in the Western countries she wanted all laws to be the same as here in America. Even if your culture was different it should be made the same as America. Culture is protected by law in America so Okin believes it should apply to all the woman in other countries, as do i.

Woman’s roles have changed a lot since before time, but not enough. Women are now allowed to fight in the army, allowed to vote, work construction, run for president,.etc. Also black men’s roles have changed drastically as well, such as having our first African American president. In today’s society men and woman are still being put in a state of separation. For example, in high school dances girls tend to dance with other girls and boys tend to stay in their bubble. A lot of women don’t get hired for certain jobs because they seem too incapable. Men have a higher chance of getting certain jobs woman cant. But who’s to say woman aren’t just as strong as men. Females are not asked to take their hats off in many public places, but men are. This is yet just another example of gender inequality. However, in many parts of the world, women receive less attention and health care than men do, and particularly girls often receive very much less support than boys. As a result of this gender bias, the mortality rates of females often exceed those of males in these countries.

In the book “gender trouble”, Judith Butler describes that male and female categories are not just a given. They are something we create. People may thing that Sex and Gender mean the same thing, but people never really ask themselves the real question. What is the difference between the two? Sex can be described as a biological state. Whatever we were born with is what we were biologically born as. It was given to us by nature. As to gender, it can be described as a cultural and learned way to live. You can change what you were biologically born with to something you want to be. This can also happen from what you see in society and what you believe yourself to be. But, in order to fit into society you need to be put in a certain category male or female. But we shouldn’t have to do that. Even though we may be born a certain way we should be allowed to be whoever we want to be. At the end of the day we are all our own people. We shouldn’t be catoregized.

The world is a complicated place and we all need to know and learn how to react and communicate with each other. More dominant groups have more of a say but why? Why shouldn’t all men and woman fight for equal rights? The
stereotypes of sexual gender are getting stronger each and every day. We need to come together as a whole and accept everyone’s differences for good and for bad. But then we begin to question ourselves. Why are people putting up with inequality? A lot of people are scared of change and scared of being an outcast. There used to be shared perception stereotypes where men were emotional and women were tough, but times have changed. But if we don’t change once and for all, woman and men will never share any equal rights.

Works Cited

Lorena Garcia, Respect Yourself Protect Yourself

Judith Butler, Gender Trouble

Serena Nanda, Gender Diversity: Crosscultural Variations

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