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Archive for the ‘Gender’ Category

Let’s start by admitting that I find so many things in this world strange. One of those things is why men and women dress so differently? I can understand that the female and male body shape are different, but this would only explain a small amount of the differences.

These are the kind of differences that I have encountered:

  • Women wear tight clothing, while men rarely do (think of skinny jeans, certain dresses and a lot of other clothing that assumes the body shape).
  • Women wear certain of loose clothing that a less defined shape when compared with men’s clothing (think of certain tops or other upper body wear).
  • Some women’s clothes have intentional folds or other features not strictly required for the clothing.
  • Women’s clothes sometimes have so called “detailing”, little things that are added to the clothing to make it look different. Lace is one those things.
  • Women’s clothing on average has more nakedness around the “cleavage” area.
  • There are whole classes of clothing assumed to be for women only in (my) culture, pantyhoses/tights, dresses, skirts, high heeled shoes and a lot more things that I simply don’t know the name of.
  • Women’s clothing seems to cover every colour of the rainbow, while men’s clothing is more limited in it’s colours.
  • A lot of floral patterns, butterfly patterns or other graphics depicting nature are often restricted to women’s clothing, while men seem to be stuck with some graphic with stupid text of some arbitrary company name and a date it was established.

You probably get the picture.

What has happened here is that clothing, which certainly isn’t a body part or an inherent property of being a male or female, has been polarized. This is I think is due to the relations men and women have had over the course of history. It was typically the women’s job to do the initial attracting of the man, this combined with the fact that men were there to provide resources for the women/family has led to the situation that women are viewed as objects sometimes, while men are sometimes viewed as tools/resources to be used.

Objects are valued by their appearance, while tools are valued by their usefulness.

This all I could come up with while writing this, I personally don’t mind what people wear, sometimes I see clothing or other aspects of appearance which make me look for a second, but then I realize that my own actions cause similar responses in other people. One day I hope it doesn’t really matter what people wear. But in order to do this we must become aware of this, it won’t happen automatically if you consider the current situation as normal. This massive male/female polarization (far beyond the scope of the very real biological differences) needs to be rebalanced before men and women can meet as equals and this clothing thing is just one of the many symptoms of inequality.

I hope you enjoyed reading this, please comment if you have something on your mind that you want to share.

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Men going their own way

Men going their own way, or MGTOW in short, is a form of mens rights activism (MRA). In some ways you could describe them as the separatists of the MRA. They are critical of the interactions between men and women, much like the separatist elements of (radical) feminism.

I personally believe in the middle way, but in order to understand the middle you need understand both extremes. Some really excellent videos can be on youtube, the following users are good starting points:

barbarossaaaa

Stardusk

Realize that there are also a few rare very interesting female supporters of the MGTOW, but the fact they more attention than then the equally interesting males is part of the problem. So be critical of this, much in the same way that men amongst radical feminists can be a problem, women amongst MGTOW are to be mistrusted to some extend.

MGTOW offer a critical view on the male side of things, so it’s definately worthwhile to watch a few (dozen) videos to broaden your horizon.

This is all for, hopefully you’ll find some nice videos to watch.

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Lets for the sake of argument stick to the two main genders, that of men and women. It’s a simplification, but sometimes that is necessary to make a point.  Just how much of being a man is defined by women and how much of being a women is defined by men?

I’ve already talked about how evolution probably ensured that females prefer males with sufficient resources (e.g. money), while males prefer females with healthy reproductive systems (health, youth, beauty). But this is just the biological side of things, there is also the social and cultural aspect we call gender.

Sometimes I get the impression that a lot gender identity revolves around what the other gender thinks of it. Otherwise we would seeing much greater diversity, because everyone would assume their ideal identify. Instead there is this almost binary system with relatively small groups of people that have broken out of this binary system, probably because it was suffocating for them.

We have words/labels for roles that the two genders are supposed to play, it’s called masculinity and femininity. The boundaries are not so strict as they used to be, this is at least partially due to 2nd wave feminism. The boundaries for a men are still greater then they are for women, masculine behaviour by women is more accepted than feminine behaviour by men.

I’ve talked about how women (when still young and fertile) have some power to demand things from men, at least in general, there will always be men who don’t care about what women want. The reproductive resources that women possess, which are the limiting factor in human reproduction,  have historically forced men to adjust to the needs of women in order to obtain them.

It’s possible that women have simply taken a part of masculinity when they wanted it and men are still looking at women for what to do. While I cannot claim to have information that represents every women on this planet, there are at least some signs that women on average don’t like extremely feminine men and the more she relies on the man (in the provider and protector sense) the greater the preference for masculine men.

I would encourage men and women to be open to the possibility that a better balance can be found if one is not afraid to look outside their own gender box. First find your own balance, then you can worry about interactions with the opposite sex.

There are plenty of biological differences and it doesn’t hurt to be aware of those differences, but the differences that gender create are not innate and make the already existing differences even larger then they already are. I wonder what a world without fixed ideas about gender would look like.

This is all for now, if you have any thoughts to share, you are more than welcome to comment.

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Gender is a socially and culturally created identity. Two very common forms of those are men and women. In a black and white world that is all there would be. Often the gender of men maps directly onto the male sex and the gender of women onto the female sex. This is what some call cisgender, the opposite would be transgender.

The big question is if the transgender approach is the correct one. If one assumes that gender is written in stone then transgender is a valid approach. But gender is and remains a socially and culturally created phenomena, so why not get rid of the binary system altogether?

Some transgender people opt for cosmetic surgery to look more like the opposite sex, in essence appearing more like cisgender people. The question that comes to mind, how many of these people would have simply been happy if they could simply express themselves as they would have liked?

Personally i think that the transgender route is the easy way out, it forces people to fit in boxes rather than getting rid of the boxes altogether, but I also realize that a society that promotes a fluid gender identity isn’t perfect either. Heterosexual mating rituals is one point that deserves attention, but that is for a later post.

Until then, please share your comments on this topic.

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Gender vs Sex

Some of you may have noticed that I used only the terms male and female in my previous post. These two represent most of the humans found on this planet. It should be noted that it’s possible to have a mix of reproductive organs, which makes them fit in neither category. Within those two groups there are bound to be variations, especially when it concerns the more subtle differences such as brain structure, but at the end of the day sex remains purely biological.

The terms man and woman on the other hand are two forms of gender. Gender is a socially constructed set of expectations with respect to appearance and behaviour. Because gender is the way we choose or are forced to express ourselves it is a spectrum. Traditionally there have been only 2 genders. It is open for debate whether having 2 genders is too little or whether gender labels should be eliminated all together.

If you have any thoughts to share, please comment.

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