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Friday, October 18, 2013

Man, I Feel Like A Woman

Having studied my degree in Sociology I am aware of social constructs. If you strip it right down almost everything is socially constructed. But I have to say, one of my biggests bugbears, and the hardest of all to avoid, is the social construction of gender. Before you give up reading now, this is not a feminist rant.

We live in a world now where there is meant to be equality. There are laws in place to protect those people who are "different" to the norm. It doesn't matter what your race, culture, religion, sexual orientation, or, if you have a disability, you are protected by human rights. It's a bloody shame it took so long to achieve that but humans were always more concerned with furthering scientific knowledge than working on themselves being less savage-like (scientists were able to fool people that knowledge would eradicate barbarity).

Years after the overtly physical oppression was challenged it becamse evident that we were able to continue being oppressive in much more subtle ways. Language was a huge factor in this ongoing domination. So, for example, setting the slaves free did not release them from stigma or oppression. They were still bound by the shackles of language. I have been shocked in my adult life to know people who have used words like "paki" to describe someone of a different ethnic origin than themselves. It's funny how people can't realise their own values themselves and, instead, have to wait until the media tells them what is politically correct or incorrect.

But anyway, back to my point, which is about gender. This is the hardest one for us all to escape. I still witness, everyday of my life, how woman are meant to stick together and how men are meant to stick together. I have to say, I don't think woman give it too much thought. They just accept and deal with the knock on effect of men believing that men are meant to stick together to do 'manly' things. I walk into a room of both men and women. Then, all of a sudden the men decide that they have something very important to do outside (like find a tree stump to piss on). The men go, leaving the woman to their gossiping. I fit in with neither of these groups. I don't want to go with the men because their conversation is flat. They don't read in between the lines because there are no lines. I don't want to stay in with the women because they can create an abundance of energy with their conversation. This energy could be negative or positive depending on who and what they are talking about.

When it comes to entertainment; music, storytelling, dancing and acting the line of gender division is blurred. These are things the two sexes, and indeed anyone, can enjoy together. Why must we continously pursue activities that serve to divide us rather than unite us. I can't fathom the idea of boy's having separate activities to the girls. It serves no purpose. This was not how things were done when humans first roamed the earth. Yes, there were practicalities that meant the men, being physically bigger and stronger, were the ones to hunt for food. But language had not advanced enough to put a label on this as being a predominantly male pursuit. It was basic survival.

I really hope one day that people will just be people and when they realise this, rather than seeing themsleves as the best, or the most important, they will see that they are actually very insignificant in the grand scheme of things. A bit of mass humbling is what's needed. And balance. The world is made up of masculine and feminine but that doesn't mean it has to be one or the other. Some of the most amazing, beautiful people I have ever met are neither manly, nor womanly, they just are.


Rob Z Tobor said...

Well said Miss Hannah, I hope my blog and my presence in cyberspace is liked (or not liked, which is more likely) by both sexes equally. I try not to be sexist but I do tend to be the one playing with hammers and screwdrivers and singing . . . .I am a lumberjack and I don't care; while waving my manly body at the cat.

hootchinhannah said...

lol the lumberjack song always reminds me of Monthy Python's Flying Circus. Hammers and screwdrivers are great. If it wasn't for tools like them the treehouse would never have been built (by men, manly men).