Friday, 2 January 2015

Is Gender a Social Construct?

Conchita is the bearded drag queen from Austria that won peoples hearts with her/his song, 'Rise like a Phoenix'. Reading the comments under the video on youtube, users were shifting uncomfortably to see a man impersonating a woman with a beard as it combined elements of both genders. They thought both should be just fitting into either camp , male or female. This spurred me on to look at the issue a little bit more and see what the current thinking is on it out there at the moment. This lead me to

In the blog post quite rightly it details that humans are assigned a gender from the time they are born based on their genetalia and should they be intersex they are then placed in either camp conveniently so that society can make life easier for them and label it. Certain emotions are thought to be kept under wraps lest men should be seen as being wimps should they cry . (Might contribute to why there is so much suicide amongst men in Ireland being taught to not convey their emotions and any manifestations of poor mental health being seen as effeminate or weak - which is not true but people do still think like that.)

Some cultures have seen that there is a third sex or gender. The Fa'afafine are widely accepted in Polynesian culture and have come ro represent a normal way of life in American Samoa etc. These people are accepted as normal members of society.

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