Gender, sex, and sexuality

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Gender, sex, and sexuality have remained divisive issues in every society on the planet. Although sex is solely biological, gender is more complex and refers to a person's physical characteristics. On the other side, sexuality refers to one's sexual orientation and level of familiarity with one's biological sex. However, society, especially American culture, has narrowed the discussion to just two sexes/genders: female and male.

In culture, biologically defined sex is the determinant of gender identity. (Linda Alcoff, p.g. 23) Male and female are the two primary sexes in this instance. Culture and socialization process plays a role in teaching children as young as from birth what is expected of them and what is accepted in the society. At the age of three, children display characters and engage in activities that are associated with their sex. By this age, children are always aware of what sex they identify with. The society and culture shape what is deemed as female and male forgetting that this may not be the case for every child. The few that do not conform to this society’s expectation are discriminated and judged. Those that fit in their gender will never be judged as they fit in the community’s setting of normalcy.

Despite gender diversity being documented across different cultures and throughout history, it is not easy for the society to accept those who do not fit in with what it deems as ‘normal.' The culture shapes the ideas of what is acceptable in a man and a woman’s behavior. Gender identity and culture are what makes the male and female aspect normalized rather than natural. Over the years, different cultures are opening up and understanding those who do not fall in the 'normal' category. (Alcoff, Linda p.g 43) This is due to the reaction of social and economic pressures and shift, new technologies and changes in the law. Although the cultural changes are slow, there is hope that there will be a better understanding of the differences someday.

Question 2

Uma Nayaran’s article on post-colonialism clearly brings out the intersection and transnational concept in one of her books on post-colonialism. Feminism is the noble course of championing of women rights against all the atrocities in the society which is the end goal of both post-colonialism and western feminist. While western feminists believe that they can represent and justify the stand of women living in the third world, postcolonial feminists critique of their tendencies and believe that they present a new light of the problems of the third world. There was the need for the post-colonial feminism because the lives, the experiences and the circumstance of the post-colonial women were different from those of the Western women (Chow, Esther N, Marcia T. Segal, and Lin Tan p.g 7). A representation of the third world’s women suffering by the Western Feminist would mean a misrepresentation of the women’s suffering.

Decriminalizing of sex work has brought a new era of safe and healthier environment for the sex workers where they can work without stigma and judgment. Justice should be accessible to everyone regardless of your job and society status. Decriminalizing of sex work gives justice to sex workers who are the most vulnerable in the society. Although not all countries have embraced decriminalization of sex work, policies and regulations of this area will be a solution to all problems brought by sex work.

Reference

Alcoff, Linda. 2006. Visible identities: race, gender, and the self. New York: Oxford University Press.

Chow, Esther N, Marcia T. Segal, and Lin Tan. Analyzing Gender, Intersectionality, and Multiple Inequalities: Global, Transnational and Local Contexts. Bingley: Emerald, 2011. Print.

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