People Tend to Believe that Gender and Sex are Intertwined
Gender is the structure of social relations that centers on the reproductive arena, and the sets of practices that bring reproductive distinctions between bodies into social processes (Connell 2009). It can also be described as how we organize societies that we from and how we organize our organs. Our organs can be organized in various ways according to how we feel. Sex are the biological traits that societies use to assign people into the category of either male or female (Zevallos 2014). Gender is a social construct, and that’s what I will be talking about.
It has been said that the terms masculinity and femininity signify the physical, behavioral, and mental and emotional traits believed to be characterized as female and male (Morawski 1991). As Africans we have been instilled in us that men are supposed to act in this manner an also opposed to act in a certain manner, likewise to women. A woman is someone who is seen as a caregiver and men as providers and protectors. This is what our culture has taught us. All men and women end up being influenced by their upbringings and experiences that they have faced, but the society plays a hug role. Masculinity is simultaneously a place in gender relations, the practice through which men and women engage that place in gender, and the effects of these practices in bodily experience, personality and culture (Connell 1995). Feminist is a man or a woman who says, yes, there’s a problem with gender as it is today and we must fix it, we must do better (Adichie 2014). Feminism goes against the wishes of being a hegemonic masculinity which opposes everything. Hegemonic masculinity is a form of masculinity that gains its symbolic force and familiar status from a series of hierarchical relations to what it can be subordinate (Segal 1993). Men under this masculinity tend to dominate women and also state that women are just mere sexual objects. African men believe otherwise.
How it works
African masculinities, in other words, are hegemonic and subordinate at the same time, as a logical contradiction that is difficult to resolve (Ratale 2012), which can then be said that homosexuality unions are commonly found in African men. With these words of Ratele, one can say that this is where the disturbances of gender orders came into play. Masculinities are reconfigured around this crises tendency both through conflict over strategies of legitimation, and through men’s divergent responses to feminism (Connell 2005). A common sociological gender disturbance can be homophobia. Homosexual people do not follow the gender order of me to women and vice versa, which is called heterosexuality. For one to decide to change their gender identity, society plays a huge role in that. Once someone feels unwanted by society, they tend to want to change so that they can be accepted and feel included. The Malawian culture forbids any form outside the gender order. Any male person who, whether in public or private, commits any act of gross indecency with another male person, or procures another male person to commit any act of gross indecency with him, or attempts to produce the commission of any such act by any male person with himself or with another male person, whether in public or private, shall be guilty of a felony and shall be liable to imprisonment for five years, with or without corporal punishment (Ratele 2014). On the contrary, this is not the same in other countries. Same sex marriages are allowed. A lot of South African based cultures approve different sexual identities. They believe and understand that a person can be biologically born a female, but as they grow their bodily fluids change. Back then South Africa hadn’t approved of homosexuality, but with history and our societies evolving they saw that it is an act of public issues that could cause change. They now criminalized any violent acts upon homosexual beings.
When one understands gender as a social construct, it can then be a lot easier to understand how our culture can be oppressive to people who experience gender differently, because men and women are words that were invented as a culture to describe certain phenomenon’s and they don’t describe all the possible options. So basically when one doesn’t fit into the certain gender identity they supposed to follow it does not mean that they weird, its only because socially we have constructed a system that does not work. Basically it’s a system that does not describe all the experiences of the people in a certain culture. By understanding gender as a social construct we can automatically see the complexity associated with why people would believe that it is biological fixed. Gender identity or gendered subjectivity is an inextricable fusion or melding of personally created and cultural meaning (Chodorow 1995).
With the supporting evidences, one can see and understand why gender is socially constructed. One can never be born homosexual, but their experiences and upbringing in different societies can determine their gender identity. If gender was inheriting, if it was something that we are all born with, it would be universally across cultures that we have the same gender identity. But because it is not universally across all cultures we say that it is culturally constructed from culture to culture. People will remain attracted to the sexual orientations of their own until gender can be proven as a biological aspect.”