In response to what we have discussed thus far in Interpersonal Communication, I would like to further explore the idea of gender in the interpersonal communication arena. As was said in class, ”gender influences cultural perspectives.” Gender also influences how we view ourselves in society. On the flip side, I’ve seen how society can mold the way we label ourselves in terms of gender.
The well-known concepts of masculinity and femininity run rampant in our society. We live in a world where men are told to be masculine, women are told to be feminine and those who do not do as they are told, will suffer the societal consequences.
The philosophy of masculinity supports the idea that men must be strong. They must show very little emotion, have a career and ultimately be a “breadwinner.” Men must be muscular and protect the “weaker” sex from harm. Though many of these traits are wonderful to have, realistically speaking, very few men will ever possess enough masculinity to feel worthy of being a man in our society. This truth leaves most men chasing an illusory goal of attaining a masculine identity. Most men will take every opportunity to show their masculinity and to declare to the world that they are indeed a “real” man. This fact is evident when men gather in a bar. The beer’s going down, testosterone is pumping through the veins, and the motto is, “I ain’t takin’ nothin’ from nobody.” Most males are looking for a brawl and are looking to solidify their masculine place in the world. Inevitably a fight ensues, people get hurt, and the goal is accomplished. Well, at least for a day or two.
Society would like all women to be feminine. That is to say, society would like all women to render themselves as weak, non-assertive, helpless, male-needing beings. Women are told to act lady-like at all times. This means not arguing, not standing up for themselves and obeying men at all times. The feminine guidelines are seemingly endless and to live a feminine lifestyle is exhausting for most women. It is not accepted for women to spit or belch, whereas for a male these acts are second nature. A fabulous example of manifested pure femininity is the Barbie Doll. Barbie is a homemaker, with a thin body dressed in pink. Barbie is seen as the perfect women and manifests in physical form in every issue of Playboy magazine. Most women are chasing an illusory goal of total...