Transition Of Gender Identities In South Africa

1292 words - 5 pages

There has been much discussion about gender and the many different identities linked to it. Gender is the term used to describe the type of sex that a particular person identifies them self with. This sex can either be male or female. However, we live in a society with people having multiple identities. Therefore, I agree with the statement which states that gender identities are in transition in South Africa today. Many South Africans are identifying themselves to a particular gender identity. This essay will clearly show how gender identity is in transition in South Africa.
Many gender identities of South Africans are being formed by the influence of the society taking form as socialisation. According to Hacking (1999) gender is socially constructed whereas it motivates visions in which women are held to be essentially subjective to male domination. This emphasises the fact that women are fighting against patriarchy. According to Coetzee (2001) patriarchy refers to the dominance of male roles, whereas men are to take charge and are seen as the breadwinner of the family. However this is in the process of change, many women are fighting against patriarchy and demanding equal standards and rights for both men and women. These women are known as feminists. No longer are women restricted into which career path they wish to follow; however, in the past there was a separation of men and women career paths whereas women had to study for careers such as nursing. Today women are climbing the corporate ladder and finding themselves having and practicing roles of men. Society is forming the gender roles of both men and women whereas men are seen to be the breadwinner for his family and women are seen as the nurturing and caring person in the family. Men and women have different gender roles which society has implemented into them and find the need to adhere to these roles.
South Africans are born with a biological genetic make-up of either male or female. Primary socialisation plays a vital role in many lives of South Africans as when growing up parents and the people around you creates the notion that you are either a male or a female and therefore they are forced to do and wear certain things suitable to your sex. However, when matured and you develop feelings people chose their own gender identity in which they feel most comfortable and identify themselves with. When people decide to practice the role of opposite sex they are known as gays and lesbians and they are known as homosexual people. There has been much discrimination on gay and lesbian South Africans. However, homosexual people fought for their gender identity. According to Greenberg (1990) there has been a great success in the gay-liberation movement to refute beliefs that homosexuality is harmful. Therefore, there is a transition in gender identity in South Africa as homosexuality is being accepted by many South Africans. There is a form of acceptance that arises that homosexual people are...

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