There were many key themes in the chapter reading that interested me. With a chapter title of Gender and Sexuality, who wouldn’t be interested? 😉 I also thoroughly enjoyed all of the links provided to us on RamPages.
The section about violence towards women was definitely eye opening, interesting, and especially frightening to read about. Domestic violence, a pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one partner to gain to maintain power and control over another intimate partner, is sickening to me. The text stated that about 85 percent of intimate partner violence has been directed at women, and more than a third of female murder victims were killed by a husband or boyfriend (Croteau 307). And the fact that human trafficking is even a thing is beyond me. Human trafficking is when “criminal networks recruit, entrap, and transport individuals, holding them against their will for either sexual exploitation or forced labor.” As stated in the text, about 80 percent of the victims of this modern-day slavery are poor women and girls, half under age 18 (Croteau 308). Even though we all know this unimaginable crime is worldwide, very little has been done to fight against this issue. Don’t even get me started on female genital cutting. Whatever the reason, an estimated 100 million to 140 million women have undergone some form of genital cutting (Croteau 308). Are you freaking serious; you’ve GOT to be kidding me? How is this even a thing?
As I’ve stated in a previous blog entry, gender roles and gender expectations are prevalent and have been perpetuating through the different generations. A gender role is a set of social expectations regarding behavior and attitudes based on a person’s sex (Croteau 296). Gender roles help shape our identity by influencing a wide range of characteristics, including the following: appearance, activities, behaviors and emotions, and aspirations (Croteau 296). Growing up, I remember being labeled a tomboy for years since I was always running around with my older brothers; always trying to keep up with them and do what they were doing. It wasn’t until I surprisingly decided to start cheerleading that people stopped calling me a tomboy. They’d tell me that I looked so much better with a little bit of make-up on, girlish clothes, and my hair down. Why can’t a girl wear cut off shorts, a tank top, tennis shoes and a ponytail? Another concept that caught my attention was what’s referred to as the second shift – the phenomenon of employed women still having primary responsibility for housework and child care (Croteau 305). In today’s world, both parents typically have to work but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the other standards have fallen to the wayside. In many households, men probably still expect their wife to cook the meals, keep the house clean, and take care of the children while working 40 hours a week. I’m not saying that’s the way it is in every household, but it obviously still exists since there’s a specific term for it.
Lastly, I thoroughly enjoyed the Every Girl, Every Boy poem by Nancy R. Smith on page 296. It points out the unfairness between boys and girls and the gender expectations that are instilled in them at a young age; it’s ridiculous. She states that gender distinctions limit the options available to both sexes and she couldn’t be more accurate (Croteau 296).