Come on Now, Don’t be Ignorant

Gay. Fag. Dike.

You’ve heard them before, whether you’re walking down the halls of school, or even messing around with you friends, these socially degrading words follow today’s terminology everywhere you go, they’re even smothered on the media. Going through high school oblivion begins to fade as you startto realize that this world isn’t as perfect as you might think. People are flat out incompetent when it comes to respect. Stereotypes engulf today’s humor. Girls who play softball become dikes. Boys who arejust shy become asexual.

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If you do this and talk to him, you’re gay. But if you do that and talk to them, you’re popular. Our society needs a constant label in order to feel better about themselves. People are constantly seeking the approval of others by bringing down others on their way to the top. Discrimination of sexes and those who do not conform to society’s perfect gender rules is a prominent conflict in today’s society, because generations are being fed too much confidence growing up, causing them to be raised on narcissistic virtues. Because our society has such a deep misunderstanding and lack of knowledge, this ultimately allows for more discrimination and sexism throughout our community.

The 21st century has been construed as the most welcoming generation to diversity within our society and is climbing up the scale to become one of the United State’s most diverse generations. Throughout history, society has placed a label on gender roles and their expectations immensely. Gender roles have become socially constructed and portrayed through social norms which then become established as a type of gender conduct. Men in society have been illustrated as dominant, aggressive, and strong, while women are depicted as submissive, fragile, and motherly. These gender standards are motivated by many factors such as media, community, and even family values.

Because of these stereotypes, our society grows up deliberating that they are acting ordinary and conventional and ignoring the fact that they are following society’s game of roles. These stereotypes can imply that men, being tenacious and capable, are placed above women on society’s scale, leading to the prominent idea of sexism and its role in our community. According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, sexism, is the, “prejudice or discrimination based on sex or gender…[or] belief that one sex is superior to or more valuable than another sex” throughout a community. Because of these beliefs, women and men’s roles and potentials become limited in such a boundless field of opportunity. Many people in today’s society argue that women receive equal and fair treatment throughout society ever since women were able to vote and participate in political affairs, but in reality, according to, AAUW’s The Simple Truth about the Gender Pay Gap, women on average get, “paid just 79 percent of what men were paid”.

Women’s roles in the workforce and opportunities for better education have slowly decreased such a large gap between men and women’s pay wage, but women still rank lower on the scale of priority. Because women have been placed in such submissive roles for many generations, the feminist movement, according to the Encyclopedia Britannica, “fought for the abolishment of sexism and the establishment of women’s rights as equal under the law”, was a great movement throughout American history that allowed for many new opportunities such as voting, participating in political representation, employment, and numerous of rights only men were seen to have. Women in the 1970s fighting for their rights as equals in this world, were expressed as idols and girl’s inspirations all over the country, but now, almost 80 years later, feminists are suddenly portrayed as extreme and man haters. When did equality become a competition and when did women expressing their opinions of wanting equality become an excuse to attack women? Females themselves have the audacity to attack other women of asking for too much and questioning why they call themselves a feminist. What happened to women standing up for one another? The problem with this society is that generations are becoming more and more selfish, pulling people down from expressing themselves, because our society is too panicked by judgement.

Suddenly people are defining feminism as the idea of wanting to be superior to men and surpass their roles in society, when in reality our society is so ignorant, they cannot grasp the concept of women wanting to be equals. Gender labels are given straight from birth once the child’s sex is determined. Susan Stryker, a professor of Gender and Women’s Studies at the University of Arizona, quotes that, “The first thing we say of a new child is “It’s a girl” or It’s a boy.” Through the operation of language, we move a body across the line that separates mere biological organism from human community, transforming the status of a nonhuman “it” into a person through the conferral of a gender status.” Stryker emphasizes the idea that bestowing a gender amongst a newborn child, gives a sense of society finally humanizing the infant.

Though the act of simply naming a child has been a tradition since the world began as many can argue, Stryker is able to take such a mundane and ordinary action and criticize society’s ignorance and demeaning motion of classifying humans under an umbrella that it chosen straight from birth. Ultimately, you can view society’s obsession with artificial titles of classification straight from birth. Our society overlooks the separate definitions of sex and gender and classifies each as equivalents. One’s sex is referred to as the , “physical or physiological differences between males, females, and intersex persons, including both their primary and secondary sex characteristics.” Whereas gender refers to, “cultural distinctions associated with a given sex”. Judith Butler, a transgender writer and feminist who supports the LGBTQ community, states that gender in fact is, “real only to the extent that it is performed.

..therefore, is open to change…[and] because gender is not a fact, the various acts of gender creates the idea of gender, and without those acts, there would be no gender at all.” Butler accentuates the idea that gender is artificially established and determined through sex and all together becomes an act that people perform because that is what society tells them. Though our society is so accepting, transgender and people who do not conform to society’s gender rules are harshly discriminated.

Forge Forward, an article which accentuates transgender rates of violence in 2012, emphasizes the statistics of violence throughout transgender communities and the discrimination many of them get due to their differences. The evidence is shown in the statistics, Forge Forward states that, “78% of gender nonconforming youth reported ‘significant abuse at school’ —31% of the youth noted the abuse was from teachers”. When students go to school, it’s a sanctuary for the students to trust the responsible adults and teachers, whom they should be comfortable enough to talk to, but instead become just as discriminated as outside of a classroom. This brings up the concern that is anyone ever safe from harassment and judgment in this community? They also state that, “multiple studies indicate that over 50% of transgender people have experienced sexual violence at some point in their lives”. With this discrimination, our society no longer becomes a safe place to live. Today’s society is increasingly plummeting down the scale of social acquiring due to the insecurities our community holds, and the disappointing values that generation after generation hold for one another.