Revision on the Go – 01

Sex is biological and it is determined by the presence of male / female genitals and XY chromosomes. However, gender is socially constructed through socialisation by key agents such as family, community, society, traditional beliefs, values and mass media. For example, at a young age, parents will dress a girl in pink dresses, so that the girl will look feminine. A classic example of making women look feminine is the Chinese culture of foot-binding, that would make a girl walk in small steps, believed to be more feminine.

Mass media played an important role in socialisation where men and women are gender-stereotyped to be masculine and feminine respectively. They are also portrayed to be dominant in the public and private sphere. Men are always portrayed in a workplace, in shirt with tie, carrying a briefcase and women in apron, carrying a child in the kitchen.

Times may have changed, more women are establishing successful careers, even in fields that the men dominated, such as the medical and engineering field. However, have we also come to realise that what the society deemed as successful is a women who can balance both her family and career? We cannot deny that the society do frown upon women who are successful in career but did not succeed as well in managing her family. Sometimes, even if the husband is the one who failed in being faithful, she was blamed to have spent too much time at work, therefore, she was unable to keep her husband at bay? Why this disparity?


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