Balancing out the Imbalance | Teen Ink

Balancing out the Imbalance

August 29, 2009
By Mi Mai SILVER, GARDEN GROVE, California
9 articles 0 photos 0 comments

Gender is destiny. From the moment we were born, until our death, gender dictates the path on which we travel throughout our lifetime. No matter where we go and what we do, we are scarred by the label of either “male” or “female.” With these labels are images and expectations that control our behavior and perception. Imagine a world, which was distinctly divided between male and female, in which one gender was suppressed, while the other represented a dominating factor. It is a world of inequality, discrimination, and prejudice. This world is the world in which we live in. Nevertheless, this imbalance between the genders will never reach absolute equilibrium due to the biological and cultural aspects of mankind.

The biological basis upon which men and women, masculinity and femininity, are built, provide for the inequitable allocation of strength, to ensure that the prospect of gender equality remain anything but tangible. From the very establishment of a girl’s life, she is doomed to face the physical limitations and endure from being shorter, smaller, and weaker than the average boy. Despite how futile physical power seems in comparison to the technological advances of today’s world, it is even so, still a representation of the human extent of power. “The symbol of strong arms and legs represents the will and courage of a person… She cannot imagine overpowering him, or being equal to him.” (Kimi). No matter how advanced technology is, it still does not contradict the fact that women are physically weaker than men. “ This allows leeway for [many atrocities and domestic abuses] which once again support the fact that men are dominant over women and that women are constantly at their mercy.” (Feng). The physical restriction of a woman and a man’s physical prowess induces the realization of who is who in the social ladder. For instance, some occupations are established in such a style that only certain genders are easily able to fill the positions. To be a fireman, you have to be of a certain height and weight - which generally narrows the choices down to exclusively males. When women do enter the labor markets, they are often concentrated in lower-paying jobs and leave periodically as a result of child care responsibilities. This transforms into a psychological weakness of the society and eventually makes gender equality a figment of a revolutionary’s imagination.

A woman’s role in society is attributable to the beliefs, norms, and principles of the society. Such values are formed upon the foundations of religious beliefs and perceived on economic requirements. “Religion has always been and will continue to be an intricate thread in modern society where the existence of a higher power is almost undisputable” (Feng). Most religions advocate that a woman's role is one of subservience to her husband, especially the Christian Bible, which specifically demands that “Wives honour and obey their husbands” Religion therefore, clearly states the role of both genders; the men are “the leaders and breadwinners and that the women are supporters and mothers” (Whelan). Likewise, the more compelling explanations of gender inequality are materialist theories which examine cross-cultural data on the status of women and men. In the underdeveloped countries where the historical role of women is confined to the four walls of the parents or husband's house, the female member is perceived as an economic burden (Abbas). The lack of earning power makes these societies wish for male off spring since they harness the capacity to relieve the economic burden of the family. Thus, the division between domestic and public spheres of activity is particularly constraining to women and advantageous to men.

As a result of reasons beyond the control of any human, in particular, the natural characteristics and traditional mindsets of both genders, it is impracticable to reach total gender equality. Men and women, are indeed, very different in their desires, abilities, goals and how they approach various issues in life. For the most part, that is biologically based; the rest is the product of social and cultural influences. Despite the inability to cross gender barriers, the differences that emanate between the males and females work in harmony to establish a balance of nature. The better part of the male is just as valuable as the better part of the female, and the dark side of the female is just as evil as the dark side of the male. Both of them are incomplete without each other. What one lacks, the other tends to have. Thus, men and women are not antagonists, and neither are they entirely separated; they are both entangled in a thread that links their lives together into the two halves of humanity.

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This article has 1 comment.

some person said...
on Oct. 1 2009 at 9:12 am
Wow! this is amazing!