Gender- GENeral DERogation

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Feminism is a new trend mushrooming in various disciplines of life; to the populist eye it looks like an endeavour to give the rightful place to the female populace, but at an ulterior level, the feminist approach is actually helping all those respective disciplines in opening up to their real potential. For e.g., philosophy has been traditionally male oriented. The entire ancient and medieval periods were dominated by male thinkers and hence it risks being one-sided in its approach. Feminine gender carries a view of life that the masculine can never approach and it’s imperative that philosophy should integrate the feminine aspect so its spectrum widens like never before.

Now, what exactly is feminism? It’s not as simple as just being the female sex. The Female and her Feminineness are not really as tightly bonded as commonly understood. There is an ontological and conceptual difference between them. The female sex is just what the body is made of. It’s a direct result of her genital organs. Biology dictates her sex and its significance is only in the tick mark she makes in the various application forms she fills up. Sex is binary; it can be either Male or Female. No human is sexless or hermaphrodite in nature (maybe only in Ripley's museum). Feminism, on the other hand, is her gender, and gender is a continuum between the two extremities of Male and Female sexualities. It’s in gender talk, we refer to transgenders, crossdressers, heterosexuals, transsexuals, etc.

In today's world, after all the rigorous researches in Psychology, Cultural Anthropology and Feminist Philosophy, it has come to light that a person's gender, though being a primary facet of his/her identity, is actually not directly pinned down to his sexuality alone. Gender inhabits a human being at various levels of his existence. We label a baby as boy or girl as soon as it is born, but in contrary for the few months of its life, the baby has no gender identity at all. It is wholly ignorant of what is male or female. It is not even aware of its own sexuality. As the years develop, it starts observing the world around it as well as changes in its own body, and learns gender based realities. The environment and culture has a lot of contribution in shaping the gender identity of a human being. Gender is the sum total of feelings, thoughts, and expressions in a human that puts the person at a point somewhere between the two extreme sexualities, and probably never at one of the extremes.

To generalize gender into either simply male or simply female is derogatory to its meaning. Gender is more of a mindset than anything material.

We all have masculine and feminine traits in us. Carl Jung had used the archetype Anima-Animus for the same (Anima is the feminine aspect in a man, while Animus is his counterpart in a woman). The degree varies from person to person, creating an infinite number of possibilities in human personality.

I belong to the male sex, but my gender is certainly far from it. My nature is on the shy side, I can't break the ice with strangers very soon, I have moody phases all the time, I am soft-spoken and extremely courteous and avoid confrontation at all costs. I have, what many of my friends call, a "girly" character. Now, in a totally frank evaluation I may be rated as belonging to the feminine gender. At the same time, I have so many lady friends who are extremely outgoing, brash, super confident and good decision takers - I classify them as more masculine than a lot of the other men. The sexualities of these people had nothing to do with their gender traits.

This is exactly where I feel feminism, as a gender, has been kept out of the mainstream. It does not mean ladies/women were sidelined. Queen Victoria ruled a major part of the world centuries ago. All South Asian countries have had a lady as their head of state by now, but these were ladies who fought with men and rose above a male dominated society. They were probably more masculine than the average men of their generation. Feminism probably didn't find a niche in their lives. It’s time we take up the case of real and true feminism and give it the fillip required to escalate it into the mainstream, where it can give the world a truly balanced line of thought, as well as, a balanced way of life.


Anonymous said...

Hey Vikas....
Am not sure if i really got what you tried to post. But as per my understanding here is my view..

I want to question is there anything specifically written somewhere that certain characters are tagged feminist and masculine?

Apart from differentiating the male and female by their genital parts, We have grown with the perception that male symbolizes taking care of responsibilities, being courageous, takes decisions, family head, intelligent, blah bhah.. And female means being submissive, shy, soft, emotional, loving, caring, etc..

According to me there is nothing wrong in male or female having assorted characters of the above. It shouldnt evaluate what is the person actually is - Being a male behaving feminist or being a female behaving masculine.

Whatever characters or gentials we have, we all are still called human beings. We need to find out what are the characters and duties of a human being to differentiate good human being from bad. This balances life and self :)

Dr Mandeep said...

i loved your writing
it was brilliant,straight forward and to the point
with every word and phrase i was constantly nodding as if i was listening you talk !!!

Vicky Dada (Vikas) said...

Radha - Your comment is more frank and probing than my post. Thanks for reading my opinions. Like I said, Masculinity and Feminism are two extreme qualities of a wide spectrum of traits in our world. Every person may be anywhere in this spectrum in his/her own unique way. When I say extremes, I dont mean they are opposites. They are both contrary as well as complementary with each other. By the Feminine trend, we mean that they the quality that wasn't heard so far should now be heard.

For eg, dominant and submissive are two extremities of the one aspect of personality. Traditionally, domination has been "considered" as masculine trait though you are free to not-label it that way, but when I say that feminism should be given a voice I just mean that even the submissive opinions should be given a hearing. All branches of our knowledge should now include both the masculine and feminist views and should become inclusive.

Vicky Dada (Vikas) said...

Dr.Mandeep ji,
Thanks a lot for your encouraging comment. Please feel free to read through my other posts and leave your frank opinions on it.

Best Wishes.

Anonymous said...

All the traits are actually accepted vikas and at the same time it is rejected too but all depends on situation one is caught up with.

R-A-J said...

Very interesting post n liked the way u differentiated the sex n the gender.. very interestingly brought out.. definitely is a conversation piece n am sure nt many ppl hv thought of things at this level of thought..

very very interesting work, V :)

Vicky Dada (Vikas) said...

Dear R-a-j, I am happy you found gender interesting. In sex, the whole world is interested anyways.. ha ha

Anonymous said...

I liked this post a lot. And you have structured it well. Brining out and accepting the feminist qualities of the Anima qualtiies. Well written and I do have some male qualities too. :) They call me a tom boy in my circles

Vicky Dada (Vikas) said...

Thanks Divenita. So with all your male qualities, you are part of one of the domineering powers of the society. :)

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