G e n d e r
In today’s society, people often misconstrue the difference between sexuality and gender. There are thousands of people who have multiple sexual identities or ‘orientation’ (who you are attracted to) and ‘gender identity’ (whether and how you identify as a male or female) are two aspects of this identity. Being a human being it is important we embrace both our sexual identities and gender identification because it helps shapes us into who we are. According to Merriam Webster, heteronormative is defined as, an expression relating to, or based on the attitude that heterosexuality is the only normal and natural expression of sexuality. In today’s society, this is how we live our lives, we’re taught that being in a heterosexual relationship is deemed as normal from a young age we are taught through books, films, politics, etc that having a heterosexual relationship is acceptable. Living in a patriarchal society, we often see how gender roles are enforced and impact us from a young age.
However, we have been taught that heteronormative practices are accepted, but homonormative practices are frowned upon. But why is one practice praised but the other is condemned? It all depends on the economic background, political climate, and religious perspective one has. According to Pewform.Org currently in America, the population of people who practice religion varying from Christian to non-Christian affiliation is 78%. Religion is a major component of how we as a society frown upon homosexual and transgender members of our societies. Priests and believers use the excerpt from Matthew & Genesis to justify that God wants us to be man and woman. However, this belief is only used for those who believe in Christian works. Then if being gay is a sin then think about the other sins that people commit every day.
So why are these practices taught? Gender is a more ‘fluid’ expression of how individuals choose to identify themselves. By using the sociology of gender examines how society impacts the perception of differences between masculinity (the acceptable dominant behavior that is distinguished among males) and femininity (the appropriate behavior that society deems for women). Cisgender people are people whose sex and gender align. With society trying to pressure us into social constructs like gender it causes distress and doesn’t support the individuals as themselves. Have you felt this pressure to conform and support societies standards on gender? Comment below why or why not.