I never understood the appeal of the Itchy and Scratchy show on the Simpsons until someone  introduced me to these cartoons… And I always end up feeling like a bad person after watching them and finding them funny. It makes me wonder both about the state of today’s society and my own psychological state. But then again, some people think the Saw movies are the best thing ever… At least I only get amusement from the killing of ridiculously cute cartoon animals.

So on Friday’s class we got to talking about feminism. Or at least about the place of women in our society, the reinforcement of patriarchy through the mass media, and briefly mentioned the role of women on the internet. Which was somehow both fascinating and very boring to me.

I hate statistics that compare how many women partake in a certain activity or tendency versus how many men also partake in that same activity or tendency. The teacher mentioned a variety of statistics about gender and the internet, and stated that there were differences, but none of the margins were particularly large one way of the other. Maybe that’s because gender wasn’t a very useful variable to base the analysis on?

We have such an obsession in our society about the difference of gender, that we seek to find, create, and reinforce/overstate those differences at every chance we get. When in reality, gender is not a constant state of being. And I can’t help but feel that this constant search to find the ways in which we differ, or the way that we just take for given that men and women are automatically different and opposing demographics, is hurting us more than it is helping. Why do we continue to put so much importance and emphasis on gender? Why do we continue to make this one of the main axis’s on which we base our identities and those of others around us? These is a fairly large body of work in sociology that sees a fear of gender ambiguity as one of the main causes of homophobia, as well as many of the troubles and conflicts currently taking place between men and women i.e. domestic violence, hatred towards women,etc.

All this to say that as a woman myself, and as a feminist, I hate being pigeon holed into statistics with other women, solely because I am a woman. That’s just not good enough. I am more than my gender.

Girl power doesn’t empower me, it exasperates me.

This isn’t to say that certain statistics that find pronounced differences between genders are wrong. But I believe that the differences found have infinitely more to do with our socialization process of differentiation  then with anything remotely genetic. And if we were all raised in a society that promoted the same attitudes and values in both men and women, that the difference margins between genders would greatly disappear.

Everyone is born with certain genetic dispositions in their character. But it has yet to be proved that those dispositions actually correlate with gender. I think it is more accurate to say that those dispositions are particularly strong in certain individuals and will remain strong regardless of gender and upbringing, and that for the rest of us, they are either encouraged or discouraged to develop in us depending on our particular socialization.

Well, I have some marketing homework to do now,

So I bid you adieu!

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