According to dictionary. com, gender is defined as “the condition of being female or male. ” Gender and Sexuality conjure up images of the male and female and the roles that each sex is supposed to fulfill. Of the two forces (Biology and Environment) influencing human development, especially gender, environment is more influential. Environment is basically the surrounding conditions or forces capable of influencing a person or any entity, for example, family, culture, peers, society, etc. In view of this, let us now think about these thought provoking questions.
Do you believe there will ever come a day when boys will play with dolls and girls will play with trucks and no one will notice? Suppose parents could successfully forget about the gender of their child. What would be the advantages and the disadvantages of this? These are the questions that would be examined and answered in this article. Reasonably, I opine that a day might come when boys will play with dolls and girls play with trucks, but people will take note of this, depending on their sense of perception and cultural backgrounds, and since neither this situation had ever occurred nor has it ever been that way from time being.
Also, since the environment people live in could either positively or negatively contribute to their physical, spiritual, and social well being, so, gender should be seen more of a social structure that forms the basis for individuals’ norms which are anchored into the major societal organizations of our world today (Lorber 5). This might make one to ask again – Is a Genderless Society Attainable? What are the advantages and disadvantages? Apparently, parents, as a factor, have the power and the responsibilities to shape the gender identity of their wards from childhood.
The socialization theory, in terms of gender, suggests that “children are taught to behave in a certain way according to their sex. Boys are taught to be masculine and girls to be feminine. For example, parents will often buy trucks or army toys for boys while girls will have dolls and playhouse sort-of toys” (Cohen and Ian, 78). So why would a genderless society be unattainable since the primary factor of childhood gender-shaping is the parents?
In fact, from the socialization theory, it could be deduced that genderless society might be achieved if parents would act in other way round- allow boys to play with dolls and girls to play with trucks. Although, this situation might seem real, we should never forget the fact that the reality of this phenomenon, that is, the chances or probability that this scenario ever happens is on the stronger side. For instance, taking, Lois Gould’s fable “X: A Fabulous Child’s Story” from the book, Mirror on America, into consideration.
Why? Because it looked un-natural and people raised eyes-brows and were suspicious about the pathetic story of baby X. Let us now take a critical look at this scenario positively, that is, if a genderless society is attainable, what might be the advantages and the disadvantages? Firstly, considering the advantages of a genderless society, I might be visualizing from my mental mirror that the issue of gender inequality will be eradicated. Since “roles are gendered. Either sex can participate in opposite gendered roles.
The problem is that males are expected to be masculine and women to be feminine. Those jobs that are more feminine have lower statuses, thus lower pay,” said, Lorber, an eminent Dr. of Sociology. This asserts that inequality comes into play in a gendered society. For life to be natural there must be a balance between genders in all ramifications. Additionally, there might be an eradication of stereotypes between genders where radical-like Feminist Organizations, which brings about Affirmative Action, would be extinct.
Also to be seen happening in genderless society are the eradication of- male tendency toward violence, gender supremacy, women’s oppression, sexual harassment, sexual abuse, sexual violence, and rape. The discrepancies in equal pay for work of equal value has, in one form or the other, been generating hullabaloos over the years among genders, genderless society might create equal pay among genders where gaps in occupational segregation will be closed.
Family restrictions placed on women will become a thing of the past, for example, a situation where wives are being forced to take on or bear the names of their husbands after marriage. On the other hand, I do not visualize much of disadvantages in a genderless society, but I should not fail to mention the fact that genderless society might lead to distortion in sexuality and family roles with its principles. The natural woman’s task like sex, childbirth, and child rearing will also be distorted.
Since the interplay of gender often leads to pregnancies, families, and set of standards, a genderless society might not see these occurring. Dr. Lorber also reasons that a genderless society might be far too radical of a conception, because it would bring about a complete re-organization of everything; everything has to be re-organized from scratch. An illusive genderless society will disintegrate because of its being based on an unnatural postulation (Lorber 6). A genderless society might also escalate into large scenarios of either homosexualism or lesbianism, which might result into total moral decadence in our society.
A day might come when boys might play with dolls and girls might play with trucks, but people would surely notice this. Since our mode of life- morals, physical, social, gender, etc are being modeled, nurtured, and influenced by many factors of our immediate environment such as our family, culture, peers, society, education, community. If on the other hand, the environment nurtures or influences us the way the “fabulous baby X” was nurtured, there might be a success of a genderless society, but this will sound too strongly unattainable and an illusion of reality!