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Social Constructs

November 14, 2009

On gender roles being a social construct~ (invalidly argumented) comparisons

Why should a male be masculine and a female be feminine? The answer is in both nature and nurture – no one is ever raised environmentally unaffected, not even someone raised in a white box: that in itself is an environment, is it not? Similarly, no one escapes genetics. Talk to people who have sickle-cell anemia. Or cancer. Or baldness. Or two eyes, two ears, one nose and one mouth.

So why do people say “this is how a man should behave”, or “that’s so girly”, or “you should be more feminine”, or, “You’ll be a man, my son!”? Like the toilet argument, all this should be irrelevant. Referring to that article… this is the “serious argument” that post should have been.

But on the other hand, this has been sitting in draft mode so long I just feel the need to tack on unnecessary final paragraphs and banish it into the wide web.

Other social construct examples? Parental roles: biological inheritance from physiological characteristics of the sexes. Clothing, fashion: evolution of need for protection from nature. Modesty and other ‘values’? Prudishness? Justice? Equality? Capitalism? Socialism? Religion (a gold-standard paragon of constructs)?

Why do we adhere so? Unfortunately, it’s up to nature and nurture. Even the ‘individualism’ so touted by parenting manuals is just another limitation. Any interaction with any person forms a link that binds one to a standard of expected behavior. Imagine politeness. Now imagine some stranger you just smiled at in the street giving you an uppercut. What is to be expected? It is essentially impossible to be free from limits. Did the Buddha really do it? Perhaps mentally? Perhaps not. Recall the principles of moderation, the four Truths, the Eightfold Path. What is Right? Why adhere?

We are like a bowl of bubbles rising from a bubble machine sitting in the universe, holding up each other until we pop, new bubbles generated all the time, propping up, propping up. On occasion some bubbles float up and away, free from the miasma below, free for a second in the clean, beautiful air. Then the bubble pops.


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