Gender And Sexuality: A Feminist Analysis

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Feminist scholars aim to actively challenge traditional ways of how we view sex and gender by highlighting gender as a key factor in structuring the way in which we live our lives. Sexual orientation develops from a complex relationship of psychological, social and cultural factors. Society’s interpretation of both sex and gender is able to strongly influence the roles they play within social institutions. The implications of these gender distinctions are that women and men assume unequal positions in terms of opportunities and power. Feminism challenges patriarchal description of gender and sexuality proposing the idea that equality between the sexes can only be achieved by converting social attitudes in regards to gender and sexuality. Many …show more content…
What makes gender oppressive is the fact that gender is recognised as only having two options. Some argue that liberation can only occur is if society is able to accept that even though ‘gender is indeed an internal, essential facet of our identity, there are more genders than just “man” or “woman” to choose from’ . Many feminists claim that there are no plausible distinctions between sex and gender, for them bot sexuality and gender are both finely interlinked making the area of study more complex than just two distinctions. Feminists scholars aim to challenge pre-existing notions of sex, gender and sexuality as it enables them to argue that many differences between women and men are socially manufactured and therefore, changeable. Ann Oakley establishes that there is a clear distinction between sex we are born with and the gender we acquire. She distinguishes sex as biological whilst gender is human traits linked by culture to each sex, masculine and feminine. Haslanger and Stoljar, argue that all humans are either male or female; they have a fixed sex . However different cultures interpret sexed bodies differently and project different norms on those bodies thereby creating feminine and masculine persons . This highlights the fact that genders (women and men) and gendered traits like being nurturing or ambitious are the “intended or unintended product of a …show more content…
The distinction of what it means to be a woman or a man has come under intense scrutiny, As Simone de Beauvoir states, “One is not born, but rather becomes, a woman.” The concept of ‘identity’ as something that is fixed or assigned to people by socializing agents is challenged by feminist theories. In today’s culture it is argued that we are being gender socialised, social forces have embedded in us what it meaning to be ‘feminine’ or ‘masculine’ shaping the way we are act as women and men. Feminist scholar Mac-Kinnon argues that sexuality is “the process which creates, organises,..creating the social beings we know as women and men’ she goes on to explain that The division of gender is founded on the ‘the social requirements of heterosexuality , which institutionalises male sexual dominance and female sexual submission” which reinforces patriarchy and creates an unequal distinction between the sexes. However this view has been criticised due to its over simplification of gender down to just sexuality, ignoring other parts of the gender narrative and the institutional effects. Gender is not just a social role that unifies social individuals. Witt takes it to be the social

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