It seems that within the year 2013, the world became hyper-aware of societal constructs and social mores that make us up. With everybody now reaching some kind of weird new level of self-realization, it almost provides sociologists new opportunities to study the way our minds react to one another.
I say this because in 2013 feminism blew up to become a huge topic…one might even call it a trend. And when I say “one”, I mean I would. Don’t get me wrong, I do notice and agree with the unfair representation of females in the social world, and the unfair treatment of females in the professional world. And I see where others can go on about how, in the normal, every-day world, females are constantly viewed as objects, thanks to the former statement. However, when I once may have called myself a feminist, I now resent the word completely, and it is because of extreme feminists that I refuse to associate myself with the term. When I say extreme feminists, I mean women that refer to ALL men as hell-sent gifts from Satan, and believe that women are the ultimate beings and are deserving of all good things in the world. It’s as if they believe they don’t have to work for privilege in the workplace, or they should be allowed to do/wear/say anything they want without repercussion. They are reason that feminism has become such a joke.
And what makes this all sociological is the fact that one person can make any small argument about a topic, and another younger/less-informed individual will hop right on the bandwagon and call him- or herself a feminist without doing the research to learn what the issues are and what every side of every story is. It’s amazing how we act and react to one another and how people can shape our mind so easily.
Really, this post isn’t all about feminism and how much it irritates me nowadays (feminists such as my roommate who make good arguments and know the facts are cool in my book). It’s just that feminism was the first topic that came to my mind when thinking back on social issues in the past year.
However, in my sociology class today–the class is what prompted me to write this–my professor made a brief point about how nothing is human nature, and everything is social construct. Technically, this can be true. He gave examples: from the simple age of three years old, while a girl is rolling around playing and doing what she pleases, perhaps she will roll over in some way that her legs fall open, and her parents will almost immediately go, “Close your legs, that isn’t lady-like.” Or perhaps a boy, as young as the age of two (as proven by personal account of my professor), will begin to cry, and his parents will respond with, “Stop crying, boys aren’t supposed to cry.” And just like that, the child has experienced his or her first attack by society on the child’s personality or preference.
EDIT: The parents are probably saying these things because they have grown up formed by social constructs, so they cannot be blamed directly. Technically this has gone on since the beginning of time.
Also, why is pink automatically considered a girl’s color and blue is considered a boy’s color? According to my professor, pink used to be a color of masculinity, and was worn by men to prove such. And personally, I really like the color blue, and I’m a girl. It’s just another social construct.
Now while we were talking about this, I was sitting and thinking to myself of all of the children that break social norms; for instance, I know of a woman who’s son loves to wear dresses and is a rather feminine child. This was not taught by him, especially seen by the fact that he has two masculine brothers. So where did he learn it? I suppose this could go into biology and search to see if there is something different in the way his mind works, or his genetics are altered compared to his brothers’, or something absurd like that. But personally, I believe that is just human nature. The boy did more or less choose to be this way, but why? That’s the question I want answered, and maybe someday somebody will provide me with that answer.
Seems like sociological studies can be performed on people reacting to/that are LGBTQ individuals, too. This social issue has also become one that we are now hyper-aware of, for various reasons, and there are plenty of different sub-issues within it to study. How people react and why; is there a generation gap between those that are accepting and those that aren’t, and why; what makes those more accepting than those that aren’t, etc.
In my own opinion, it seems that the more sociological studies that are performed, the more questions will be answered regarding social issues, and the faster most of those will be resolved.