Gender and politics: Sex-typing in politics

Gender and politics

Gender equality is not a new topic in the world today. Everywhere you go, groups or organizations are fighting for gender equality. Looking at statistics, women have played a vital role in the development of different societies. It will, therefore, be a good idea to give women the power to grow. They have much potential to make changes in society.

Economic and political fields are the two major fields where women had been left for long. In this article, we shall be looking at the gendered nature of politics. We want to see how different institution does and should look at gender variations in terms of how people organize, think, and know the world. We shall also consider some changes that have been witnessed in the political realm based on the gender revolution.

Is politics gendered?

We can look at this subject from two dimensions, politics as a real-world occurrence and political science a discipline for academic studies. Both of these aspects are gendered. Every aspect of life seems to have some sense of sex-typing, which is studying the gender-based influence of politics makes sense.

Everyone in the world lives in conditions that are designed and shaped by the identity of a specific sex group. They will look around their space, considering their safety, health, education, work, access to public space, and free expression. Society is shaped by norms and ideas that define how men and women should behave in certain conditions. Some women's activities are seen as acceptable to society and those that men can and should do.

We can describe individual bodies as being male/female, masculine/feminine, and transgender/non-gendered in varying ways as allowed our cultures. Such social practice appears normal and without any problem. Since most are biological, it is impossible to change in the context of society. A more in-depth look, however, far from biological sex, shows something far more complex.

Even so, persistent sex-typing is a characteristic of the modern world. There are gender ties to almost everything. This means, sexual appearance determines who goes hungry and who gets to eat; who is vulnerable to violence and who is not; it tells who gets abused in their homes and who gets the most in intimate relationships.

In the USA, for instance, many vital issues contribute to the partisan divide among political parties. Among them include reproductive rights and same-sex marriages, which are all issues related to gender. Many cultural wars, as they are described, are mostly attributed to which sexual behaviors or intimate characters in men and women are accepted and should be supported by society. Now consider this, that the Philippines is the largest exporter of domestic work while care work brings in more foreign currency than any other section. In Thailand, 2 to 11% of domestic income results from sex work (Lim 1998). The 2008 global economic crises affected different groups in different ways. Women were hit the most as they contribute to the most significant number of state and public sector workers. Men we not hit too, but did not feel the hit as much as women did. This means gender influences the way we organize, think about, and know the world. 

If you think from this perspective, it becomes hard to eliminate political science as being shaped by societal norms of sex and sexuality, the definition and study of politics have broadened beyond those who hold political offices. Political studies now have those in “gender trouble” and new ideas on masculinity and femininity in various contexts. It begins from the house at home to the house in parliament. Gender and politics are two aspects of human development that cannot be separated.

Changes in the political realm

By the 1950s, the majority of legislators in different parts of the world were men. Family law, from property rights to sexual rights, had, therefore, leaned more on their side. There was male dominance in decision-making positions, making it hard to female citizens to get their way. Women could not appear in public, something that was prevalent throughout history.

Over the years, feminist activists and scholars have risen to question and challenge the issues of male domination. They pointed out that such domination unnatural and undesirable. Male dominance always begins from a household, all the up. Similarly, research has shown a long history of polyandry and polygyny. These organizations do not prelude male dominance, but they caution against making gender roles universal.

In many Asian countries, feminist struggles started 60 to 80 years ago. History does not record that similar struggles were taking place in many other regions across the globe. And because of such persistence of women’s activism, the last century has seen major changes in gender-based attitudes and sexuality. They have led to the birth of transformational laws and policies that favor women, tackling such issues as violence against women, family law, and women’s access to leadership position, maternity and parental leave, among many others.

There are many prominent politicians and heads of states who are women. Europe, Africa, Latin American, and other areas the world has seen an increase in female leaders. There have been over 30 known world female leaders, including Hillary Clinton, who has been US secretary of state, Michelle Bachelet, Christina Fernandez de Kirchner, and Dilma Roussef, elected presidents of Chile Argentina and Brazil respectively.

Political science, as a discipline, has also gone through significant transformations. More doors are open for women who are actively involved in political studies. Figures from 2002 show the US has 35% of assistant professors as women. Different political scientists have also been identified, making significant contributions to political development.

 Despite these changes, both politics and political science are dominated by men, even to-date. By November 201, the lower house had only 20% women representation. Men lead most international businesses. A woman dies in childbirth every minute. Women constitute more than 50% of the world population, yet they make up the majority of the world's poor and illiteracy. Scholars for gender and politics argue that this dominance is complex. It will be adding a burden to women is we challenged this domination. However, feminist movements have managed to create awareness of gender equalityGender and politics, which has had great success. 

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1034 Words

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Mar 27, 2020

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3 Pages

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