Essay on Gender And Communication

This essay has a total of 848 words and 4 pages.

Gender And Communication


In response to what we have discussed thus far in Interpersonal Communication, I would
like to further explore the idea of gender in the interpersonal communication arena. As
was said in class, "gender influences cultural perspectives." Gender also influences how
we view ourselves in society. On the flip side, I've seen how society can mold the way we
label ourselves in terms of gender.

The well-known concepts of masculinity and femininity run rampant in our society. We live
in a world where men are told to be masculine, women are told to be feminine and those who
do not do as they are told, will suffer the societal consequences.

The philosophy of masculinity supports the idea that men must be strong. They must show
very little emotion, have a career and ultimately be a "breadwinner." Men must be muscular
and protect the "weaker" sex from harm. Though many of these traits are wonderful to have,
realistically speaking, very few men will ever possess enough masculinity to feel worthy
of being a man in our society. This truth leaves most men chasing an illusory goal of
attaining a masculine identity. Most men will take every opportunity to show their
masculinity and to declare to the world that they are indeed a "real" man. This fact is
evident when men gather in a bar. The beer's going down, testosterone is pumping through
the veins, and the motto is, "I ain't takin' nothin' from nobody." Most males are looking
for a brawl and are looking to solidify their masculine place in the world. Inevitably a
fight ensues, people get hurt, and the goal is accomplished. Well, at least for a day or
two.

Society would like all women to be feminine. That is to say, society would like all women
to render themselves as weak, non-assertive, helpless, male-needing beings. Women are told
to act lady-like at all times. This means not arguing, not standing up for themselves and
obeying men at all times. The feminine guidelines are seemingly endless and to live a
feminine lifestyle is exhausting for most women. It is not accepted for women to spit or
belch, whereas for a male these acts are second nature. A fabulous example of manifested
pure femininity is the Barbie Doll. Barbie is a homemaker, with a thin body dressed in
pink. Barbie is seen as the perfect women and manifests in physical form in every issue of
Playboy magazine. Most women are chasing an illusory goal of total femininity, while at
the same time searching for complete societal acceptance.

Very few people emit all masculine or all feminine behavior. Most people of our society
integrate both feminine and masculine characteristics within their beings. The integration
of both masculinity and femininity is known as androgyny. Is has become more and more
accepted to be androgynous, yet few people obtain a perfect balance between masculinity
and femininity. The unspoken societal rule about gender is, if one is male, one must show
more masculine traits than feminine traits, or else risk the chance of being labeled a
"pussy" or a "faggot." The same is true for women. If women present themselves in an
overly masculine manner, they take the risk of being labeled a "butch" or a "dyke." The
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