Is It Inherently Negative?
My first reaction to Egalia’s Daughters, by Gerd Brantenberg, was something like “ WHAT is this ” . I was instantly really baffled, and had no thought what this writer was composing approximately. In fact, I felt as though I opened the book to the center of a narrative, and became turned off by the whole experience. It took about three chapters, and person’s aid, until I started to read the book intelligibly, with easiness, and began to bask the universe I was come ining. It became really evident that I would hold to detach myself from all that I thought I knew about gender, and merely let myself to take in the message Brantenberg was seeking to convey. Equally shortly as I began to understand what I was reading, I found myself exhaustively engaged by both the narrative and the sociological facets of both the Egalian, and my societies societal buildings of gender. Although I was cognizant, to some grade of the socialisation of gender in our society, holding non taken any women’s rightist or adult females’s surveies classs, I was non familiar with how much gender is ingrained in our civilization, linguistic communication, authorities, individualities, etc. This book genuinely brings Forth those ideals by showing the antonym of what we know in our society to be true refering the socialisation of gender.
Egalia’s Daughters explicitly expresses how genderized our civilization is by showing the antonym of what we know to be true. The book reverses all that we know to be socially acceptable and right for work forces and adult females by change by reversaling those gender functions and making what we know to be masculine as feminine, and what we know to be feminine as masculine. Brantenberg writes about a society where work forces ( she calls them manwim ) take on what we consider to be female functions. They stay in the place, take attention of the childs, are stereotypically inactive, ditsy, subsidiary to adult females, stupid, etc. Whereas adult females in the Egalian society ( she calls them wom ) , make the money, are powerful, dominant, aggressive, autocratic, etc. Wom are looked up to and considered the more powerful sex, and menwom are considered to be vulnerable and weak.
Brantenberg even reverses what our society deems as feminine beauty, and masculinizes it.
“ She had a all right rounded caput and short-cropped black hair that ever stood consecutive up. A consecutive olfactory organ, aggressively defined characteristics, little, piercing pale bluish eyes, a thin determined oral cavity, consecutive shoulders and typical motions. When she moved, she ever did so purposefully and expeditiously. Her voice, which was crisp and penetrating, ever gave the feeling that she knew what she was speaking about, even when she didn? T. That was how a wom ought to be. “ ( 11 ) .
The manner wim frock is besides different than what we know to be true in our society.
“ Besides, she was ever stylishly dressed. A loose brown adventitia and loose-fitting pants. Brown places with thick colloidal suspensions. “ ( 12 ) .
Work force in our society are expected to “ have on the bloomerss, ” ( in more ways than one, ) in Egalia, work forces are considered beautiful if they are short, fat, have long face funguss and a full caput of hair, and have really little phalluss. They are expected to have on streamlined skirts and frocks, adorn themselves with jewellery and accoutrements, and act in diffident and reserved ways.
I was peculiarly interested in the manner Brantenberg shows how improbably masculinized our society is by change by reversaling all of the gendered words to be feminine. For illustration, one calls one’s last name his or her family name ( sirname in England ) nevertheless, in Egalia, it is called your damename. When a boat is cared for or run, in our society it is “ manned, ” in Egalia, it is “ wommed, ” and “ heroes ” are called “ sheroes. ” The list goes on and on. By showing that even our linguistic communication is gendered, consciousness additions to merely how our society ingrains maleness into our civilization and therefore topographic points work forces in places of power.
It was interesting to look at a matriarchal society, and to compare and contrast it to our masculine society, in order to grok how our society is progressively gendered, and how unequal that gender distribution is. For illustration, although the book expressed a matriarchate ( as opposed to our society, which is a patriarchate ) , it helped to show that neither extreme was positive. Although adult females had power, money, and specific rights that they wear? Ts have in our society, work forces were still inferior, considered weaker, missing in intelligence and power, and were all around idea of as “ less than wim. For illustration, because menwom do non hold the power to deliver kids, work forces have a “ strictly low-level map in the really procedure of life? Nature has non equipped him to take charge of life? “ ( 61 ) and are hence low-level to adult females. This political orientation, in fact, merely exacerbates the thought that work forces and adult females in our society will ne’er be equal, or on flat playing degree Fahrenheit
ields with each other, if one is thought to be better or more powerful.
By composing about a civilization that is straight parallel to our civilization, Brantenberg examines the thought of what we know to be feminism ( in Egalia it is masculism ) . She shows how in Egalia menwim had to contend against the societal norms and go perverts in order to hold their voices heard. They tried to re-establish and alteration bing norms of their civilization to go less feminized. “ They ( the menwim ) maintained that one of the motion’s undertakings had to be to halt menwim from experiencing ashamed of the fact that they had a cock. ” ( 162 ) . They asked the inquiry, “ Why was menses a beginning of power when sperm was a beginning of shame? ” ( 168 ) . They did non believe in the “ Natural Order ” , where wim birthed the kids, but menwim reared and cared for them. Brantenberg uses the Women’s Movement as a parallel to analyze the power and forces within the Masculine League. I was particularly interested in the manner she expressed this rebellion as one of aberrance and power. She shows how society deems people in topographic points of power to make the regulations and norms within society.
This reversal of genders was a powerful manner of seeking to explicate how our society creates such an accent on gender and gender functions. When I was first reading, I could non grok how awfully the menwom in Egalia were treated. I had to distance myself from the reading for a spot to understand that, to a certain extent, the degree of inequality between work forces and adult females in our society is every bit bad as it is in Egalia. Although I have heard the statistics many times, ( adult females make $ 0.75 to the dollar that work forces do, etc. ) it is difficult for me to grok the outward inequality that Brantenberg expresses.
Possibly, it is because I was raised in a household where I was ever told that I could make and go anything I wanted, irrespective of my sex. Possibly, it is because I go to a school where that inequality is non perfectly evident. Never the less, I do non, on a day-to-day footing feel as though I am being oppressed because I am a adult female.
However, as I sit here and go on to type, I find myself believing of more and more things in my life that are socially genderized. For illustration, my ma was a stay at place ma until my sister and I were older. She does most of the cookery and cleansing, and caring for, whereas my pa does most of the money devising, and repairing. Although, my ma was ever the autocratic, and my pa was ever the 1 I went to when I wanted to acquire away with something, they both had specific functions and maps within our household construction that were really condusive to what society deems as socially acceptable. Therefore, it can be argued that because I grew up in such an environment, I am socially determined to play into these gender functions and stereotypes. As a miss, I am socially conditioned to make the things that I have seen my ma do, and to move in a similar mode.
I find that my life is besides really socially genderized in footings of my personal relationships. I have really different relationships with work forces and adult females, and treat those relationships otherwise. I find that frequently it is much more work to be friends with misss than with male childs. My female friendly relationships require avowal, self-disclosure, an addition of emotional mercantile establishments, and frequently an extortionate sum of “ play. ” With my cat friends, we can merely hang out, we don? Ts have to vie with each other, and there is, more frequently than non, non about every bit much “ play ” involved. Although these relationships are maps of the societal outlooks and norms of our society, I do non experience oppressed by them. In fact, I am progressively glad that I am able to hold different sorts of friendly relationships.
Another characteristic of my day-to-day being as a adult female is the societal building of gender in the media. Everyday adult females look at magazines, films, telecasting, advertizements, etc. and invariably compare their visual aspect, self-worth, and good being to the images of the adult females that are represented. To some, the reply is acquiring rid of “ Cosmopolitan ” and “ Vogue ” magazine, to others it is self consciousness and apprehension that what is shown is an ideal that is unachievable and pathetic. I think that the reply lies someplace in between, in altering our societal positions and outlooks of adult females in our society. How to travel about that, I have no hint.
As I keep composing, I find that I can show the societal building of gender in my life in a simple phrase: Every facet of my life is socially gendered. The apparels I wear, the people I am attracted to, the emotions I keep, the activities I engage in, the manner I speak, the friendly relationships I have, the life I lead, all of it is wholly genderized. By looking at the antonym of what I know to be true in Egalia’s Daughters, I am able to understand how much our society is surrounded by gender ideals and the societal building of gender. My inquiry is, is the societal building of gender ever a bad thing?