Pros and Cons of Gender Quotas Essay

Pros and Cons of Gender Quotas Essay.

There has been a considerable improvement of female representation in many areas of life in the past century: in “2012, women took home more than a third of the medals” awarded at the London Olympics, but more importantly, “the percentage of women on the boards of the 100 largest companies has risen over the past year to a record of 15. 6%. And in the last six months, 35% of new board appointments to FTSE 250 companies have been women” (Braund).

Many countries, led by Norway, have promoted female representation by implementing gender quotas for corporate boards and they do so because gender quotas increase diversity in the workplace and with increased diversity comes many derivative benefits.

Increased diversity by itself is a tremendous benefit; “it is in conformity with the notions of equality and representation” (Bilkisu).

By increasing diversity on corporate boards, we can “give speedy increase in women’s representation [and] guarantee ‘equality of results’ for women and men aspirants” and, in doing so, support the concepts of freedom and liberty that this country was found upon (Bilkisu).

Furthermore, not only do gender quotas promote democracy through increased diversity, they also help to defeat the tendencies of groups composed of similar individuals.

Corporate boards with members that “have similar backgrounds and have been through similar socialization are more likely than not to share views and presumptions and [are] less likely to engage in vigorous discussion and to challenge management” (Gratton). Sharing views and presumptions and the reluctance to debate amongst one another results in groupthink, in which group members try to minimize conflict by reaching consensus and therefore create an atmosphere of decreased creativity, uniqueness, and independent thinking.

This scenario often exists in all male or majority male corporate boards because “they tend towards ‘the risky shift’ which results in them colluding with each other [and] also lack the diverse networks that are so crucial to effective information search and decision making” (Gratton). Diversity promoted by gender quotas “can provide a wider range of opinion, experience and networking but also can help prevent groupthink that can hinder innovation” (Dong-youb). By introducing more women, businesses can reate an environment that stifles groupthink tendencies and allows for a larger variety of ideas and opinions to be shared.

Introducing more women to corporate boards through gender quotas can help the business “better understand the needs of diverse customers and workers” and with the increasing globalization of the world’s economy, the customer base and work force for businesses are in fact becoming more diverse (Dong-youb). A better understanding of this increasingly diverse group of people allows the business to service their markets properly and enjoy continued profitability.

Additionally, “women appear to be gradually taking control of the economy… women control about 70 percent of household spending” and with women making more of the economic decisions, the need for more women on corporate boards becomes even more glaringly apparent (Bart). Especially “in the consumer sector [where] the products and services… are mainly bought by women,” it is obvious that appointing more women to corporate boards would support the increasing number of female consumers by promoting their interests in business decisions (Gratton).

Companies that choose to ignore this shift in society would be wasting the ample amount of talent that exists already, as well as passing up the “estimated economic benefits and boost to productivity of increasing female participation in the workforce… at 11 percent of gross domestic product” (Coonan). “Diversity at the board-level also provides role models at the top of the corporate ladder that encourage aspiring younger employees with non-traditional qualifications or backgrounds” (Dong-youb).

There have been an increasing number of women enrolling in higher education in proportion to men and an increase in the number of women on corporate boards would provide those young aspiring women with a role model. However, despite all the benefits that implementing gender quotas could have, there has not been as much change on the makeup of corporate boards as would be expected and there is a group of people that “are becoming frustrated by a lack of progress in this area and simply want quotas… as a catalyst to disrupt the inertia and stimulate affirmative action” (Jury).

Cons of Gender Quotas While there are many people who see the benefits of gender quotas on corporate boards and strongly support the implementation of such, there are also people who view a gender quota as “wrong in principle, has difficulties in practice, is tokenistic and is counterproductive to the end goal” (Jury). Much of the view that gender quotas are not the solution to the lack of diversity on corporate boards can be contributed to the belief that “the fundamental criteria for a board appointment must be talent and appropriateness” and this belief is shared by both businesses and the women that businesses employ (Gratton).

Everyone prefers to be chosen for certain positions based on merit as opposed to being picked for other reasons, since being chosen based on merit acknowledges strengths and dismisses any accusations of preferential treatment, especially when selection processes are transparent. Women facing minority representation on corporate boards are especially adamant that they “don’t want to go on a board as a token gesture[, they] want to be there because it’s meritorious” (McFarland).

Women, just like men, want to be recognized for their skills and achievements and not their appearance or gender; “no woman wants to be a token female[,] yet the recent call for quotas of women in the boardroom runs the risk of achieving exactly that” (Mantzarapis). Implementing a gender quota for corporate boards can affect the dynamics of the workplace negatively by promoting the perception that women are only being appointed onto boards due to gender and not ability.

These assumptions and questions concerning the reasons behind the promotion of women all contribute to “undermin[ing] her ability from the start and may make it more difficult for her to prove herself” (Mantzarapis). Even if the company openly claims that its decisions are based only on merit and not gender, the existence of gender quotas alone causes questions to be asked about the reasons behind a promotion or appointment no matter what the real reasons are.

Since a quota system based on gender would undermine the merits of those females who would be appointed to corporate boards, those against gender quotas believe “it would be an insult to women and a great disservice to companies if women are appointed to fill quotas… as standards will inevitably be compromised when an arbitrary numerical target is set against an unrealistic timeline” (Khoo).

Pros and Cons of Gender Quotas Essay

Gender Inequality and Discrimination Essay

Gender Inequality and Discrimination Essay.

The working environment in the United States is still not free of gender discrimination. There are still many cases of arbitrary discrimination that come to the attention of the public, such as Chrapliwy v. Uniroyal. The court case challenged the system of Uniroyal Inc. (a rubber company), which employed mostly female workers in their footwear production division, while males dominated the other lines. This segregation is arbitrary gender discrimination, for there is no biological reason as to why women are more suited to working with footwear as opposed to men.

Furthermore, there is an inequality in pay rate between men and women. In an article about gender differences, Time Magazine found that for every dollar a man makes at a certain job, a woman makes only $0.79 at the same job. This may be filed under arbitrary discrimination, for the benefits of this position are brought about by irrational decision-making.

The question of gender should have nothing to do with the pay rate in cases that deal with the same employment opportunity.

Sex discrimination is commonly defined as the “arbitrary or irrational use of gender in the awarding of benefits or positions”. In other words, even when a job does not relate to gender roles, the employer chooses to consider gender when hiring employees. For example, the job of a teacher is very gender-neutral; the job skills do not require anything special that only one sex provides. A construction worker, on the other hand, must be physically strong, and in this case, generally speaking more men are suited for this role. If a school principal were to hire a new teacher (from an applicant pool of both men and women) based solely on the fact that he doesn’t want to hire a woman, this is an example of arbitrary discrimination. The logic behind the decision is irrational, for the woman may be more qualified than the man, but the benefits are not awarded to her only because of her gender. Kymlicka goes on to describe gender inequalities: these are already built-into jobs and positions so that women are at a disadvantage.

Men have defined job roles and thus have made it more difficult for women to be suited for these roles. The most common example is of jobs that require the employee to be free from childcare. This means that the employee is not the primary, full-time childcare provider. For example, lawyers work full-time, which is near impossible with young children to take care of. The raising of a child in itself is a full-time responsibility, so it is difficult to balance with a demanding career. In this case, Kymlicka would argue that men would naturally be more suited to the job of a lawyer because men have structured this job “in such a way as to make [it] incompatible with child-bearing and child-rearing, and which does not provide economic compensation for domestic labor”. In other words, because society views childrearing as the female’s role, and childrearing requires much time and attention, a lawyer is a male-suited role because it requires much time, which males have.

Although Will Kymlicka gives a good analysis of the gender discrimination and inequalities that happen in today’s society, his solution is not enough to answer the broader political and psychological question that society faces. Kymlicka argues, “Since the problem is domination, the solution is not only the absence of discrimination but the presence of power”. He says that if women could have the power to redefine the existing job roles (or if they would have had the power to define the job roles when they were created), “we would not have created a system of social roles that defines ‘male’ jobs as superior to ‘female’ jobs”. I believe that the real issue is not how women can redefine pre-existing jobs so that gender inequality is abolished; but rather, how can society change its prejudices towards the role of women through the restructuring of laws and policy implementation?

Instead of changing job characteristics so that they become gender-neutral, society should look at men and women as equals so that women have an equal chance at fitting the demanding roles that have already been established. One can start by looking at a doctor as an example of a male-defined profession that is arguably becoming female-dominated. To become a doctor, much education is needed, and when this job was created, only men had the ability to get this higher education. The first woman to graduate from medical school (Elizabeth Blackwell) did so in 1849: much later than the men who graduated from the University of Pennsylvania Medical School in 1765. Now that the admissions gender ratio of medical schools are about even, this has ceased to be a “male” job; rather, it is gender neutral. On the other hand, the career of an attorney still has a major discrepancy between the sexes. Even though 49% of law school graduates are female, they only make up 27% of licensed lawyers in the country. Obviously, the access to education is equal, and so does not contribute to the male dominance of this field. On the contrary, this job is male-suited because of the limitations that it poses for women who wish to have children.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the position of attorney is extremely time-demanding: lawyers are forced to work irregular hours, weekends, with 33% working over 50 hours per week. How can this job be redefined so as to allow more women to be competitive in the job market? Kymlicka would suggest that women be empowered to redefine the position to suit them better—this would mean redefining the position by not working as many hours. If it can be done, it will be difficult. The alternative to this solution is to go to the source of the problem: the gender roles that society already holds. Women are usually the primary source of childcare; this means that their employment opportunities are severely limited to those jobs that have flexible hours in which they could balance domestic and public/private sector work—jobs unlike that of a lawyer. If society would be more accepting of males being the primary caregiver for children, the number of males who either stay at home or take on less-demanding occupations would displace the high number of women who already fill this role.

The women who would enter the job market would then be on equal terms with their male counterparts seeking the same demanding jobs. If society would view the two genders as equal for child rearing (e.g. women are not the majority of primary caretakers), there are still complications that arise from the roles, which are deterrents for women. For instance, even if the woman is not the primary caretaker of the child after pregnancy, this does not make up for the fact that there is still a period where she is unable to work due to pregnancy. In other words, the role of mother and father can never be fully equal because the mother has the extra responsibility of carrying the baby to term. However, if the social roles for each gender were to be equal, viewing paternity leave as mandatory could solve this problem. According to the Newborns’ and Mothers’ Health Protection Act of 1996, health plans must pay for at least 48-hour (vaginal) or 96-hour (caesarean) hospital stay after childbirth.

This means that at the minimum, a woman should take two days off for maternity leave to recover, if nothing else. Although a man does not need to physically recuperate from childbirth or pregnancy, he is still a parent of the child and should be viewed with equal consideration when dealing with childcare issues. By making paternity leave mandatory, employers could no longer discriminate between the sexes by accounting for the time lost due to pregnancy. This would not be a difficult policy to implement, considering 71% of fathers took advantage of paternity leave in 2007. To expand on the idea that the roles of the sexes cannot be equal in every aspect: mothers who choose to breastfeed are at a disadvantage, for they will likely take more days for maternity leave. Under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), a woman can take up to 12 weeks off of work. This option serves as a reason why an employer may not hire a woman, even if the social roles of men and women were equal.

However, this can be easily fixed by creating an incentive for women to choose to formula-feed or to pump their breast milk—this would make it so that they could return to work as soon as a man would. The FMLA states that although maternity and paternity leaves are unpaid, health benefits still apply. These health benefits could extend to partially cover the cost of formula or a pump. Baby formula is very costly because of the quantity that is needed, and breast pumps and bags can range from $20 to over $200 (depending if it is manual or electric). By making alternative options to breastfeeding more accessible, women need not take more time off than men, and so gender inequality is invalid. Furthermore, even if society views gender roles equally, this does not account for the fact that the majority of men are physically superior to the majority of women when it comes to manual labor.

Looking at any construction or shipping sites, one will find that if not entirely composed of men, almost all employees are male. Obviously, if the job is physically demanding and the male sex is the most equipped at handling physically demanding jobs, females will very rarely be more qualified for the job than a male applicant. This can be remedied by the use of technology. In today’s society, much manual labor can be handled my machines that are designed to lift even more than a human being can. These machines need not be operated by those physically superior. If we take manual labor out of the equation by adding technology, both sexes would have an equal opportunity at the job; this is considering the fact that neither sex is inferior in controlling technology. It is here where society can put aside sexual differences and instead become “sex-blind”.

A sex-blind society is one that does not take into account gender for the awarding of benefits through employment, opportunities, etc. There are many instances in which it would be helpful to have a sex-blind society, but there are some instances where different treatment of the sexes is justified. Kymlicka brings up the example of sex-segregated washrooms. These would not be considered discriminatory because the physical difference between the sexes calls for different treatment. Still, these instances are so rare and are so well justified that they should not interfere with the important notion of the sex-blind society. By eliminating the need for discrimination in manual labor due to physical differences through the implementation of technology, society can successfully become sex-blind and thus end gender discrimination.

So to answer the question of how to change society’s prejudices towards the role of women, it is obvious that if minor changes are made to these demanding jobs, they can be viewed as gender-neutral. This in turn will allow more women to compete against men for a variety of jobs. Instead of redefining job roles, society must redefine gender roles through the lens of childrearing; this is so that jobs that are now limited to those individuals without the responsibility of childcare may become more gender-diverse in competition. Today’s society has all the resources needed to implement these changes—it’s just a matter of time until they are enacted in policies and eventually shift gender relations and stereotypes in favor of gender equality.

Works Cited
Armour, Stephanie. “Workplace tensions rise as dads seek family time.” USA Today, December 11, 2007. Accessed May 9, 2011. “Chrapliwy v. Uniroyal.” Wikipedia. Accessed May 9, 2011. Last modified February 22, 2011. Cloud, John. “If Women Were More Like Men: Why Females Earn Less.” Time Magazine. Accessed May 9, 2011. Last modified October 3, 2008.,8599,1847194,00.html.

Kymlicka, Will. Sexual Equality and Discrimination: Difference vs. Dominance. 1990. In Morality and Moral Controversies: Readings in Moral, Social, and Political Philosophy, edited by John Arthur and Steven Scalet, 572-575. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2009. “Leave Benefits: Family & Medical Leave.” US Department of Labor. Accessed May 9, 2011. Lewis, Jone Johnson. “Elizabeth Blackwell: First Woman Physician.” About: Women’s History. Accessed May 9, 2011. Lloyd, Mark Frazier. “The University of Pennsylvania: America’s First University.” University Archives and Records Center University of Pennsylvania. Accessed May 9, 2011. Last modified November 1999. “Newborns’ and Mothers’ Health Protection Act.” US Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration. Accessed May 9, 2011. “Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Edition, Lawyers.” Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. Accessed May 9, 2011. Last modified December 17, 2009. Werner, Wendy. “Where Have the Women Attorneys Gone? .” Law Practice Today. Accessed May 9, 2011. Last modified May 2004.

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Gender Inequality and Discrimination Essay

Gender Bias Essay

Gender Bias Essay.

The concept of equality is regarded as an inalienable human right that should be enjoyed by all individuals regardless of their gender, race, religion, and other differential factors (United Nations, 2009). However, it is clearly seen that this is not practiced in the society that exists today. Discrimination still persists and this is greatly exemplified by the inequality that is based on gender differences. It is undeniable that women are still placed in a disadvantageous or inferior position as compared with their male counterparts.

There are indeed substantial changes that have taken place in the past that made the situation of women better than before. Nevertheless, it is still obvious that there are still many changes that should be made before women can achieve the real essence of equality that they rightfully deserve. The discriminatory practices against women can be rooted back in the early history of the world wherein philosophers are still trying to make sense in the world that human beings live in.

Even in the past, women have already been seen as inferior to men and this is evidently proven in the development of language.

According to Becky Michele Mulvaney, the author of the article entitled “Gender Differences in Communication: An Intercultural Experience,” gender is both an influence of and a product of communication. In line with this, she pointed out how the idea of gender is first learned by an individual through talking with other people. A person could see the difference between the language that is used by girls and is often characterized by qualifiers and fillers to soften their message.

There are words that are acceptable if used by a boy but not by a girl. Moreover, famous philosophers also focused on the image of an active male that makes a female as mere a supporting character. This is exemplified by Plato who defined women as “lesser men” and Aristotle who said that women are “a deformity, a misbegotten male;” as well as St Thomas Aquinas who argues that women should not have been created by God (Mulvaney, 2004). In the same manner, discriminatory practices against women still continue up to this present time.

The patriarchal influences of key personalities in history and the general perspective of the people before, that women are inferior to men established a societal thinking that further propagated this view. Despite the improvements in the status of women in the society, it is evident that they are still perceived as second class citizens. This is proven in the professional lives of women wherein there are still biases and discrimination practiced against them because of their gender.

Even though there are women that are already working in industries that are previously dominated by males, there is still an observable discrepancy that shows that a large number of men are in the working force. Furthermore, women are also having difficulties climbing the professional ladder of success because they are not given a fair consideration because of their gender even if they have the same capabilities sometimes even better skills than their male contenders (Farough, 2005).

Being the case, it can be said that the inequality experienced by women is often not in terms of their age, race, or religion even though these factors are often intertwined. The inequality that they have to go through especially in their jobs is brought about by the social construct that women are inferior to men. The society, the one that is responsible for creating this concept, should also be the one responsible to deconstruct the notion of gender inequality.

In order to do so, it entails using approach that deals with the cooperation and collaboration of people regardless of their genders. The Feminist/Sociological approach entails that people should work toward deconstructing this gender bias especially the males, and should realize that there are more disadvantageous effects if this inequality persists as compared with the privilege that they get from it (Farough, n. d. ).

Furthermore, gender inequality could also be addressed through the proper use of language and communication. People should realize that language and communication are also intercultural factors wherein diversity should be accepted because there of the inherent differences between males and females (Mulvaney, 2004). However, it should be remembered that these differences should not render one gender inferior than the other. References Farough, S. (2005). The Negative Consequences of Male Privilege.

In Understanding and anaging Diversity: Readings, Cases, & Exercises. 3rd edition. (Chapter 21). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall. Mulvaney, B. M. (2004) Gender Differences in Communication: An Intercultural Experience. In International Communication: A Global Reader. (pp. 221-229). United States: SAGE Publications. United Nations. (2009). The Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Retrieved January 13, 2008, from http://www. un. org/Overview/rights. html.

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Gender Bias Essay

As Nature Made Him: Nature vs. Nurture Essay

As Nature Made Him: Nature vs. Nurture Essay.

The argument over nature vs. nurture has continued to torture society by presenting cases in which we simply don’t know which rules to apply. One of these cases is sex change. Sex change is a very big step to take in a person’s life and it involves the careful consideration of many factors; but it is not a simple answer to a complex problem such as hermaphroditism or even blotched circumcisions. These choices can be difficult because we don’t quite understand which factors to consider given that we haven’t determined whether it is nature or nurture that determines a child’s sexual identity.

Until we solve this riddle, people shouldn’t try to change a child’s sex before the child can decipher his or her own sexual identity. Nature will solve the problem without human interference. Over the years, sex change in infants with ambiguous or deformed genitals has become more and more popular. Often times, however, the child is unhappy with his/her sexual assignment.

Colapinto writes, “…Dr. Harry Benjamin himself, who had recently reported that in forty-seven out of eighty-seen of his patients, he ‘could find no evidence that childhood conditioning’ was involved in their conviction that they were living in the wrong sex” (Colapinto 45).

This suggests that nature rather than nurture is the underlying factor of sexual identity. Dr. John Money, a doctor at John Hopkins Hospital, was the head doctor of the world famous John/Joan “twin case. ” His theories at the time seemed to be very intelligently thought out at the time, but have now been proven otherwise, explaining why his conduction of the “twin case” was unsuccessful. John Colapinto explains that Dr.

Money realized in his research on hermaphroditical children, “the ones that were raised as girls were happy girls, and the ones raised as boys were happy boys… It seemed to suggest to him that hermaphrodites were born malleable in their sex” (Youtube). However, Money was too quick to generalize this observation to everyone, rather than only. Although the gravely unsuccessful twin case was and is brought up a lot in the debate concerning nature vs. nurture, there are still scientists who believe that it is nurture rather than nature that determines sexual identity.

These scientists still have hope that there may be an answer to the mystery of sexual identity. Jonis Portfolio says on gender, “It is an intricate balance between hormones, brain function, attitudes, behaviors, and social expectations” (Jonis Portfolio). Colapinto as well as the authors of Jonis Portfolio mention how “vehemently was “she” determined to live in the sex of her genes and chromosomes” (Colapinto 72). Children who are born normally, but have been sexually reassigned, usually present behaviors that resemble the sex written in their genetic code.

The few exceptions remain outliers. Once scientists started to poke holes in Dr. Money’s theories, they realized how unreasonable it was to try to sexually reassign a children who were already destined by nature to be a certain gender. Jonis says, “Gender identification is a complex issue” (Jonis Portfolio). Scientists try too hard to try to find a solution to this problem that they are too quick to draw conclusions and make decisions. Colapinto writes that the “New York Times book review on Man vs. Woman Boy vs.

Girl said the book’s argument was ‘If you tell a boy he is a girl, and raise him as one, he will want to do feminine things’” (Colapinto 70). Man vs. Woman Boy vs. Girl is a book written by Dr. Money. Money drew so many false conclusions in his work that his theories were unreliable. However, he was such a respected figure in the science world that even his most outlandish views were supported by many. This is how his theories came to be so widely accepted. We know now, however, that he was pretty far off the mark in his line of research.

We know now that gender assignment should be left to nature, rather than nurture, especially was no problem with the natural gender to begin with. Too often, children have been burdened with the task of finding themselves, i. e. discovering their sexual identity. If doctors and scientists continue to complicate children’s lives by attempting to change who these children were destined to be, they will definitely start to lose themselves. This is ultimately what happened in the John/Joan case where David Reimer, which was John/Joan’s real name, when he took his own life.

Nurture may be a factor in sexual identity, but research suggests that nature is an even stronger factor. Scientists and doctors shouldn’t interfere with nature because all in all, this single factor will shine through the cracks. Bibliography Colapinto, John. As Nature Made Him: The Boy Who Was Raised as a Girl. New York: HarperCollins, 2000. Print. As Nature Made Him by John Colapinto was published in 2000 to give readers a full understanding of the John/Joan twin case in which a biologically born male was sexually reassigned a girl due to a blotched circumcision.

Colapinto describes in great detail all aspects of the case and how horribly wrong it went. He does elaborate research and uses interviews from direct sources in order to explain the case coherently for readers. This book is the main source for this essay as it describes so vehemently the case from all angles. It argues mainly how nature over nurture is the main factor in determining sexual identity. “Jonisportfolio – Sexual Reassignment and Gender Roles Nature VS Nurture. ” Jonisportfolio – Sexual Reassignment and Gender Roles Nature VS Nurture. N. p. , n.d.

Web. 01 Oct. 2013. . This portfolio was published online by Jonis Portfolio to recognize and argue the issue of nature vs. nurture and its concern with sexual identity. It describes many cases where biologically born males who were raised as females so vehemently were determined to be males. It describes nature as a leading factor over nurture for determining sexual identity. It’s helpful to this essay because it presents some major arguments concerning the matter of nature vs. nurture. It even describes the John/Joan case and what happened there. YouTube.

Prod. Allan Gregg. Perf. Allan Gregg and John Colapinto. YouTube. YouTube, 04 June 2012. Web. 01 Oct. 2013. . This video is an interview with John Colapinto done by Allan Gregg. Colapinto is the writer of As Nature Made Him and in this interview he is describing to viewers the twin case, or the John/Joan case. David Reimer, John/Joan himself, couldn’t do the interview because unfortunately he took his own life in 2002. This source is helpful because it is a short recap of the book and viewers may understand it better than they would while reading about it.

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As Nature Made Him: Nature vs. Nurture Essay

Speed Dating Essay

Speed Dating Essay.

Men and women are rotated to meet each other over a series of short “dates”, usually lasting from 3 to 8 minutes depending on the organization running the event. At the end of each interval, the organizer rings a bell, clinks a glass, or blows a whistle to signal the participants to move on to the next date. At the end of the event participants submit to the organizers a list of who they would like to provide their contact information to. If there is a match, contact information is forwarded to both parties.

Contact information cannot be traded during the initial meeting, in order to reduce pressure to accept or reject a suitor to his or her face. These events typically require advance registration, often an online prepayment by credit card. However, they may accept a few walk-ins when needed to balance the gender ratio. Some services make use of wait lists when signing up to strive for exactly the same number of men and women, while others have a more “party” atmosphere and only aim for an approximately matching number.

There are many speed dating events now in the United Kingdom, Canada, and the United States. Many of these simply specify an age range for ladies and gentlemen; sometimes a slightly older range is specified for men. On the other hand, many organizers offer niche events such as nights for graduates only, gays and lesbians, older men with younger women and vice versa, book lovers, ethnic events, and religious affiliation such as Christian speed dating.

Speed Dating Essay

Cusick and Her Lesbian Relationship with Music Essay

Cusick and Her Lesbian Relationship with Music Essay.

In the essay “On a Lesbian Relationship with Music: A Serious Effort Not to Think Straight” by Suzanne G. Cusick, she brings up an interesting topic about the connection between her being a lesbian and her being a musician, a musicologist, if there exists any.

I’m especially interested in the “power system” and the link between musicality and lesbianism she mentions in this article. Here, I’ll try to analysis them in detail and relate them with other issues in music and sexuality, exploring them in a more general picture.

Cusick redefines the concept of sexuality in her essay, as the way of “expressing and/or enacting relationships of intimacy through physical pleasure shared, accepted, or given.” According to her, this process of expressing and enacting can also be found in our musical activities, where the circulation of physical pleasure can be experienced as well. Thus, she says that our musicalities and our sexualities are “psychically next-door neighbors.” (70) I need to claim that this idea of her amazes me.

From my previous musical experience, I’m pretty sure that music is a subject highly intimate for me.

For instance, I usually have reluctance when I’m asked to sing or perform a song written by myself, even if I think it is a brilliant one. And this won’t happen if the song is someone else’s. In my opinion, music, especially my own music which I’m personally attached to, is an expression of my true self, and that identity and personal characteristics contained in it makes it so special that I won’t be willing to share it with others, unless it’s someone really close to me. Another fact that I think will support Cusick’s idea is that different people always have different opinions towards the same piece of music. No matter how the composer perceives it, the listener usually has the tendency to relate it to his/her own personal experiences, which differ from person to person. It is reasonable to think that music is a symbol of someone’s personalities and characteristics, because of the intimacy the music creates.

Therefore, I believe that there exists a connection between the musicality and the sexuality of a certain person, since both of them are revelations of his/her true identity, and we can examine our own behaviors on both of them. In other words, these two factors are connected because of the person who they belong to, and they are contained in the system of his/her perspectives. Cusick also explains in her article what does it mean to be a “lesbian” and how to define sexuality, which are essential questions if we want to relate it to music. From her point of view, the essence of one’s sexuality and the element of all relationships is the power system. An example that can explain this is what musicologists say about the masculinity in Beethoven. In Susan McClary’s opinion, there exist musical constructions of gender and sexuality.

She regards the field of music and musicology as male-dominated, since the masculine norm and the distinction between genders are deeply rooted in music, such as masculine and feminine cadences, rhythms, gendered major and minor triads, etc. (7) She also analyzes Beethoven’s music, which to her contains “pounding”, “thrusting” gestures that represent masculinity. (75) On the contrary, in Sanna Pederson’s article “Beethoven and Masculinity,” she redefines the concept of masculinity and the link between it with Beethoven. She states that we can find an alternative approach, arguing that we regard Beethoven as symbol of masculinity because of the overwhelming idea that viewing woman as “as unchanging, eternal essence, as the opposite of the dynamically striving and achieving man.” (326) Matthew Head also approaches this from another perspective by examining the heroic in Beethoven’s works, finding many cross-dressed heroines. (132) It’s notable that although there is importance put on female characters, women usually need to conceal their sexuality and transgress the gendered norms in order to serve as the epitomes in the aesthetic sphere.

This shows that, no matter what kind of connection there exists between Beethoven and masculinity, there does exist a power system that emphasis on the inequality between men and women, where women as less – worth less, power less – man, in both our society and in music. Whichever argument we believe, we should admit the extensive presence of the power system in our society, and in practice, it can be found both in music and in many relationships between people, especially heterosexual ones. The most significant point of view of her in this essay, I think, is that she believes being a lesbian is an escape from this power system: As a woman, as a non-dominating and non-power woman who loves another woman in her relationship, the flow of power can exist in both directions, as opposed to a heterosexual relationship where a man typically plays the dominating and powerful part.

And Cusick believes that this is the beauty of a lesbian relationship: it’s about “organizing the force field of power, pleasure, and intimacy that refuses the simple binary opposition male and female”. The lack of opposition creates a world that scrambles the usual components of “man” and “woman”, and a world “free of fixed categories.” (73) This reminds me of the documentary “Paris is Burning”, which stunned me with its idea of celebrations of a powerful expression of personalities, without any restriction of boundaries. There, what matters is the personal prides, which are fully showed in the “drag nights” in New York. Cusick further explains the elements in a lesbian relationship as the “power/pleasure/intimacy” triad. (71) From my understanding, this is indeed an appropriate way to observe a relationship.

As I mentioned before, power is an important factor that circulates within the relationship. What’s more, pleasure and intimacy are objectives that we usually want to achieve when we are involved someone we love, and thus they are essential bolsters of a relationship. As Cusick says, this triad can be experienced more freely in lesbian relationships, because without the power flowing only in one direction, the equality and balance between the two lovers can give them more intimacy and pleasure, both physically and psychically, from their relationship. Hence, in Cusick’s article, being a lesbian is not merely a sexual orientation; it is also the way one prefers to behave, to organize the relationship to the world in a “power/pleasure/intimacy” triad. It’s a way of refusing, breaking, and creating, and to cope with the world in a way that she prefers. And these behaviors can also be detected in a person’s musicality, which is also built in his/her identity.

More interestingly, Cusick talks about the “lesbian relationship” she has with music. She treats music as a woman, and a woman that can be a lover, and also the beloved – as in a lesbian relationship where the power circulates both ways and cross without boundaries. (78) In the article “Musicality, Essentialism, and the Closet” written by Philip Brett, he also discusses music be perceived as feminine. Brett says that in history, music has often been considered a dangerous substance, “an agent of moral ambiguity always in dander of bestowing deviant status upon its practitioners.” (11) By describing music as a woman that “ravish” our sense or our soul, people from the medieval and early modern times let us see how close music and sexuality can be. This also makes Cusick’s treating music as a female lover more sensible.

Another idea of her that interests me is that she thinks her choice of music can reflects her sexuality. She says that her love for hidden relationships and the tension between the ostensible structure, which represents the tension between a social norm and “a very high degree of eccentricity,” suggests her escape from the power system. Also, she dis-prefers music hat upset this power equilibrium. (77) She explains this by saying that her “lesbian self” let her prefer certain kinds of music and reject some other kinds. This makes me think about in general, how people’s choices of music reflect their sexuality and identity, and to what degree. I agree that the choices of music can reflect that person’s personality to some extent, but I also believe that the music he/she listens can shape that person into the qualities and personalities that the music wants him/her to have. The same as Cusick’s relationship with her music, there is a counter-influence here as well.

Rentfrow and Gosling found in their research that people’s music preferences are related to a wide array of personality dimensions and self-views. If the links between music preferences and personality do exist, we can easily infer that our choices of music reflect our identity, which also links to our sexuality. Besides, we can always see the influences of music on people. It has been shown by Frederick H. Martens that music exerts its collective influence in the course of history. He also says that as an individual influence, music is one of the factors in the life of kings and rulers, which also “has exerted a more or less direct influence on the destinies of countries and peoples.” We can see clearly from his article that music can significantly affect one’s views and thoughts on this world, therefore it is an important element in directing people’s personality and characteristics.

Hence, the relationship between a person and the music he/she listens is a mutual one. People’s preference of music decides the music they choose, and what they choose can reversely change them as well, directing them into the qualities that can be defined through that music. This can also illustrate Cusick’s point that her relationship with music is about the power dynamic that circulates both ways between music and her, and this relationship highly resembles the one between lesbian lovers. Thus, the link between music and sexuality is obvious. Furthermore, I’m wondering about how the connection between identity and sexuality works in other subjects and fields of study. Cusick says in her article that she does not address the texts of music because she thinks that they tend to trick us into staying in a “power-over paradigm that is mighty close to the regime of compulsory heterosexuality.”

Personally, I don’t entirely agree with her on this. In my opinion, other subjects such as literature and art can also illustrate one’s identity, thus they can represent people’s qualities through the ““power/pleasure/intimacy” triad as well, and so does texts in music . The reason why Cusick thinks that focusing on texts can deviates us is that her love and professional interests in music leave her only looking at music as an intimate lover. But for people from other fields and domains, their subjects can be treated as lovers and beloved as well. For example, it is reasonable to imagine a poet feels extreme intimacy in his relationship with poems. Cusick mentioned by herself in the notes that she can also find tremendous joy from cooking, and she loves to peel fruits and vegetables without a knife, because she believes it will create wholly pleasurable experiences. (83)

I would not say Cusick is also in love with vegetables, but what she says can suggest that pleasure and intimacy do not solely exist between people and music. As Pygmalion can fall in love with the statue he carved, why can’t a songwriter build a romantic tie with the texts of music he wrote? In other words, as long as we have passion, the relationship between people and his/her subject of study can be developed in any area, within which we can find its connection with sexuality.

This essay of Cusick is not very long, but the notions it contains, I believe, are really valuable sources of thoughts if we want to explore the relationship between music and sexuality, especially when we want to discover it from a perspective about our own identity and personal characteristics. Cusick has nicely shown that the boundary between music and sex can be a blurred one, where both are means of negotiating power and intimacy through the circulation of pleasure. Here, the most important is the people that involves both with music and with sex, intimately experiencing them and wholly mingling with them. As Cusick says, what really matters is neither music nor sex, but “the transcendent joy of being alive, not dead, and aware of the existence.” (69)

Works Cited:

Brett, Philip, Elizabeth Wood, and Gary Thomas. Queering the Pitch : the New Gay and Lesbian Musicology. 2nd ed. New York: Routledge, 2006.

McClary, Susan. Reading Music : Selected Essays. Aldershot, England: Ashgate, 2007.

McClary, Susan. Feminine Endings : Music, Gender, and Sexuality. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1991.

Rentfrow, Peter J, and Samuel D Gosling. “The do re miʼs of everyday life: the structure and personality correlates of music preferences.” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 84.6 (2003) : 1236-1256.

Frederick H. Martens. The Musical Quarterly, Vol. 11, No. 2 (Apr., 1925), pp. 196-218

Burnham, Scott G, and Michael P Steinberg. Beethoven and His World. Princeton [N.J.]: Princeton University Press, 2000.

Head, Matthew. “Beethoven Heroine: A Female Allegory of Music and Authorship in Egmont.” 19th-Century Music 30 (2006-07), 97-132.

Cusick and Her Lesbian Relationship with Music Essay

If Women Ruled the World Essay

If Women Ruled the World Essay.

I was intrigued after ready your essay ‘What if women ruled the world’ and after reading it, I myself being a women, I discovered I have some opinions of my own; I would like to share them with you. For hundreds of years women have been classed as ‘weaker’ then men and ‘second class’ compared to men.

We get most of these believes because of what is often stated in the bible: 1 Timothy 2:12 “I do not permit a women to teach or to have authority over a man; she must remain silent” this has, in my opinion, helped shaped the fact that we see women as not as strong, or be unable to rule.

I personally disagree with what the bible says and I am a bit of a feminist, although it is up for interpretation, God also states that we are created in image of him, so we are all equality important.

In my opinion, I do think that there would be some change to the world if it was ruled by women, but not a humungous difference, I think we make such a big deal out of the fact that women are second class to men, that we have this is strange idea that if that women ruled world, it would be completely different, when realistically speaking, It wouldn’t be so different… would it? Many people say that if women ruled the world, there would be less war and more peace.

It is true that women dislike conflict more than men, but that is stereotype, a lot of women enjoy conflict and victory and being better than others so they can feel smug. They say this even if they don’t know what its like to be a leader, which they don’t, I for one am not a leader of any large government or country so I can only hardly imagine the pressure someone is put under when they have to decide whether to go to war or not, I do not think it matters what gender you are, you want to do what is best for your country and your people, it is the instinct for survival and the survival of our children.

They are under your care and you must make sure they are safe, if they are in danger of being attacked, you want them to be safe and protect your country-sometimes war is the only option, do you honestly think Winston Churchill was keen to go to war with Germany in 1939 and risk the lives of people? Sometimes you cannot do what you want, but what you must.

In your letter you state that women often experience life ‘differently’ to men, this I do agree on, although men and women are very similar, it is a fact that we think using different parts of our brains. I do think that the economically would be different, and perhaps we would be in such a bad economic state. Women do think differently to men in the way that we analyse things more thoroughly and think of different ways to find a solution.

Then again, back onto my topic of war some women do not like the thought of war, as they mostly care about their own families and the families of people they care about, and we do suffer the most in wars-as you said. if we worked with men, we could help them build bridges between countries and keep peace and ensure, as you said “broader range of issues, from food security to sexual violence, are addressed” Maybe we wouldn’t be so drastic in going to war, as I stated before, we would probably think it through and decide whether it was worth it.

Furthermore, as you said in your essay, women are more team oriented, so women could try and work together and make alliances with other countries and keep peace. In your essay you also say that, when women have more money they spend it on essential things like education and health. I think, if women ruled the world there would be less poverty as we would try and spend money on things that truly matter in LEDC’s like Africa.

If women ruled the world, if they there were less wars because of what I stated earlier, we wouldn’t have to spend much money of weapons for war, we could use that saved money to spend it on better schools and health care, so, as you said “the entire community prospers’’. In conclusion, I honestly do not know what the world would be like if it were ruled by women, for it never has been and probably will not be for a while, all we can do is purely speculate because of our believes and our own opinions. I do, however, think there would be a difference, but not a massive one.

If Women Ruled the World Essay

Gender Differences in Advertisements Essay

Gender Differences in Advertisements Essay.

It has been evident for the past decades that advertisers still use stereotyped images of men and women in their advertisements. This can say that the pursuit for equality is still not grasped by the society. The images we see in magazines, in televisions, in billboards portray a very old perception of gender, especially the inferiority and submissive nature of women, with their bodies used as mere sexual objects, if not, still used as household caretakers. Women are also deemed to be beautiful if they have slim bodies, fair complexion and long shiny hair.

Men, on the other hand, are portrayed to be strong, dominant and successful in their careers. For this essay, I will be showing two examples of images, which reveals the still existing gender inequality. I will be referring to some themes and issues to support my arguments. Also, for my basic analysis of advertisements, I will be using Katherine Frith’s [1998] approach in “Undressing the Ad: Reading Culture in Advertising” [Lukas, 2002].

It includes a surface meaning, the advertiser’s intended meaning, and the cultural or ideological meaning.

For the semiotic level, which connotes the social themes in advertisements, I will be applying Erving Goffman’s [1979] approach in “Gender Advertisements. ” For the first example, I will use the Gucci Magazine advertisement as shown in Figure 1 in the appendix. Just by looking at the picture, you can already see that there is gender inequality. Before dwelling into that, I will first apply a basic analysis of the ad. 1. The Surface Meaning It can be seen that there are two subjects in the picture. It is very evident that one is female, while the other one can be assumed to be male.

It is because of its masculine features, as seen in the upper body though the face was not explicitly shown. The female is down on the floor, touching the shoes of the male. She is wearing a sexy gold dress. The male is standing, wearing only khaki pants. Both clothing are assumed to be under the brand, Gucci. The setting is in the desert and the overall appeal of the image is very earthy. There are no words or taglines in the ad, just “Gucci”. 2. Advertiser’s Intended Meaning The advertiser might be showcasing the earthy tones and summer styles of Gucci, as seen in the very comfortable and breezy clothes the subjects are wearing.

There is still a certain class in the style, whether you put them in the dessert or just wherever. 3. Cultural or Ideological Meaning The picture obviously depicts the dominance of males over females. To be more detailed, we use Goffman’s approach by taking into consideration the social themes being depicted here. The positioning of the subject explicitly exposes gender bias. The man is standing while woman is down on floor. It just shows that men are in control and have power over women. The woman is way below under his legs, at his feet to be exact. She is even touching his shoes.

It reminds me of a servant, wiping the dirt of his master in the desert. The woman here really looked inferior and if we extend the picture upward, exposing the face of the man, it can be that he is looking down on her, seeing the contraction of his abdomen in the picture. Moreover, such display of abs connotes a very masculine and strong appeal. We know that men who have well developed abs are the ones who are the most physically fit. The woman on one hand is thin and sexy, with her body parts, especially the legs and the cleavage, generally exposed.

Reexamining the “Nature/Culture” Paradigm, we are reminded of the “vertical” perspective, which organizes the relationships of male and female [Tilleuil, 2002]. The woman is labeled as the dominated and the man is labeled as the dominant. According to the sociologist, Claude Herne, “”In the advertising image, in order to make the woman feel inferior, signs multiply and underline the weakness, the lack of self-confidence, fragility, hesitation, dissimulation, submission, childishness and infantilization, too. ” [Tilleuil, 2002]. This signs are very well depicted in this ad.

The woman looks fragile, and she displays a look of submission in her eyes, like a slave. This leads us to another example of an advertisement, which now depicts heavy violence to women. The ad to be examined here is figure 2 of the appendix. It is an ad from Dolce and Gabbana. 1. The Surface Meaning In the ad, there are six subjects. There are five males and one female. It looks like they are in a rooftop of some resort/hotel. Some men are wearing fitted Polos, while others are half naked. Their skins are very shiny. It looks like there’s oil or sweat in them.

One man is on top of the woman, while others are watching intently to the scene in the middle. The woman is lying down on the floor, wearing a sexy black dress and high heels. 2. Advertiser’s Intended Meaning The advertiser here is showcasing the sexy formal styles of Dolce and Gabbana, with their breezy polos, classy dresses. It looks like the clothing is part of their summer collection. 3. Cultural or Ideological Meaning/Goffman’s approach It is very evident in the picture that the scene is depicting a “gang rape”. This is extreme sexual violence right at your eyes.

Such violence is even portrayed in classy way, with the clothing of Dolce and Gabbana at display. We look back to the inferiority and submissiveness of the woman here. The woman is again down on the floor, but this time, she is lying down, about to be raped by the first guy on top of her. But we also see here that they are being watched by other men. One of them is already topless, while, one is semi-buttoned, with his chest exposed. There is also one who is only wearing a sleeveless undershirt, while the last guy is still fully dressed up. They all have this sultry look to the woman.

The woman here is about to give herself to the man, with her hips going upward. Yet, you can see that the man is locking her arms in the floor, and it looks like she cannot get away with his grasp. The woman has been the subject of sexual pleasure. Violence here is part of the pleasure package. As we have been exposed in the media, we can recall about the whipping, the slapping of women, their being tied up to different places, exposing a lot of skin, with their bodies being molded to different erotic positions. In most cases women are victims of such violence, since men being tied up would not be a delightful sight for them.

Overall, as seen in most advertisements, women are always the weaker player, being taken advantaged of men, who are more superior. Women are still being depicted as mere objects of sexual desire [Sharabi, n. d. ]. Women are seen only as domestic providers, who do not have their own decision making powers. According to the blog of “Daughter of Liberty” [2007], she said that the following are some important points to take note in advertisements: 1. Canting It can be seen through the body language that women are submissive and they have low self-confidence. For our examples, it is explicitly shown with the woman on the floor, with no control. 2.

Clowning It can be seen that women are usually posed like an innocent child in the ads, which connotes ignorance (stupidity perhaps) and practically it tells us that women are easily dominated. 3. Dependence Women are seen to be very dependent to men, which can be particularly found in the first advertisement, where the woman is touching the shoes of the man. 4. Dismemberment Dismemberment is described as focusing on a particular body part. However, for our first example, it was the man who was dismembered. 5. Dominance/violence This is evidently seen in both of our examples, especially in the Dolce and Gabbana ad, which depicts a gang rape.

I think ads these days have become more violent and more associated to sex than ever before, due to change of perception of our society. Sex and violence is not a taboo anymore, and we can just openly discuss those issues in a coffee table. However, being a more open society must teach us to be less discriminating and degrading. Women and men were created equally. More ads should focus on empowering women, like what is happening in Dove. We must not let ourselves, especially our children to be exposed to such violence because images convey very powerful images and it can impact one’s behavior.

Gender Differences in Advertisements Essay

Gender-role transcendence & Androgyny Essay

Gender-role transcendence & Androgyny Essay.

Gender role transcendence is the principle that involves the conceptualization of a person based on his individual competency and traits and not on the basis of his or her androgynous traits, feminine traits, and masculine traits (Santrock, 2007, p. 187). It is generally viewed as an alternative to androgyny, which is the characterized by the manifestation of both masculine and feminine traits and behaviors in a single individual (Santrock, 2007, p. 184).

The idea of androgyny initially sought to clarify the various issues regarding gender and the differences in gender roles.

However, there several reports and critics claimed that the principles behind androgyny posed more problems than solutions to the issues regarding gender. Generally, the main difference between gender-role transcendence and androgyny is the basis on which their ideas are founded on. Gender-role transcendence mainly uses an approach that is person-based.

Meaning to say, when discerning or assessing a person’s proficiency and skill, it should not be based on his or her male and female traits but rather on that person as a whole.

In other words, it involves thinking of individuals as people and not as feminine, masculine, and androgynous. Androgyny, on the other hand, focuses more on a person’s traits since it is the presence of both feminine and masculine traits in a single person. General examples of feminine characteristics include being affectionate, gentle, and refusing to use foul and profane language, among others (Santrock, 2007, p.

184). On the other hand, general examples of male characteristics include being dominant, aggressive, and willing to take risks, among others (Santrock, 2007, p. 184). Since androgyny deals with both feminine and masculine characteristics, when a male, for example, is dominant and aggressive yet is also gentle and affectionate, he is considered to be androgynous.

References Santrock, J. W. (2007). Adolescence 12th edition. McGraw-Hill/Social Sciences/Languages.

Gender-role transcendence & Androgyny Essay

Gender Criticism Essay

Gender Criticism Essay.

The study of human behavioral pathways can intensify the scope of how each individual is grouped according to preferences. In this aspect, it would be important to study the role of gender ideals in molding the society. Gender criticism is the overall approach in understanding the ideas about the complete make up of men and women (Bedford 1). This includes the notion acceptance of what is masculine and what is feminine.

It regards sexuality as a very complex method of classification which basically becomes a reflection of a particular culture based on what is feminine and what is masculine relative to that society’s norms.

The study does not regard sexuality as mere classification of heterosexuality and homosexuality. On the other hand, feminist criticism is a study on how the current status of the female segment came to be.

The main approach of the study is to utilize literary or language based mediums of social structure to look for certain causalities which lead to the portrayal of females to be that of an inferior species.

Moreover, the study intends to look for proofs of segments which can be derived from the literary complexities of cultures as to why male domination came into being. The offset of gender criticism may be coursed upon how feminist criticism came into being. Basically, these two concepts are not really opposites of each other but intertwined in terms of relative scopes of matters (Bedford 1).

Many experts argue that the two notions are too complicated to be separated because one factor influences the other in a continuum of understanding towards gender, tradition, sex and culture (Bedford 1). In summary, feminist criticism is actually a variation of gender criticism only that the former specifies what could have provided the avenues to let feminism achieve a kind of status delegated in most societies today.

Works Cited Bedford, “Critical Approaches. ” Virtual Lit. 1998. 3 Feb 2008 <http://bcs. bedfordstmartins. com/Virtualit/poetry/critical_define/crit_femin. html>.

Gender Criticism Essay