Gender is a concept that causes a fairly large amount of reasoning and even controversy in the scientific community and modern society. Gender is not the sex of a person itself but rather the idea of gender, that is, the perception of oneself as a person belonging to one or another sex. Depending on the position in life and the factors that have shaped the human psyche, gender can be perceived in two main directions. With the normative perception of a person formed by society and upbringing, only two common sexes, male and female, are taken seriously – this demonstrates the so-called bigender perception Cislaghi & Heise claim that “most existing gender systems are deeply hierarchical, privileging that which is male or masculine over that which is female or feminine” (2019). However, another tradition of perception is also possible, which seems interesting and fair to me. This is the idea of gender fluidity and perception of oneself without being enslaved in a particular field.
It seems to me that gendering other people, that is, assigning gender roles to them, can show itself as toxic. The bigender concept may require people to follow the patterns of outdated social roles. Personally, I adhere to a normative attitude in my self-perception, considering myself a female person. Moreover, this position seems logical and obvious to me. I have never been told that gender is a loose concept and that the perception of gender can be transformed. When I learned about these many possibilities, my idea of gender was already clearly formed. I assume that gender perception really depends on the upbringing and social events in a person’s life.
Gender and Feminism
The idea of gender as gender influenced me in a social setting like school. I could see how girls in my surrounding are striving to match the idea of their gender. They are inspired by feminine affirmative ideas from glamor magazines. I certainly felt some influence of the culture of fashion on my idea of their gender. One can say that I felt a certain burden of responsibilities that the female gender imposed. It was fixed as an idea that was demanded from me. Gender required me a search for conformity to the ideal image. This goes against the very idea of feminism, as “feminist women were less likely to endorse feminine norms for sexual fidelity, romantic relationships, and domesticity” (Siegel & Calogero, 2019). Gender conformity presents a direct influence of culture on a person’s thinking. It can be said that the stereotypes found in fashion magazines and on the Internet played a trick on my self-esteem. They are making me feel inconsistent with the stereotype. This again demonstrates the negative impact of the gender stereotype of appearance on a person’s life.
Gender and Social Media
Gender is shown on the Internet in different ways. It mostly depends on the type of social media. Instagram, for example, periodically puts quite strong pressure on me. That is due to the imposed normality of bigender behavior. The female gender is shown as a stereotype to be followed. It repels and imposes implications on self-esteem. On the other hand, the social network TikTok is replete with gender-fluid personalities. However, from time to time, such personalities as the LGBT + community are harassed in the comments. Normative beliefs about gender become the reason for insults. They can be considered a sublimation of inner anger. Therefore, one can say that each social network imposes certain ideas about gender normality. People, depending on their gender attitudes, can experience various types of obstacles. For example, it can insult that lower self-esteem.
The Positive and Negative Effects
It is necessary to stipulate separately how the idea of gender can influence people. Gender can harm people in a number of ways. A bigender normative view of gender can exert tremendous pressure on both men and women. The requirement to fulfill social roles in the family, school, and society, in general, can actually distort a person’s life. The social role is rebuilding life in accordance with the stereotype. Thus, a person loses the ability to truly self-represent. It happens as they are repeating the standard faceless pattern of behavior. On the other hand, ideas about gender can have a positive effect. They give particular confidence and certainty to this element of one’s personality. Probably, it is from gender self-representation that the human ego and the principles of its perception of reality are built. Therefore, the normative and gender-fluid representation, being realized in accordance with the inner sense of a person, is able to bring them real self-satisfaction.
Conclusion: Various Effects of the Concept of Gender
The main claim of my work is the statement that the idea of gender can have a variety of effects on people. It depends on the nature of the human concept of gender. Normative perception structures the personality quite strongly. However, it can erase some of the human traits that define their individuality. The gender-fluid approach seems to be acceptable in modern reality. This perception helps to get rid of the structural dominance of the bigender perception. However, this perception also has its own dangers. There is the possibility of distortion of the personality carried away by the desire to choose for oneself an unusual gender representation. Thus, gender stereotypes should continue to exist, but in a new environment of tolerance and acceptance of an alternative point of view.
Cislaghi, B., & Heise, L. (2019). Gender norms and social norms: Differences, similarities and why they matter in prevention science. Sociology of Health and Illness, 42(2), 407-422. Web.
Siegel, J. A., & Calogero, R. M. (2019). Conformity to feminine norms and self-objectification in self-identified feminist and non-feminist women. Body Image, 28, 115-118. Web.