Culture and gender inequality are universal and particular. Some cultures givemales the sense of power and authority which leads to male domination and oppressesfemales results in less girls being wanted by families which will soon lead to theabundance of men in the future.Culture is “the customary beliefs, social forms, and material traits of a racial,religious, or social group” (Merriam-Webster’s collegiate dictionary, 2018). Culture isuniversal, it is everywhere around us and outlines our lives. Humans are seen ascultural creatures as our foundation is built off of culture. When a child is a little baby itis like a flower, it needs to be watered and taken care of in order for it to bloom.
Humans are quite like flowers as we are watered by our parents while growing up,we follow certain traditions and customs which are run in our household, this is whereculture comes into place. We tend to follow certain beliefs based on religion and followcustoms and traditions, eat certain types of foods and may have specific dressingcodes. Our society also plays a major role in culture as it shares the same foundationsuch as language, economy, politics, weather and holidays. This is all based on cultureas culture is everything that a human learns, it is a part of everything we do!Culture is universal as it never stops and is passed down to generations alsoknown as enculturation. It is treated very differently by different groups as in somecultures many factors influence the way an individual is treated whether it is based ongender, sexual orientation or even age and economic class. It is learned overtime as weare not born with culture, as an individual grows culture is learned and obtained. Genderinequality persists in the world of culture as we see discrimination in women in today’sadvanced and educated society in many different aspects. Women have traditionallybeen given the title of “homemakers” and caregivers of children.
Historically, womenhave been the ones to do housework, clean and cook for their families but things havechanged and tasks are no longer defined by gender. Many forms of media such as tvshows and movies reinforce these traditional roles through characters portraying animage of women to be the ones that are meant to do daily household tasks and choreswhich shows a sense of inequality. Women are traditionally considered to be moresensitive, emotional, gentle and dependent than their male counterparts. This gives asense to the public that females are weak and oppresses them which leads to maledominance.
With these cultural labels tied to gender expectations, cultural expectationsthen influence how people react to each other and how they view themselves based onthose labels. Culture influences how men and women think about themselves withintheir gender role.”Male dominance is one of the earliest known and most widespread forms ofinequality in human history. Male dominance seems to them a universal, if not inevitablerelationship that has been with us since the dawn of our species. (versobooks.com,2018).
Throughout history we have seen men to be given more recognition in every fieldof work such as Hitler, Napoleon, Lincoln and Washington have all been considered tobe significant figures. Many cultures and religions justify the oppression of women byattributing sexual power to them, men must have control in order to maintain their ownpurity and power. Natural physical occurrences such as including childbirth andmenstruation, sometimes breastfeeding and pregnancy are considered to be impureand disgusting. Women are often required to cover their bodies and faces to keep menfrom being overpowered in these cultures, they are treated like a piece of property asthis is unfair treatment to women in these cultures. Throughout the years we have heardof or seen many cultures treating women and girls poorly. I come from an Indianbackground and we rejoice in celebrations when a baby boy is born but when a girl isborn this celebration is not held and some people morn. I have been lucky to be borninto a family where both males and females are treated equally and when a baby is bornthis celebration is held despite the fact if it is a baby girl or a boy. Some daughters arebeing killed at birth or before birth mainly due to the love for a male child, it isunfortunate to say that if a daughter does survive she will be discriminated throughouther lifetime.
Women have been exploited, degraded, violated and discriminated both intheir homes by family and by outsiders in Indian society. We hear it on the news that anew born baby girl has been found in a dumpster or in a river or left outside anorphanage. It is sad to say that some people still consider women to be weak and this ismainly due to society believing in the patriarchy system.
Patriarchy is “a system ofsocial structure and practices in which men dominate, oppress and exploit women.Women’s exploitation is an age old cultural phenomenon of Indian society. The systemof patriarchy finds its validity and sanction in our religious beliefs, whether it is Hindu,Muslim or any other religion.” (“Gender Inequality in India – Concept, Causes andTypes”, 2018)Poverty and the lack of education are also reasons as to why women areoppressed as some individuals cannot simply afford to raise and send their daughters toschool. In a poor Indian family whom gives more importance to boys over girls will mostlikely educate the boy as they are the heir of their family, girls will be kept at home to dohousehold chores as they are not considered part of the family when they are marriedso it is of no use for such a family to educate their daughter. Girls are also aborted dueto the high costs of marriage in an Indian family and dowry. Some women that havebeen disowned by their family have to work in low paying domestic services, organizedprostitution or as migrant laborer’s to make ends meet. “The preference for boys andthe availability of sex-selective operations, although illegal in India, means there’s agender gap of as many as 63 million girls, classified in the report as “missing.
“As a result, India has one of the most skewed sex ratios in the world. For every 107males born in India, there are 100 females. According to the World Health Organizationthe natural sex ratio at birth is 105 males for every 100 females.” (Euan McKirdy,2018).These statistics are terrifying as there will soon be an abundance of boys and notas many girls will be available which will limit the amount of reproduction in the future.
In conclusion, cultural and gender is universal and particular. Culture plays a majorrole in how women are treated in different parts of the world. It is sad to say thatdespite living in such a modern society women are still discriminated against. Aculturally ingrained parental preference for sons is linked to poorer consequences fordaughters, gender inequality has led to millions of unwanted girls, a belief in thepatriarchy system and female oppression.