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Is the Era of Gender Discrepancy Over?

Gil Kaufman 2011/06/25 11:00:00
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If you're a fan of "Mad Men," you know there was a time when men were men and women, well, they wore tight skirts, cooked up steaks in skillets and always had a cold drink at the ready for their hard-working mates.

It's a nostalgic throwback that will likely gain even more traction with the upcoming launch of primetime dramas that will peek into the world of the Playboy empire and 1960s-era stewardesses.

But even as this groundswell celebration of traditional gender roles invades prime time, NPR pointed out this week that we may be approaching the point where the gender divide is being slowly erased, if not outright ignored.

Among the examples:

-- The Toronto couple who announced that they're raising their 4-month-old, Storm, without revealing the child's gender, as a "tribute to freedom and choice in place of limitation."

-- Androgynous Australian model Andrej Pejic, who walked both the male and female runways at the Paris fashion shows earlier this year.

-- A recent J. Crew catalog that featured a young boy with his toenails painted pink.

-- A Michigan high school that announced this year's prom court would be gender-neutral after a transgendered student was denied the homecoming king crown last year.

-- East Tennessee State University looking to become the latest college to offer gender-neutral student housing – not just coed dorms, but dorms open to anyone regardless of how they express their gender -- following the lead of Stanford University, the University of Michigan, Rutgers University and other colleges.

-- The new State Department passport application that uses gender-neutral language, replacing "father" and "mother" with "parent one" and "parent two."

-- The splashy OWN network show chronicling the life of Chaz Bono, the transgender offspring of pop diva Cher.

Is the gender neutral march unstoppable? I'm not sure, because at the same time officials in Chicago, Tampa and New York are making efforts to open more single-sex public schools. Leonard Sax, a psychologist and author of "Why Gender Matters" told NPR that ignoring gender has the ironic consequence of exacerbating gender stereotypes, not eliminating them.

"The determined lack of awareness of gender difference which you describe ... puts both girls and boys at risk — but in different ways," wrote article author Linton Weeks. "Not merely academically, but physically — increasing girls' risks of knee injury and concussion — and spiritually — increasing girls' risks of drug and alcohol abuse; increasing boys' risk of disengagement and apathy."

I tend to think the resting place is somewhere in between: unrestrained by hard-and-fast gender identities (is it going to kill you to let your daughter wear boys' jeans or your son take ballet lessons?), but not so oblivious to them that we go out of our ways to pretend they don't exist at all (see not announcing the gender of your child).

Do you think gender matters?
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Top Opinion

  • Fef 2011/06/25 15:25:01
    Undecided
    Fef
    +33
    We should celebrate the differences between men and women.

    Why do Liberals rush to celebrate differences in race and sexual orientation, but try to deny differences between the male and female sexes?

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  • Lew 2014/05/09 06:13:52
    Undecided
    Lew
    Most people are making the mistake of equating gender with a person's sex appointment. Actually, they are from two difference human functions. Sex is established when an infant's genitalia is discovered with a few noted exceptions. Gender is from the traits a person chooses to develop as they make decisions from who they really are. This means that each man and woman can have all the traits and desires listed in the gender spectrum at varying degrees according to who they are. There is no such thing as opposite genders because both men and women can have similar feelings, desires, attitudes, and skills for the same subjects or objects.
  • Inge 2011/12/05 23:05:09
    Yes
    Inge
    Ok it's not, I just really like to think it is. And in fact, it is from my point of view. I don't care about gender, people are people. The sad truth is though, that a lot of people still see men and women as two different species. Don't get me wrong, I don't think the line has to disapear completely. But it could still blur a bit.
  • dePSyChO 2011/07/06 20:26:53
    Undecided
    dePSyChO
    Maybe. And, like all things, this has both good and bad consequences.
  • ValorNET 2011/06/30 01:44:30
    No
    ValorNET
    +1
    If you think you can erase or over-ride what is natural and normal, you're pathetic.
    You just WISH that were the truth so your life and your amibitions are more tangible to you.
  • edifyguy 2011/06/28 00:17:37
    No
    edifyguy
    +1
    The era of gender "discrepancy" is not over, and I hope it never is. But hey, no fair. The question at the top of the page and the question at the end of the write-up can't possibly be answered the same way. Way to make your poll results meaningless..........

    When the feminists say they want equality, and they are really the ones pushing this whole gender-neutral thing, what they are really asking for is EQUIVALENCY. There's a huge difference. A $20 money order and a $20 bill are equal in value, but not equivalent, or identical, in their features. Just because something has the same worth does not mean it is utterly the same. There are important differences that make each suited to a particular purpose. So it is with genders. Men and women are supposed to be different to make each others' lives better.

    That is one of the huge fallacies of modern thinking. We are not supposed to be completely self-sufficient. We were designed to benefit from what a spouse of the opposite gender would add to our lives. A spouse completes us emotionally and physically, or some would say reproductively, but that would be too narrow a view of the thing. Indeed, even the people we communicate with on a regular basis have different things to offer us that can be directly attributed to the differenc...



    The era of gender "discrepancy" is not over, and I hope it never is. But hey, no fair. The question at the top of the page and the question at the end of the write-up can't possibly be answered the same way. Way to make your poll results meaningless..........

    When the feminists say they want equality, and they are really the ones pushing this whole gender-neutral thing, what they are really asking for is EQUIVALENCY. There's a huge difference. A $20 money order and a $20 bill are equal in value, but not equivalent, or identical, in their features. Just because something has the same worth does not mean it is utterly the same. There are important differences that make each suited to a particular purpose. So it is with genders. Men and women are supposed to be different to make each others' lives better.

    That is one of the huge fallacies of modern thinking. We are not supposed to be completely self-sufficient. We were designed to benefit from what a spouse of the opposite gender would add to our lives. A spouse completes us emotionally and physically, or some would say reproductively, but that would be too narrow a view of the thing. Indeed, even the people we communicate with on a regular basis have different things to offer us that can be directly attributed to the differences between the male and female mind.

    As the feminists have convinced more and more people that unless they achieve EQUIVALENCY with men they are a slave to a stove and babies, human unhappiness in otherwise good conditions has exploded. Perhaps one day Western society will realize that they've been had. Until then, those who know that the old paths work are happy. Those who have yet to realize the deception suffer from a sense of incompleteness and unfulfilled desire.

    When feminists win, we ALL lose.
    (more)
  • BigWhiteMann 2011/06/27 21:45:04
    No
    BigWhiteMann
    +1
    I"m not sure that's the best way to word the question as it pertains to the commentary. Removal of the gender identities is another nudge toward a progressive agenda to convince people that the individual is not special or important. We are to become "One Nation" or become a homogenized group of followers that believes everything is okay so long as we are told it is by our "rulers." On the surface, this only seems really stupid to me, but when I extrapolate the ultimate consequence this type of trend can have it becomes more ominous.
  • Darnel 2011/06/27 20:20:35
    No
    Darnel
    This is a phase as the gender confused gain voice in society.
  • Adakin Valorem~PWCM~JLA 2011/06/27 19:44:22 (edited)
    Yes
    Adakin Valorem~PWCM~JLA
    My answer is YES to the first and NO to the second question.

    We are living in an era of "Creative Destruction", where old stereotypes are no longer important.

    Yes, we have gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people moving openly throughout our society, but how does it affect YOU?

    We have people with multi-color hair, Mohawks, tattoos, mix marriages and other such racial and cultural integration. So What? How does it adversely affect YOU!

    Given the proliferation of gay marriage, sex change operations (like an "Adadictame"), rampant and easy access to porn sites, recent FBI stats show a reduction sex crimes overall, to violent crimes overall, to “hate” crimes overall.

    http://video.foxbusiness.com/...

    America has become a more tolerant nation and, outside of government interference, we’ve become a more civil society.

    So… what’s the problem?

    http://video.foxnews.com/v/10... tolerant nation government interference civil society httpvideo foxnews comv10 Stossel   Rise of the Independents
  • earl Adakin ... 2011/06/27 20:20:56
    earl
    We are becoming a nation of morally screwed up people who are going to become passive and eventually give up our leadership in the world. Other nations will see us as a weak society and overthrow us. It will be up to the strong to defend the weak in this country.
    Sounds crazy, but it's true!

    Believe in God or believe in evolution, Don't you think that the animal kingdom was designed the way it is for a reason?
    The males of most animals are the aggressors, the females are the nurtures. We are messing with design and it will be the downfall eventually.
  • Wren earl 2011/06/29 06:50:18
    Wren
    Overthrow us? How would they overthrow us? What position do we hold that can be overthrown? Last I checked, the United States governed the United States, not the world.
    And just who exactly, are the strong?
  • notokand 2011/06/27 19:06:19
    Undecided
    notokand
    Who cares?
  • Caitlin 2011/06/27 18:42:14
    Undecided
    Caitlin
    you asked two questions. but I think that many people want there to be no difference between the genders when there are so many. both in the physical and mental sense. women have different body parts and different hormones than men. And gender does matter. Especially in certain fields of work. Take a firefighter, for example. If you were in a fire and someone came to rescue you, wouldn't you want it to be someone who could without a shadow of a doubt get you out of there? I have np problem with it being a woman, as long as she can save my ass. The criteria to become a firefighter should not be changed depending on gender. I don't care of girls wear guys pants or if guys take ballet lessons. I just think that there are differences in genders and that isn't a bad thing.
  • dm 2011/06/27 18:34:48
    No
    dm
    Which question is based on the poll? Have two questions here posted. Confusing

    Voted NO @"Era of Gender Discrepancy Over?"

    YES, it part of who you are as a person. @ "Do you think gender matters?"
  • PDenoli 2011/06/27 18:04:21
    No
    PDenoli
    Gender will always be a dominant aspect of human personality and expression just as surely as hormones will always dominate physical appearance and biological processes.

    The only thing that is changing is the notion that gender is bad and should be purged from our awareness. As with any sort of denial, this will merely cause other problems and blow up in our face.

    Once upon a time, people thought nothing of experimenting on kids by teaching them to be afraid of loud sounds, etc. Today we find that horrific, but think nothing of experimenting on kids by teaching them to stifle their self identity. How long before we wake up to this form of abuse?

    I'll give it another two decades. The pendulum needs to swing a bit farther before it comes back... and it will.
  • RanjaSaraf 2011/06/27 17:29:53
    Undecided
    RanjaSaraf
    Gender discrimination is fading in developed countries like USA and UK, but it is still prominent in most of the Gulf and Asian countries..
  • BornToBeWild 2011/06/27 17:12:01
    Yes
    BornToBeWild
    but only under a political aspect and NOT on a biological fact and common since! This WILL be a new era for abusive sexual predators, sexual harassment, and illegal public exposure...ALL which is against the LAW! This would support and invite more criminal activities and violations upon more innocent victims!
  • BornToB... BornToB... 2011/06/27 17:14:14
    BornToBeWild
    sorry...I hit NO but YES showed up after a prolonged waiting for my choice to show causing me to refresh the page and the incorrect choice revealed wrong!
  • Sheled Umlal 2011/06/27 17:02:00
    No
    Sheled Umlal
    Until marriages, heels, men-at-work and such social stigma are phased out, there will still be a place for gender. RISE PHYSICAL AND MENTAL ANDROGYNY!!
  • talisgeir 2011/06/27 16:48:18
    No
    talisgeir
    You know I'm all for people exploring who they are without the constraint of expectation--there is a time in life for that and it's a part of growing up. However, having said that, we need to be cognizant that we are a part of the greater reality called nature. Nature is governed by a whole host of issues not the least of which is propagation of the species and the various aspects and impulses involved in that. Because humans are at the top of the food chain we think we can control everything and have everything without consequence. There is a very basic difference between men and women, and I think as a society we've come a long way towards understanding and respecting these differences, and we are better because of it. Trying to erase the differences rather than embracing and understanding them is arrogant human thinking to begin with and, as such, will typically have far-reaching impacts we can't even begin to understand.
  • John 2011/06/27 16:23:41
    No
    John
    Seriously???. Have these two dysfunctional parents try explaining to their kids as to what they are. They better save up a lot of money for therapy for this kid and also a lot of band aids, because insurance will not cover it. Are these type of people dilusional and living in the twilight zone.
  • ed 2011/06/27 15:51:04
    No
    ed
    +1
    How many women do u know who say something like.."I've always gotten along better with men. I've always had more guy friends than women."......I've known ALOT. ..

    I already know the he'll ill get but HERE'S THE TRUTH ABOUT THAT. ..


    No ma'am. U don't get along better with guys, they get along better with you. Pretty hair, boobies, or perfume can do that to us, ur not 'just' friends cuz that guy ALWAYS thinks in the back of his head he will 'get a piece. .. so, there's NO SUCH THING AS GENDER EQUALITY.
  • J ed 2011/06/27 16:13:54
    J
    Gotta' disagree. I grew up with two older sisters and two younger sisters and a brother just a little more than a year older than me. Guess who I hung with? I can assure you that those "boys" I grew up hanging around did not have "getting a piece" on their minds when we were all hanging out. Now, those boys (and men) that I get along with better now, most might have that on their mind - that's okay. I do know guys, and they can imagine all they want. But, problem is that I have one guy that I am truly, wholely committed to - and they know that. But guess what, sometimes, I have some of those same kind of illicit thoughts. Won't act on them (I don't forsee), but can't stop myself from having them - only acting on them.
  • earl J 2011/06/27 16:39:19
    earl
    Your wrong! They had getting a piece on their minds, trust me!!!
  • J earl 2011/06/27 17:07:18
    J
    They didn't - at least not from me. I was really seen as one of the "guys" with that group. Well, wait, you might be onto something. One guy that started hanging out with us when we were around 16-17, was different. He did have p^%%@ on the brain - even mine. But, I'm telling you that I knew these guys. We'd grown up together. I knew them as well or better than my brother and we all talked openly - as openly as guys "can." I am well aware of when things began to change. Not after I got boobs, but after I myself became sexually active. I think until that point, the "boys" I hung with really did see me as just one of the guys.
  • earl J 2011/06/27 17:50:23
    earl
    One of the guys they could boink!!
  • J earl 2011/06/28 17:02:08
    J
    Oh, come on. Do you think of "boinking" your sisters, mom, neice, etc. There are some women, usually those you grow up with, who are really considered "sexual". Unless YOU have a sex problem. In that case, All the best!
  • ed J 2011/06/29 23:52:20
    ed
    +1
    Lmfao....glad u didn't say cousins
  • ed J 2011/06/28 03:42:40
    ed
    "....until that point.." ....exactly
  • J ed 2011/06/28 17:04:32
    J
    I don't think they ever thought anything until I started talking about it. And if they could talk about what they did and how it was, I figured I could too. And that did make (all but 1 of) them see me differently. I still don't think that is all they think about when we are together now. And if it does cross their minds, I'll be they don't all let the thoughts linger.
  • ed J 2011/06/29 23:51:56
    ed
    +1
    Ok maybe ur right PARTIALLY.....but my point is, really, that men are NATURALLY mores inclined, or even subconsciously motivated, to give women a chance WHILE keeping their guard up around unknown men
  • albinolime 2011/06/27 15:31:59
    No
    albinolime
    +1
    This is stupid.

    There are major differences in the two sexes. Although I have seen a lot of boyish looking girls and girly looking boys in the last few generations, I still don't want to believe it's part of a conspiracy to homogenize the human slaves.

    Soon we are all going to look the same, act the same, do the same things. It's too bad the things we do will not be for ourselves.
  • J albinolime 2011/06/27 16:14:52
    J
    +1
    Frightening. I love being a woman and I love the difference. I guess people who aren't happy with themselves will find any excuse to make the rest of the world miserable.
  • albinolime J 2011/06/27 16:33:31
    albinolime
    So I guess our roles should be the opposite:
    Make those miserable people happy! Sure, they might be happy for a minute if they get their way, but there are more roads to happiness than the one their on, they just can't see how to get there.
  • earl albinolime 2011/06/27 16:40:28
    earl
    +2
    You make your own happiness, just keep it in the bedroom please!
  • albinolime earl 2011/06/27 17:01:21
    albinolime
    lolz, I can make others happy, and enable them to prosper in PUBLIC!
  • Ally C. 2011/06/27 15:23:35
    Undecided
    Ally C.
    its hard to say, cuz the greatest difrence is not between two genders, is between two people, they can have the same age, the same sexual orientation, the same eye and hair color, but theyre totally difrent,
  • Max7 2011/06/27 15:09:18
    Undecided
    Max7
    +1
    I surely hope not, I appreciate being a female and having that privacy in public places, I respect men, I appreciate their masculinity and value that there is a difference between the two sexes!
  • J Max7 2011/06/27 16:15:19
    J
    Amen, Amen!!!!
  • Max7 J 2011/06/27 17:27:07
  • Zaret 2011/06/27 15:08:23
    Yes
    Zaret
    I feel like it is, and it's a great feeling! We still have a long way to go though
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