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Noku 06-01-2006 05:22 AM

Sexuality and equality
 
Feminism has been very hot topic in Finnish political forums. Gender roles are usually seen as econopolitical problems but these problems have also social sides. Media is the main reason for these social problems because they create gender based stereotypes and puts opposite sex relationships in pre-schematic frames.

Of course heterosexuality is natural, but how natural is our everyday life anyway? Today, our lives are being given subconsciously stereotypical directions. Boys play football, girls like poneys. Even though what they would really want to do might be the very opposite. Parrents try to prevent their kids from exceeding their gender limits, but when you look at it, does it seem a bit silly? I mean having these artifical gender roles, in which we are supposed to stay inside.

When boys get older many will lose their childhood friends of opposite sex, probably because they have to start forming identity as a male and at the moment they are too young for dating and relationship to opposite sex is very rarely seen as an unsexual relationship in future life (it always should be dating). Boys like girls like boys.

In post-modern society we have to build ourselves from the parts available. But no longer the parts available depend on your gender. People choosing the same direction in life share the same problems and would be good friends. Many people would need good friends. Actually I am not just talking about friendship alone. The whole direction of interaction with a person is predestined by gender assumptions. If you meet a new person in a bar, without any sexual interests, you still couldn't treat him and her the same way. Sexual signals are always expected from the communication of opposite sex. The way you would interpret certain communication might be different depending only on the gender of the speaker.

Also it is unfair that media has this cliche of two opposite sex best friends always end up together, because it is selfrecreating cliche, we are made to believe that. Gender stereotypes make us suspisious and provide us with false assumptions.

My claim is:

In openly bi-sexual environment friendships with opposite sex would be much more accepted than in todays society (even if heterosexuality would be the dominant form of sexuality). Also, that will be the trend which towards we are leading in future, breaking the gender boundaries in social sense.

I accept that we can't change the biological effects of genders, but for humans it seems to be natural to have sex without reproduction of species in mind.

coheneran 06-01-2006 05:37 AM

[QUOTE=Noku]Feminism has been very hot topic in Finnish political forums. Gender roles are usually seen as econopolitical problems but these problems have also social sides. Media is the main reason for these social problems because they create gender based stereotypes and puts opposite sex relationships in pre-schematic frames.

Of course heterosexuality is natural, but how natural is our everyday life anyway? Today, our lives are being given subconsciously stereotypical directions. Boys play football, girls like poneys. Even though what they would really want to do might be the very opposite. Parrents try to prevent their kids from exceeding their gender limits, but when you look at it, does it seem a bit silly? I mean having these artifical gender roles, in which we are supposed to stay inside.

When boys get older many will lose their childhood friends of opposite sex, probably because they have to start forming identity as a male and at the moment they are too young for dating and relationship to opposite sex is very rarely seen as an unsexual relationship in future life (it always should be dating). Boys like girls like boys.

In post-modern society we have to build ourselves from the parts available. But no longer the parts available depend on your gender. People choosing the same direction in life share the same problems and would be good friends. Many people would need good friends. Actually I am not just talking about friendship alone. The whole direction of interaction with a person is predestined by gender assumptions. If you meet a new person in a bar, without any sexual interests, you still couldn't treat him and her the same way. Sexual signals are always expected from the communication of opposite sex. The way you would interpret certain communication might be different depending only on the gender of the speaker.

Also it is unfair that media has this cliche of two opposite sex best friends always end up together, because it is selfrecreating cliche, we are made to believe that. Gender stereotypes make us suspisious and provide us with false assumptions.

My claim is:

In openly bi-sexual environment friendships with opposite sex would be much more accepted than in todays society (even if heterosexuality would be the dominant form of sexuality). Also, that will be the trend which towards we are leading in future, breaking the gender boundaries in social sense.

I accept that we can't change the biological effects of genders, but for humans it seems to be natural to have sex without reproduction of species in mind.[/QUOTE]

You make good points, and I agree with your claim, even though it has never been tried so there's no proof it would be like that. But, as an openly bisexual (for conventional purposes anyway) person, I can say I have about as many female friends as I have male friends, estimated, I've never bothered to count.

PerpetualBurn 06-01-2006 05:38 AM

Boys like football, girls like ponies. Obviously this isn't always the case, but I think you are wrong to act like there's no such thing as natural masculinity and femininity.

Of course we shouldn't dissuade or refuse to accept any girls that do want to participate in activities that are not stereotypically "feminine" but you can't act like men and women don't exhibit different natural behaviour.

coheneran 06-01-2006 05:43 AM

[QUOTE=PerpetualBurn]Boys like football, girls like ponies. Obviously this isn't always the case, but I think you are wrong to act like there's no such thing as natural masculinity and femininity.

Of course we shouldn't dissuade or refuse to accept any girls that do want to participate in activities that are not stereotypically "feminine" but you can't act like men and women don't exhibit different natural behaviour.[/QUOTE]

You're right, but I think the question he is asking (if not, then the question I am asking) is how much of this stereotypical behaviour is natural and how much is due to the society the child was brought up in?

FVG27 06-01-2006 05:56 AM

I'm not sure if this has anything to do with what you're saying but I have a really interesting friendship with my friend Tim. He's gay and I'm bi and it's really funny. We have absolutely no sexual interest in each other but it's not like a normal same sex friendship. He's always there for a cuddle and it's not weird if I'm at a sleepover with him and snuggle up next to him. It's also really nice having someone there to talk to and to empathize with. I also think sexuality is becoming far less of an equality problem today. All of my friends and me are always makng jokes about our sexuality. Tim calls me a stupid dyke and I call him a big fat queer. I think as long as people accept homosexuality and homosexuals accept that there will be homophobia everyone can live fine :)

coheneran 06-01-2006 05:58 AM

But homophobia shouldn't be accepted, just like racism shouldn't be accepted. They are both products of ignorance.

FVG27 06-01-2006 06:04 AM

[QUOTE=coheneran]But homophobia shouldn't be accepted, just like racism shouldn't be accepted. They are both products of ignorance.[/QUOTE]
You can't get rid of prejudice... it's impossible. I believe that as long as the thoughts are not acted upon- homophobia is not a problem.

Let me give you a real life example. I know a guy and he had a real problem with me being gay. Anyway I confronted him about it. In the end we just agreed to disagree. He accepts I'm gay and I accept he's homophobic.

Prejudice is not a problem. Discrimination is.

Noku 06-01-2006 06:20 AM

Well, prejudice is kind of problem because it might make social situations unfair (just like you are expected to have sexual tension towards opposite sex friends). But my point is that we should of course accept that not every one likes homosexuality, not every one likes different race people... BUT we shouldn't build a society which encourages to be prejudicial!

Btw, very good posts everyone, I am really happy to see good respose!

AmericanWeiner 06-01-2006 06:34 AM

[QUOTE=Noku]
I accept that we can't change the biological effects of genders, but for humans it seems to be natural to have sex without reproduction of species in mind.[/QUOTE]

We don't know that any animal has sex with reproduction in mind. We just know they only get "on" so to speak when it's time.

Humans are the same way, there's just a wider spectrum.

badtaste 06-01-2006 06:51 AM

[QUOTE=AmericanWeiner]We don't know that any animal has sex with reproduction in mind. We just know they only get "on" so to speak when it's time.

Humans are the same way, there's just a wider spectrum.[/QUOTE]

Well, you'd assume that animals do it because there's probably a biological need or instinct. Couple that with a 'great' sensations experienced, and animals will have an extra incentive to do so.

However, unlike animals, humans are capable of thought (arguable or not, I don't know). So, sex to humans is not necessarily biological/natural (It isn't strictly for breeding), but more of a pleasure thing, ja?

PerpetualBurn 06-01-2006 06:53 AM

[QUOTE=AmericanWeiner]We don't know that any animal has sex with reproduction in mind. We just know they only get "on" so to speak when it's time.

Humans are the same way, there's just a wider spectrum.[/QUOTE]

Most animals confine themselves to a regular mating season because it ensures that the offspring will be born at a time when survival is most likely. Humans, and I think dolphins too, are known to have sex recreationally.

peeted 06-01-2006 08:17 AM

[QUOTE=PerpetualBurn]Boys like football, girls like ponies. Obviously this isn't always the case, but I think you are wrong to act like there's no such thing as natural masculinity and femininity.

Of course we shouldn't dissuade or refuse to accept any girls that do want to participate in activities that are not stereotypically "feminine" but you can't act like men and women don't exhibit different natural behaviour.[/QUOTE]
granted there are some biological causes of gender but if you look at anthropological studies (such as margret meeds study) then you will see that gender specific behavior is very diffrent in diffrent cultures. theres realy not that big a biological effect.

PerpetualBurn 06-01-2006 09:08 AM

There are different expressions in different cultures. However, there are obvious behavioural patterns and notable biological reasons.

FVG27 06-01-2006 09:30 AM

I'm not sure if it's 'natural' for girls and boys to act the way they do. Most parents want their girls to be girls and their boys to be boys. Obviously you get the acception- more frequently in homosexuality as the males tend to be more feminine and the females tend to be more masculine. It really does beg the question why though. Even when there are same sex couple, you do tend to get opposites. After all, opposites attract. Is there something i all of us that tells us whatever sexual preference we have- we should act like the opposite? Someone on here said once that everything we do is based on survival, power and sex. So our roles in society, in the household, in the playground, are they all based around our inner sexual preference? This is a very interesting topic.

coheneran 06-01-2006 10:21 AM

[QUOTE=badtaste]Well, you'd assume that animals do it because there's probably a biological need or instinct. Couple that with a 'great' sensations experienced, and animals will have an extra incentive to do so.[/QUOTE]

I don't think animals experience the same kind of pleasure humans do. I'm pretty sure humans are the only species who's females have something like a clitoris, same goes for G-spots. I think (the following is purely speculation, I'm not an expert) the difference is that animals' instincts are for what's best for the species, whereas human instincts seem to be overwhelmingly what's best for the individual.

[QUOTE=Herbert_da_fish]I'm not sure if it's 'natural' for girls and boys to act the way they do. Most parents want their girls to be girls and their boys to be boys. Obviously you get the acception- more frequently in homosexuality as the males tend to be more feminine and the females tend to be more masculine.[/QUOTE]

I think that in homosexuals the tendency to act like the opposite sex is in some way imposed, not by society, but by the individual. Not imposed by a desire to act in that way, but by the need to assert one's identity. For example, if one likes the punk ethics and lifestyle (and music, though that is more irrelevant), one (in most cases) dresses as a punk. Same for goths, rockers, metalheads, religious people (ie. wearing a cross or a kippah). How these stereotype identities get created is a different question altogether, but why people stick with them, to me, seems fairly obvious.

lfantwister 06-01-2006 11:31 AM

[QUOTE]I'm not sure if it's 'natural' for girls and boys to act the way they do. Most parents want their girls to be girls and their boys to be boys. Obviously you get the acception- more frequently in homosexuality as the males tend to be more feminine and the females tend to be more masculine.[/QUOTE]

I don't know. I was the son my dad never had, so I played football until I realised I was female and it was a little painful. But other than that I am very feminine, I think. Is that natural? Or--is natural a concept that's natural to think about? Obviously all of our thoughts are "conditioned" by the unnatrual settings aroudn us, so how can we determine what natural is? Or is the "unnatural" society that puts all sorts of bizarre pressures on us "natural", in that it furthers our race?


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