Wednesday, March 11, 2015

March 4th, 2015

            This week we talked about gender in political geography. Gender is the social construct that men and women are different. We spoke about the statistical significance of the differences in voting patterns between men and women, such as the idea that more women vote for gun control. We talked about the tendency for society to become more violent when men are isolated and women removed, versus when the two genders are present, and cited the examples of the American West and the violence that was rampant there before women were brought out to begin homesteads, and the differences between male only dorms and co-ed dorms. Statistically, students get better grades and engage in less risky behavior while living in co-ed dorms. We talked about the tendency of mass shooters to be single white men, the idea that maybe men are tempered by women when they marry to women.

It upset me that in this discussion about gender we completely disregarded the fact that there are more than two genders, and people that identify with no gender. These people are often considered statistically insignificant, but using the same scale we might say that the entire redheaded or vegetarian populations are statistically insignificant. As well, we did touch on the idea that gender is socialized, but we didn’t really discuss the implications of that concept. To me, that means that while all the statistics and facts that we discussed are true now, they don’t have to be in the future. Men might not always be more prone to violence or more likely to vote against gun control. Women might not always be more peaceful and more prone to caregiving behavior. All of these behaviors are dictated by society as it stands today, and I think that is very important.
       We can talk all day about the reasons why men and women are different, why their voting patterns, behaviors and habits oppose and we can cite science and biology but in my opinion, people are different from animals because they are able to reason and behave rationally. This means we don’t have to be governed by biology, and the differences are accentuated by society rather than dulled by them. In at least one case, the case of the single white male shooters, gender differences cause harm to society.  

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