I was recently asked by a friend to take part in a mini questionnaire on variant topics surrounding prejudice, equality and gender. I was asked, for the purposes of the project to keep my answers brief. Below is the result.
What Stereotype Or Prejudice Have You Experienced Because Of Your Sex?
I have experienced instances of judgement based upon my gender. There is probably an appearance, from the outside, of prejudicial behaviour however that is not always the way I view it. Intent plays a keys role in deciding whether someone was purposefully discriminatory towards another. Sometimes, though not excusable, a learned behaviour drives the prejudice – and this has not necessarily been question or attempted to be re-taught.
My sexuality or at least the perception of my manner, physicality etc…can be assumed to be “unmanly” and not the way in which “real men” behave. I am not speaking of anything sexual; but by not fitting the clichéd stereotype to which most children in the UK (who grow to be adults) are surrounded by, you get judged. Judgement is also not a bad thing – it is imperative to deciding and evolving friendships and trust, but if badly aimed the judgement could be deemed to be prejudice.
Have You Ever Lost Out On A Position Because Of Your Sex?
I don’t personally know of any occasion where I specifically lost out on a position due to the fact that I am male. However, I can see situations where it would happen and almost be acceptable for this to occur. For example, were I to own a health spa that catered to a predominantly female crowd, which gender of staff would my customers prefer to be served by? Which would I trust more? This leads back to the previous question – it is judgement.
Were I to have two applicants for a vacancy at the hypothetical spa, one defined male and one defined female and both were of equal skill, similar age and experiences. I feel I would opt for the female in this situation. Maybe this proves that there is a slice of me that I dislike seeing in other parts of society.
It is difficult in certain jobs / positions to allow any form of positive discrimination (although it does exist). I don’t want equal amounts of each gender, race, sexuality in politics purely based on those credentials. I want to see the people who are best suited to the role. An American politician once said, “She got the job but she was second choice. The reason? The first wasn’t female”.
Do You Feel There is Equality Between The Sexes?
I think that equal amounts of discrimination occur to people of both sexes. Quite often it is easier to notice the inequality from the female perspective rather than the males. This could be due to the past imbalances and inequalities from the right to vote, to expectations on life achievements and so on. However, these days I feel that males and females are more or less on an equal platform and some of the perceived inequalities are actually based upon the simple fact that differences exist: mentally, physically, sexually and so on.
I think the biggest inequalities and discriminations are towards those who may be described as inter-sex or transgendered. There is still a lack of understanding, a lack of knowledge and education and for as long as this ignorance occurs – the prejudices and inequalities will only deepen.
What, In Your Opinion, Is The Main Difference Between The Sexes (other than physical)?
I am not certain what to write here as each notion I can think of in terms of differences, I then find a major exception.
I think we all are capable of making the same mistakes; we are all capable of handling a situation in similar if not identical ways, we are all capable of feeling victimised and isolated and so on.
I think the perceived differences that are not based upon the physical are linked to all my previous answers: learned behaviour, expectations, a desire to conform and a fear to stand alone.
What Is Your Opinion On Gender Reassignment?
I do not feel that I was born in the wrong physical body. I don’t have to wonder or worry whether I am male or female, because I was born identified male and that gender suits me just fine.
For those that are born and then have to live life feeling like an alien in their own body, feeling like “an outsider to themselves” is a pain and confusion beyond my comprehension. I don’t think anyone can fully grasp how that feels unless you are in that position.
I have the privilege of counting several transgendered people amongst my close friends (both FTM and MTF).
Gender reassignment may be seen as “out of the norm”, as it is a minority group that decide to undergo these procedures, but if it allows someone to be who they are and free them of a trap that they are in – then it must surely be all for the better.
Do You Believe There Are ‘Men’s Jobs’ And ‘Women’s Jobs’?
I cannot think of any job that I could define as only suitable for males or females. Both are equally capable of performing the same tasks. Women and men can be of equal strength, intelligence and ability. It all depends upon the candidates that apply for the position at the time.
There are jobs that could be described as “male only” but they will have their female counterpart and vice versa; i.e. Male Stripper / Female Stripper, Male Footballer / Female Footballer.
I reiterate, as long as the person in any role is suitable for the job it shouldn’t matter what sex the person is defined as.