Your first paragraph should briefly summarize and evaluate the main argument of Halberstam essay. How does the author characterize gender in America? What questions do the author's main points raise for you? How would you answer these questions? Do the research sites you have chosen support Halberstam claims or raise new aspects of gender that should be considered further?
Gender is a term that has continually raised and evoked a mixture of reactions and emotions around the world in relation to everything that concerns all the people. It is something that has caused a wide range of debates across the world; but what is more important is that, all these opinions are based on personal view of the subject. The diversity of cultures across the world and even across the US has probably added dimension to the people’s perception and definition of the term gender.
Looking at the Jack Halberstam’s essay; you see a quick unique critique of the normal protocol of the term gender. According to the writer, the term gender is only used by the scholars in the field of social and cultural studies within America to ascertain a fair analysis out of male orientation and also when they wish to divert crucial attention from men to women
Halberstam is visibly critical of the gender usage in a more moderate but thorough way; whereby, he believes, using the support of the other scholars, that the term gender is only used to minimize the evident dominance of men over women in the American society.
It is imperative to note the origin of the term gender as illustrated by the writer to have originated from psychologist John Money. Money is attributed to have invented the gender term in the year 1955 to explain the social and cultural specialization of the sex roles and elaborated the difference between the bodily sex and social responsibilities using the term.
The writer further seems to criticize gender’s role in the American social context, as it is characterized by male bias, and invisible degradation of the women, as the term is used as a cover up of the unbalanced characterization of people’s background and orientations.
Halberstam raises a number of critical questions in regards to gender issues in the America. The most appropriate question that befits this context is how can we transform gender into a more universally acceptable term, without raising any doubts of discrimination? This question arises from the fact that, despite much criticism of gender and the need for an alternative term altogether, the modern society is not just ready yet to move away from it; which leaves the only one option of transforming it into something more acceptable.
In the contemporary society, gender subdivides people into men and women, and masculine or feminine, and generally; there is a perceived notion that women are usually placed on the lower social radar, and furthermore, the term generally is discriminative and less exhaustive of all human characteristics that typify their origin (Sociologists for Women in Society 2010).
According to (Carli n.d.), historical records show that most gender studies have hugely concentrated on the gender variations and the extent to which the all people are influenced by others. Further, in many scenarios, women are believed to posses lower levels of power and social status as compared to men. The bottom line of all these shows how gender has led to the general belief of characterizing of individuals based on what we believe.
It is a wise idea, as purported Halberstam to have a fresh look at the term gender, develop a much acceptable terminology that would befit and debunk all the social beliefs, stereotypes and misjudgments associated with “gender”. In any case, doing away with the term could as well be a wiser choice; at least according to Halberstam’s observation and assertions.
Carli, LL n.d., 'Gender and Social Influence', Journal of Social Issues, vol 57, no. 4, pp. 725-741.
Sociologists for Women in Society 2010, 'The Gender Revolution : Uneven and Stalled', Gender & Society, vol 24, no. 2.