Just Because He is a Man
In society, gender has become the reason of prestige but not the work. But what exactly does prestige mean here? Prestige is a major differentiating factor among professions and positions in society. It’s also an important element for the structure of the division of levels in society. In “Inequalities of Gender,” the author states, “Universally, greater prestige is given to men activities- regardless of what those activities are” (Henslin, Possamai, and Possamai-Inesedy 151). I totally agree the author here because society never considers women’s work or ability. The only thing they consider is the gender, and there are several aspects by which society measures women’s and men’s prestige.
In Asian culture, usually women don’t get much opportunity for higher education. Most of them study till secondary level and then are married off. However, there are some women who get higher education like men. Even if they are similarly educated, men will get more recognition for their education and academic progress. In job sectors also, equally qualified men and women don’t get the same level of job. In the article “Learning Gender Lessons at School,” the author says that men are always appointed as the principal; whereas, most of the teachers are women who work under the principal (Brown and Hood 68). husband and get married. If she were a boy instead of girl, he might be very proud of her.
Higher prestige is also given to men through wages also. For same sort of job women get less payment than men. In “Inequalities of Gender,” it is mentioned that,
In 2005, the average annual earnings of men working full-year, full-time were $55,700, while women working full-year, full-time averaged $39,200. In other words, women (full-time, full-year) were paid an average of 70.5 cents for every dollar their male counterparts earned. For those working full time, full year with a university degree, the gap was wider – women earned 67.5 percent of their male counterparts’ wages. (Henslin, Possamai, and Possamai-Inesedy 160)
So, it doesn’t matter how educated a women is. The thing that matter is “she is a woman.”
It is always said that women are mentally weaker than men. Whatever women decide, they decide from the heart, not from the brain. For not having the so called intellectual brain, women can’t even study subjects related to math and science. In the article “Inequalities of Gender,” it is shown that women mostly take easier subjects like health profession and related clinic science, personal and culinary services, visual and performing arts and family consumer science, whereas, men are more likely to take engineering and technology related subjects (Henslin, Possamai, and Possamai-Inesedy 158). I myself once aspired to be a marine engineer, but I couldn’t because the Marine Academy of Bangladesh is only for men. There’s no way for women to study that subject. I wonder about the reason behind it. Is it a hard profession for a woman to take or because it is one of the highest paid jobs?
So, stratified social structure is not only giving greater prestige to men but also depriving women to have that prestigious position.
Normally, when a man wins any race, he is cheered by everyone, but is it the same view in case of women? In “Inequalities of Gender,” Michelle Dumaresq, a female bike racer, proved herself from the very first race of her life, but she never got recognition for that. No one cheered her for her achievement. All she received was hostility and criticism from others. Wondering why? Just because she was a woman (Henslin, Possamai, and Possamai-Inesedy 150).
Stereotypes are qualities that people consider to be common in a particular group, gender, or race. A very common stereotype about gender is that women are meant to be at home and do household chores and men will be the one who earn. It is also seen that most of the working women do feminine jobs that are not very prestigious, but when men start to do that feminine job, they take that to a higher position. In “Inequalities of Gender,” we see that, when women used to be midwives, it was a job of low level. On the contrary, when men started to deliver babies as doctors, the job became a prestigious one (Henslin, Possamai, and Possamai-Inesedy 151).
In brief, it’s the society and its people who have some stereotypical ideas about women and with that; they fix the prestige of their work. To change the situation, we have to change the point of view of society first. Thus we can hope for a world where both men and women are equally given prestige for their individual activities.
i) Brown, Kristine, and Susan Hood. “Learning Gender Lessons at School”. Life in Society: Reading, Study Skills, Writing. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge UP, 2002. 67-8. Print.
ii) Henslin, James M., Adam Possamai, and Alphia Possamai-Inesedy. “Inequalities of Gender.” Sociology: a down to Earth Approach. Frenchs Forest, N. S. W.: Pearson Australia, 2010. 147-71 Print.
iii) Lorber, Judith. “Night to His Day.” Paradoxes of Gender. Yale UP, 1995. 288-98. Print.