Gender and culture have been a topic of discussion over the past decades. It is a significant field of study in anthropology, which helps people to understand gender to their cultures. It also assists individuals in understanding the difference between gender, sex, and sexuality. Gender, therefore, is a cultural assumption of how men and women are viewed within their respective cultures (Stearns, p, 3). Also, gender defines the difference between men and women from culture to culture in their societies or communities. In the western states, for example, the difference between men and women is used as a tool to identify gender inequity. In non-western cultures, the concept of a third gender has been developed to allow the new political associations proposing transgender topics. However, this paper seeks to discuss gender in different cultures about cultural anthropology.
Global Overview of Gender and Culture
There is a particular belief all over the world that view men as the most influential gender as they believe that men are independent while women are interdependent. However, some cases of study got done to prove the dependency and interdepends between both genders, and the results were different. In some countries, they believe that men are interdependent while women are dependent. Others think that men are dependent while women are interrelated (Nollenberger et al, p, 258). The content of gender formulaic viewed as unique characteristics of men versus women, based on the points that men are dependent while women are interdependent. Males got taken to be goal-oriented to be helpless and argentic. However, ladies got viewed as oriented to others, interconnected, and communal. These interfere with the performance of an individual like job performance whereby men make may perform better than women in some jobs and vice versa.
It also affects sexual harassment whereby one gender is oppressed by the other; it also affects education performance. The gender differences' are accepted universally. However, culture can get defined as independent versus dependent based on the level to which an individual against the relationship is emphasized accordingly (Nollenberger et al, p, 260). Cultural arguments in interdependent and dependent are detected in such topics as communications and cognitive processing. Besides, there is a particular belief that men possess the highest status nationwide; that is associated with many aspects such that men possess the most top skills according to their culture belives. In cultures that value the basics of independent men are taken to be the most cultural traits. However, in countries where they do not appreciate the independently, mismatches may occur. Moreover, males are thought to be embodying artistic ideas.
Gender and African Culture
In many cultures, gender is related to responsibilities and developments in society. Women, for example, have been marginalized in both western and non-western countries. In the middle-east nations, for example, women have been sidelined from participating in matters concerning governance and decision making. Therefore, it is essential to explore the question of gender in different cultures, which leads to socio-political and economic roles in cross-cultures (Mayer, Claude-Helene, and Antoni, p, 328). In many African cultures, for example, in South Africa, polygamy is a persistent issue. Men are allowed to marry as many women as they can, while women are to be subjected to their husbands. Men in countries are allowed to sleep with women of their choice, whereas women are expected to remain loyal and submissive to their men. Besides, political leaders in such countries act as role models. King Mswati, for example, had to choose a new wife each time there was a celebration.
Similarly, in many African cultures, responsibilities are classified according to gender. Some duties are believed women cannot perform; thus, feminism and masculinity in the African context define gender roles. In Africa, women are associated with domestic responsibilities such as cooking, cleaning, and taking care of children. Men in African, on the other hand, were believed to be reliable. According to African traditions, men were to preside over war matters (Mayer, Claude-Helene, and Antoni, p, 333). Men and young men went to wars and defended the community. Also, they had to provide food for their families. Therefore, men had to go hunting and take food home to their families. Women were to wait for their husbands to return from a hunt and prepare food that men brought home.
Even though in modern African culture, gender balance has been tried out, there are still cultural practices differentiating women from men. Men and men have influenced contemporary African politics have occupied many political positions. That was a traditional practice that has evolved and is practiced in recent days (Mayer, Claude-Helene, and Antoni, p, 340). Also, issues such as budgeting and security in most African societies have been left for men. It is a cultural practice, which many African communities believe. In Africa, it is thought that women are weak and cannot be involved in security and economic matters. Socially, women's opinions are not needed in any decision making, although it varies from different societies because some include women.
Gender Roles According To Indian Culture
The purpose of women in India is taken to be a liability. By the point that women are always taken care of and maintained in different stages of life. That fact leads to women being neglected or mistreated, mostly when a woman happens to come from a poor background. Women in India played a significant role during the movement to attain independence, whereby they fought together with men to gain independence. In India, women are taught to be more homely, which is shown the kitchen roles such as cooking, which must correctly do to be considered a good wife and a perfect home marker (Gogineni, Rama Rao, et al, p, 303). The other character is that women got created for companionship to men; thus, it is their foremost duty to serve men and obey them and bear children with them to make sure there is a continuation of the family lineage.
It was the role of women to provide labor food sowing cloth and to get the meal ready for the family. The women had then the responsibility to take care of their children. Also, to remain home, take care of the home while men were to go and earn for the family. The other role is that women were to dress decently, either at home or at any place (Patel and Jayeshkumar, p, 20). They were to cover their body without exposing any part of her body. It was also the role of a woman to get married and have a family but, in India, women were married at a younger age, thus being inhuman. Due to the coming of the British, it changed the aspects of marrying their daughters at a younger age. In India, women never got educated as they were believed to have minor roles in the society, such as taking care of the family; thus, boys and men had the right to education, which women did not have access to in the society.
Gender in Japanese Culture
In Japanese society, female participation in leadership responsibilities has remained a matter of concern from the ancient japan to modern japan. Women have limited opportunities to participate in leadership roles in Japan. The world economic forum, for example, has ranked japan 114th out of 144 countries in the gender equity ranking among developed nations (Yoshikawa, Akiko, and Chia-Huei Wu, p, 305). Japan is a developed country but is considered the least gender-equal government according to the rankings resulting from its culture. Even though Japan has tried to make progress in recent years to involve women in leadership roles, the female position in Japanese society is still limited. Women in Japan, for instance, occupy about 12% in the management of the Japanese companies.
The percentage of women inclusion in a management position of the Japanese is in contrast with the U.S inclusion of women in management positions. In the U.S, for example, there are over 42% of women in the management positions of American companies (Yoshikawa, Akiko, and Chia-Huei Wu, p, 308). Therefore, Japanese culture has a significant duty in defining gender responsibilities. Besides, there are specific aspects of Japanese customs, such as collectivism, cultural togetherness, and masculinity that are causing gender inequality in Japan. Masculine culture is significantly experienced in Japan, which is causing the gender inequality of roles in society.
Conclusively, the study of cultural anthropology is a significant area of research that helps people to comprehend their cultures and how they affect gender. Besides, gender roles and inequity has been a topic of discussion for the past decades and is still discussed in the modern world. In many cultures, masculinity has been the primary cause of gender inequity. Men are seen as individuals who are better than women; thus, men have better opportunities than women in society. Men are often viewed as people who should govern and lead organization, while women stay home to care for children and perform domestic chores.
Gogineni, Rama Rao, et al. "Globalization of culture: Impact on Indian psyche." Indian Journal of Social Psychiatry 34.4 (2018): 303.
Mayer, Claude-Helene, and Antoni Barnard. "Balancing the scales of gender and culture in contemporary South Africa." Psychology of gender through the lens of culture. Springer, Cham, 2015. 327-349.
Nollenberger, Natalia, Nuria Rodriguez-Planas, and Almudena Sevilla. "The math gender gap: The role of culture." American Economic Review 106.5 (2016): 257-61.
Patel, R., and Jayeshkumar Pitroda. "The Role of Women in Construction Industry: An Indian Perspective." Indian Journal of Technical Education (IJTE) Special Issue for ICWSTCSC (2016): 17-23.
Stearns, Peter N. Gender in world history. Routledge, 2015.Yoshikawa, Katsuhiko, Akiko Kokubo, and Chia-Huei Wu. "A cultural perspective on gender inequity in STEM: the Japanese context." Industrial and Organizational Psychology 11.2 (2018): 301-309.
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