The main idea of these journal entries is gender and culture. Sex has been the main topic in today's world since individuals seem to have diversified the meaning of this word. Culture, on the other hand, is a concept that unites people from different walks of life. However, with technology advancement and current levels of civilization, societal practices have been mostly eradicated. In the 18th and 19th centuries, the concepts of culture and sex were viewed differently from today. Traditions were held dear, and individuals followed them without question. Nowadays, people are going against these beliefs intentionally as acts of deviance.
Female genital mutilation can be termed as a cultural practice that is offensive to women. Circumcision is common in men and not women. The practice has been prohibited by many organizations, including WHO, due to its health implications on victims. A lot of communities in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East hold this practice every year and defend it as a vital process into adulthood (Egbodo 54). Young girls who are not old enough to make rational decisions get forced into this barbaric practice against their wish. Since it's done in hiding, these individuals do not use medical facilities. Victims in specific scenarios have suffered complications such as virginal infections, urination problems, excruciating pain, and at times death from excessive bleeding.
When discussing sex and gender, it is essential to consider how discrimination from this perspective has become rampant. People have diverse sexual orientations, while the binary gender of women does not receive as much respect as that of men. Every aspect of identity that a person assigns is based on belief. Some individuals decide to be witches, in the same manner, others consider themselves gay or transgender. Due to generational differences, individuals today portray more diverse gender recognition. In the past, one was either male or female. Currently, there are those in the middle as bisexual, among other diversities (Monro 9). Due to these differences, individuals got discriminated against due to their masculinity of feminism. For those who choose to be male, they are supposed to portray strength and power, while females should be calm and submissive. Therefore, if one does not fall under either criterion, they get biased following their sexual choices.
Themes in the Journals
Gender is the most prevalent concept of discussion in these journal entries. It tries to show how people identify themselves and the way such orientation has changed over the years. In the first entry, sex gets discussed in the content of how women get subjected to uncouth practices of cutting off their genitals. Despite the diversions against this practice, individuals engaged do not seem to stop as they have managed to uphold the tradition. The female gender is under threat from this practice. Most women in their teenage from Asian, African, and Middle East communities have no say as they get subjected to FGM against their will. Secondly, gender is viewed as a spectrum of identity since one could either be female or male in past centuries. Thirdly, sex becomes a concern, especially at work, since male and female colleagues don't get equal treatment. Females are subjected to fewer wages and respect, especially when conducting technical jobs. In the fourth entry, women historically fought for their rights in the "equal rights amendment act" to stop being considered less critical from men.
The aspect of covertures also gangs up against female gender as historically it based marriage on man and woman where the wife would be submissive without any say on family's assets. Currently, this has changed as individuals have embraced single motherhood and women empowerment in terms of assets division. Everyone is free to choose which gender they belong to even though it's through the creation of one which best suits them. Being female is associated with weakness, while strength is for males. That can be based on gender diversities of feminism and masculinity. Some practices like body piercing are related to women, although currently, even men have begun to wear necklaces, bangles, and earnings. Women are also known to talk more than men as they participate in communal gatherings and interact. Men only engage when giving orders or intervening. Sex and reproduction always go together since one is the product of the other. Even though the essence of sex and gender in procreation has changed, they still form the basis of the family institution.
Comparing and Contrasting Culture and Gender From the Past and Today
The way cultural practices got upheld in the past is very different from the current generation. People respected their traditions, were it FGM or body piercing. In the past eras, such activities had meanings, and every society member knew it. There was no going against these norms as they were passed down from one generation to another. Women engaged in female genital mutilation and willingly accepted the consequences that followed. Currently, technological evolution and scientific researchers have led to the alienation of these practices. The united nations with other organizations have led the war towards curbing of any tradition that does not add value to the community. An exercise like FGM has faced a lot of negative response given that it is not only backward but also puts the lives of participants in danger. Piercing of years and other body parts, which was only for women, is now being practiced by men altogether. In the future, there will be fewer traditional practices as civilization is doing away with them.
Gender in the past was recognized as either male or female. There were no other sexual orientations in play; hence, individuals became aware of their positions and rights in society. Men are associated with strength, power, and also with family control. Women, on the other hand, were soft and gave into everything their husbands or fathers ordered them. However, in today's world, everyone is treated equally despite their sexuality. There is no gender higher than the other. Although those with backward mentality will still view a woman as a minority, the law is finale on that. Sexual orientations have become diverse, with some individuals claiming to be binary, gay, transgender, and others heterosexual. In the past, there were no such things. The origin of these sexual diversities is not known, but with the current levels of freedom in expression, they continue to emerge. Rules in place about gender rights, however, do not apply to individuals that are neither male nor female. Due to this, these people continue to face discrimination in the community. However, the future is bright for them since there are many legal procedures in place to ensure their rights are recognized.
Personal Reflection of the Past and Future
In my opinion, sex and culture are dynamic aspects that will keep on changing with time. What today is considered standard ways of life might be done away with in the future. In the same manner, sexual orientation and ancient cultures have kept changing; they will continue to do so from one generation to another. Little will remain constant in the next few years. In some times to come, there might be an introduction of new gender diversity aspects or cultural beliefs. Technology adoption could become the most significant traditional practice as it is currently slowly taking over the world. Everyone is using it, and the few that don't are considered ancient.
The marital institution is currently under threat, and its future cannot be ascertained. Individuals are engaged in sexual acts for pleasure and not procreation as recommended. Same-sex unions and relationships are risking the natural ways of life since they hinder reproduction. The current sexual orientations are causing issues legally and in religious settings. There are those against differentiated sexualities calling them immoral. Hence with such dynamic, one cannot ascertain the future of this free world where an individual can express themselves without fear.
Egbodo, O. C., et al. "Female genital mutilation: opinion of outpatients of a department of obstetrics and gynaecology in north central Nigeria." Jos Journal of Medicine 12.2 (2018): 48-60. www.ajol.info/index.php/jjm/article/view/184147.Accessed December 03, 2019
Monro, Surya. "Sexual and Gender Diversities: Implications for LGBTQ Studies." Journal of homosexuality (2018): 1-11.www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00918369.2018.1528079.Accessed December 03, 2019
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