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A flood of smiles with a Haiku on Happiness. Please enjoy and do not forget to post your impression in comments. Stay tuned to Young Writers and Poets for more to come. Today, I would like to thank all those who participated in Meet The Writers so far. You all were lovely writers. I hope to continue this journey.

Meet the Writers – Episode Three

And we are back with another voice from the writing community. Once again, I have brought a very unique writer. I feel very privileged to interview yet another writer. Never did I thought when I started this section would I have imagined to encounter such fabulous people from the four corners of the world. With her precious advice on health, lifestyle and unending optimism, I now welcome on-board:

M.S. Arora

The writer of the day hails from India and writes essentially to inform people about innovation in healthy diet patterns and our living habits. She expresses also her concern on environmental issues and displays an optimistic point of view even against depressing problems. Let’s see what she has to say:

  • Hello M.S. Arora. Thank you for taking out the time for answering some questions. I had the opportunity to go through your blog. It is quite a medley of topics you treat in your writing ranging from environment to lifestyle. So, why not enlighten us on you as a writer and as an individual.

First if all I would like to say thank you for giving me this opportunity to express myself as an writer and contributor on your website. I started my blog about one and half year ago. It was the time when due to my illness I was at home. I took leave from my job for few months. Since I have been into teaching for so many years, it was difficult for me to spend time at home. One day my son told me to try blogging as I have always been keen interested in writing. So I started blogging. My experience as a teacher helped me a lot as I was writing scripts for various school programmes. It became easy for me to write and express myself on this platform. As a person, I have always been looking opportunities to learn more in my life. To me, there is no age to learn as it is a never ending process.

  • You often referred to the Godrej Food Trends Report of 2018 on Indian pattern of consumption and quoted snippets of Indian scriptures likewise in your analysis of the eating habits and preferences of the Indian population. Why specifically those sources and not others? Are you confident that people will readily shift from their actual eating style to new modes of healthy consumption? Could you please share here with us some advice you would give to the people all around the world on habits of eating?

So many questions in one question! (smiling)

I would like to give a reply to all.

Yes, I have written few posts based on Godrej Food Trends Report as part of their blogging contest. This report is prepared by well known chefs nutritionists, dietitians of India.

  1. Personally, I feel diet has lot of impacts on our thoughts, feelings and our physical, mental and spiritual health. I have reading articles about food and Ayurveda where it is really important. Moreover, I have observed in my real life also that place, environment and thoughts play a major role while eating food. It is well described in Hindu scriptures too. Moreover, in Christianity also they say grace before eating food. I have found it appropriate to the article, so I have added. it is nothing in particular to Hindu scriptures. I am also planning to read other religious scriptures too.
  2. Yes, sooner or later they have to if they want to cope with today’s stressful life.
  3. I think everyone knows how important the healthy food habits are but we are not ready to accept this fact. We are ignoring this by putting our health at stake. There are many people who are following it and know the kind of positive results they’re getting. So, it’s better not to be late. I really suggest that one should try Buddha bowl as it gives an immense pleasure while eating and secondly, do eat at home with your home with your family in spite of your busy schedule.
  • I read your posts concerning environmental issues. Even if the points you stated in some posts were not new, you would still emphasise on your statistical data, pushing towards reflection on the urgency of the situation in your country. In a post, you even spoke of a new idea to reduce paper wastage. I would like you to tell us what advice would you give to Indian readers out there to safeguard their environment and limit the effects of pollution?

I think we shouldn’t wait for our government or the authorities to take an initiative or make some rules. After all it is about us and our planet. Everyone should be concerned about their own contribution towards environment. I myself have limited the use of plastic bags and have started recycling the plastic bottles and containers at home rather than buying new ones. I strongly believe that only individual efforts by masses can bring a change in the society.

  • Your quotes are filled with unlimited optimism telling people to have good thoughts and energy. How do you manage to keep a ‘positive attitude’ at all costs? What is your secret?

I have no idea but I have experienced a few things in my life and felt that it is only our perspective and how to take the things in life is solely the reason of our happiness and sadness. The glass is half full or half empty is the decision or creation of our mind only.

  • I went through your short stories and Haiku poems. I was quite impressed by how much you proved yourself to be versatile in your writing passion. Some short stories were really heart-wrenching with a very profound human touch. Do you aim to become published? What are your aims behind this type of writing?

I really liked your art of asking questions (laughs) again 2 in 1ūüėäūüė䬆. Hope you don’t mind my way of giving answers. I must appreciate your effort to read my poems and stories. Some of these are inspired by life incidents or my imagination. That is why I say there is something for everyone in my blog and you can feel connected with it.

I have not taken any any step to become a published author yet, but yes may be in future I give a thought to it. I would like to write something that could inspire the lives of people in different ways. Something that prepare and teach the people how to cope with adverse situations in day to day life easily. This are just thoughts in my mind, still there is a long way to go.

Thank you for putting up lots of efforts and inspiring the upcoming writers and bloggers to showcase their talents on you site. Giving them a chance to fly high with the wings of words

MS Arora¬†ūüíēūüíē
M.S. Arora in Meet the Writers 

It was again a lovely intervention from M.S. Arora. She is a very enthusiast blogger and passionate about she does. Thanks for M.S. Arora for featuring in my interview. We can see that she is really concerned about the health of people, the environment in which they live and their lifestyle. With her refreshing quotes, you’ll grow a sweet smile on your face, with her short stories, you will learn about the great individual she is and her delicious food tips will definitely make you fall in love with the notion of healthy and well balanced diet.

As far as you literary productions are concerned, I wish you luck if you want to get published. Keep on the good work because it is way too good. Please continue to share with us your unyielding optimism and thoughtful advice.

So, guys, interested in taking a look and support her writings? Please support the writer of the day by following her blog:

Journey of Life Continues

This interview was phenomenal. Want to tell something to the author or ask anything? Please leave you questions in the comments section. The author will be pleased to answer them.

M.S. Arora has plenty of positive energy which she readily shares with her readers. Whether her quotes, poems, posts on healthy food or environment, her words is a genuine attestation to the fact that she really is concerned by the way things are going and wants to contribute the stepping stone that will help towards a change. It is a wind of revolution which is slowly gaining intensity, so beware because she is going to be a landmark in overturning bad habits of life.

Foolchund Saahil

It was fun time doing this interview. We will be back for another episode, till then please continue to follow the further editions of Meet the Writers on Young Writers and Poets. A special thanks to Flyhiee who is bringing those marvellous voices to us. Find this interview on his site as well. If you are also interested in being interviewed, please drop in a message by mailing me on foolchund123@gmail.com or send an email to flyhieeofficial@gmail.com and get a chance to be interviewed.

Till we meet our next writer, I hope we meet soon. Have a nice day ahead.

Happiness is a Divine Gift

Welcome back friends for a great post accompanied with another wonderful creation in poetry. So, basically, what happiness evokes to you? Yes, I know, the various pleasures life can offer. We all go through several difficult challenges some becoming tragedies in our lives. Happiness is somewhat elusive, ethereal, not long-lived, because it fades away and it is natural. As life and death, you can consider it a cyclic event of happiness-sadness. Have you never noticed? You may be sad or morose because something is not alright for you but the people around might be smiling and laughing. These two dual emotions co-exist, and they alternate just as winter dies out to make place for summer, sadness is somewhat subdued in the long run to give place to happiness. Thus, Happiness is a precious gift, one given like much more by an altogether cosmic being out there and even if you do not believe in the existence of a supernatural force well beyond our limits of our understanding. Just not bother about that, think it rather like a magical feeling which soothes our pain and give rise to new rays of hope.

In my poem, I rather translate the feelings of a persona who really love (what kind of love depends on your perception) a certain person called Mary who wish her all happiness and not even an ounce of sadness. Already, we can only imagine how much that voice loves the individual referred to as Mary in the poem. It is also a call for hope for a better world, but let’s rather enjoy the poem:

 

Don’t forget your happiness, Mary!

 

Mary, Mary at this time,

Merry all along the way

Wish should you never say

‘What’s the date today?’

Enjoy the busy party till nine

 

Oh! What’s there to worry?

Don’t look away from your friends

Ah! To your duties should you not fend

Groove to this rhythm with no end

In this world for you, there’s no hurry

 

Mary, Mary at this instance,

Overwrought with this light in your mind

Free yourself; the chains you do not find

Your industrious self to which you bind

My Mary, overlook their importance!

 

Oh! Don’t you tie you back?

To the endless paths you err for peace

Are living as if on lease

Feel the freshness of the inner trees

In this world for you, can there be no more lack

 

But we are all destined to the slavery

Fated to this swift universe, my poor Mary!

 

Post your impression in the comments. Keep following Young Writers and Poets.

Education: An important issue for our Future

An analysis of Education. Find it exclusively on Pencliff!

PENCLIFF

We are maybe thousands, not really; just a sparse hundreds of people around the world to have asked these questions:

  • Is my education system elitist? Does it encourage ‚Äėunhealthy‚Äô competition where winning is everything and learning outcomes are considered marginal?

education 4

If yes, then your education system is ‚Äėdehumanised‚Äô. An education system, especially a school environment is what eminent French sociologist Emile Durkheim calls a microcosm¬†of society. The school, temple of knowledge for some and considered by intellectuals a replica in miniature of society. In more simple terms, Emile Durkheim defines a school as a ‚Äėsmall scale model of society constrained within a defined area.‚Äô

Thus, if your education system¬†is elitist, it is reflective of the state of your society. Conflict theories (which I will explain in detail in my upcoming posts in the edition ‚ÄėUnderstanding Individual and Society‚Äô, so keep following it on Young Writers and Poets) which I‚Ķ

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An ethereal look with a Haiku on Divinity. Enjoy and do not forget to convey your impression through comments. Stay tuned with Young Writers and Poets for more surprises. Special thanks to Flyhiee in his support for my regular interview Meet the Writers. Thanks again to Pencliff community for love and support and Alien Poet for the opportunity of writing on his blog.

Meet the Writers – Episode Two

Welcome back again after a very long time, dear followers and readers, for another great voice rising from this blogosphere. I am stupefied in the long run how much this virtual world houses such valuable stories; seeming almost like a great virtual library formed by WordPress. This time, I have come across an altogether different writer from what we are used to. With her unique story, incredible strength, resistance and unaltered determination, I now introduce you to:

Valerie Petry

Our writer of the day hails from Houston, Texas, United States and uses her writing to fight her condition and raise awareness among people about diseases and stress on the importance of a healthy and well balanced lifestyle. I now let her express herself:

  • Hello Valerie. I’m much pleased that you could take out some time to answer some of my questions. The first post I stumbled on while visiting your blog was your health state. I was quite surprised because it was not the kind of posts I usually encounter on blogs. So, could you tell us more of yourself as a person and as a writer.What do you intend to achieve with your writing?

I’m a single mom of two boys aged 16 and 13. I’ve been writing gosh, since I could remember! My mom taught me how to write in manuscript and cursive before I even¬†started grade school. I am the eldest of four daughters and also grew up in a single-parent home, so journal writing became my escape. I’ve been writing ever since. I’ve written many pieces, from children’s books to Erotica Romance.¬† I started blogging about five years ago on another platform as another way to keep me distracted from the¬†recent storms I’ve found myself travelling. Hopefully, someone out there can either learn from my mistakes and experiences, or become inspired to break themselves free of any trials and struggles they may be going through or encountering.

  • In my biology class, I remember (although it is not clear now) having studied about heart conditions like angina, stroke and thrombosis. I never heard before about Congestive Heart Failure. Could you tell us more about this condition? What advice¬†would you give to people who suffer from the same condition? How did you diagnose the condition?

Angina, stroke, thrombosis are all things that can fall under or lead to Congestive Heart Failure. It involves anything that could potentially cause your heart to become damaged and start performing poorly or not at all. My advice to anyone who has it to LISTEN TO YOUR DOCTOR! If your diet has to change, CHANGE IT! Take your medicines and when they are supposed to be taken. Once your heart is severely damaged it’s very hard to get it back to where it needs to be. My pacemaker will be¬†in my chest for another ten years or until it needs to be changed to another one. When I found out I had Congestive Heart Failure I had a heart attack. What I thought was a¬†real bad cold keeping me from going to sleep and breathing heavily turned out to be an extreme amount of fluid around my heart and damaged heart walls. The other main symptoms were dyspnea, or shortness of breathe, a swollen stomach, and high blood pressure. One thing I learned is to never attempt to self medicate or “self nurse” yourself back to health; seek medical attention!

  • Upon that, you suffer from other health difficulties like Obstructive Sleep Apnea. How do manage with all that? What health objectives have you fixed to cope with these conditions to prevent further health complications? Are you successfully sticking to them?

I have to sleep with a machine called a CPap machine for the Sleep Apnea. Basically, every night I stop breathing over 200 times from my pallet (the little piece of flesh at the back of the throat) which closes off air flow. This sends the heart into tachycardia, and your brain has a hard time receiving oxygen. I have to wear my mask to my machine anytime my body will be resting. My diet totally changed! I have to watch my sodium intake, I can’t drink more than 1.5L of fluid a day, and I have lots of medication to take as well. Being homeless and having no money makes it really difficult to follow through with all of this, but I utilise my resources best I can. I also have a very loving and helpful family and close friends. They have really helped in taking care of me!

  • In all this, tell us whether your writing helps to ease your health problems? I also saw that you clearly stated your aim to be published so I will not ask the question. Actually the question here would be with what motivation do you aim to get published?

Writing is my PASSION! Just the physical act of it is soothing. Like to be honest I would have preferred to write all of this on paper and place it in an envelope and¬†mail! lol It’s therapeutic, it allows me to express myself without becoming flustered and angry, and it relieves a tremendous amount of stress! My motivation is my BOYS! As a parent I have to set the BEST example I can for my children. I want them to see how important it is to NEVER give up on yourself or your dreams! I want them to¬†understand that you can allow your circumstances to break you, or you can use them to build you and help you grow to be a better person. Of course, I’m also aiming to become published because I am disabled. My doctors have established it’s best for me not to work, or my conditions will get worse. I’ve got to get some type of residual in my life if I’m going to survive!

  • I heard one of your YouTube video called the ‘Valerie Ascending A Sneak Peek’. How does your YouTube channel help to deliver your philosophy of life?

I believe my YouTube channels gives my audience a chance to see my authenticity.¬† It gives them a chance to get a better connection with me and who I¬†am as a person. I’m going through a lifestyle change, and sometimes it’s hard to put those words and expressions on paper! I also think that not everyone wants to read, so again this is another platform I’m using to get my content out there to the world!

~smile~

Valerie Petry in Meet the Writers

So, this was our writer of the day interview. Actually, I do not know where to start? First of all, I wholeheartedly thanks Valerie for willing to feature in my interview. There’s so much to say about Valerie. She is a true fighter. Personally, the difficulties faced in her life like her much fragile health serves as reminder to tell us to enjoy good health and how much it is important to preserve it. I cannot fathom how much pain and hurdles you encountered along the way but Valerie, from the whole blogosphere including me, I wish you more strength and strong will to keep up the good job and carry on to shed light to our readers out there on how much it is crucial to prioritise our health and life.

Through her words, we really feel that struggle and the unyielding wish to live and leave a potential legacy for the future generation. It is quite unusual that I come across a writer who has suffered so much but yet uses her experiences in her writing.

My advice to Readers: Do not ignore your health. It is essential. Take breaks when needed and continue with your exercises. Good health is a gift of God which we need to treasure as the gem it is.

If you want to support the writer of the day, follow and visit her blog for nice tips to remain healthy and great poems and short stories:

Valerie Ascending

It was a pleasure carrying out this interview and should you have any questions of your own to address to the author, please leave them in the comments section. It will be a pleasure for her to answer your questions.

The story of Valerie can leave no individual indifferent. It gives a new perspective on life; one which you should live to the fullest. Her story is an inspiration for many and should encourage people from similar conditions not to adopt defeatist attitudes towards life but give it one more chance with a new zeal and healthy approach.

Foolchund Saahil

On this note, I wish her a very good continuation on the way she is threading. Please continue to follow Meet the Writers edition on Young Writers and Poets to know more on the writers and their stories on my blog. Special thanks to Flyhiee who brought to us the writer of the day and do find this interview on his site as well. If you are interested in appearing the interview, please send me a mail on foolchund123@gmail.com or flyhieeofficial@gmail.com and get your chance to be interviewed.

Till we meet our next splendid talent, I hope to meet you all very soon. I wish you a nice day ahead.

Summer Themed Poetry Contest Update

Deadline extended. If anyone wants to showcase his talents, it’s the right time!!

PENCLIFF

Hello everyone! Since there are only two poem entries, the deadline date for the summer themed poetry contest has been extended to the 26th, so if you were interested in entering, please check out the original Summer Themed Poetry Contest post here.

All entries must be entered by the 26th, and the winners will be announced on the 30th. 

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Why do you think many men are misogynistic, sexually violent and aggressive?

Understanding Individual and Society

Couple  in love

In the light of the many events around the world concerning the construction of gender identities in society, I have decided to start off with the identity of ‘men’ or ‘women’. Hence, it becomes primordial to acquire a thorough understanding of gender identities. Today’s focus will be on the question asked in the title, though we will try to delve further in the matter starting from a popular misunderstanding.

Advice to readers: This is quite a long post on gender matters as viewed by social sciences and people. So, please bear with me or if you can’t, come back later for a better read.

Gender or sex; the same thing?

Here we are! This is a very common mistake adopted and indoctrinated by people with little or no knowledge on the subject. We commonly assume both to be major distinction¬† between male and female. Is it? Wrong, it’s not the case. Sex,¬†the word that appears on your Birth Certificate, is the biological differences that categorise you as either ‘male’ or ‘female’. In other words, your¬†physical characteristics define your sex but not your gender. Gender¬†is a social construction of your identity, that is, culturally created differences between sexes through the process of gender-role socialisation. The sociologist Connell argues that we not born as ‘men’ or ‘women’; we become ‘men’ or ‘women’ by the social construction of gender identities.

With these notions properly established, we can now move on to the question.

Why? Is it in their nature, DNA, or their attributes?

men and women 3

Actually, this is a debate, so no wrong answers. You are many to have asked these questions before, right? Does the aggressiveness of men stems from their genes? Are their behaviour internally controlled/directed by their impulses? They are naturally prone to violence and domination. You might be right to speculate on these possibilities but you may be wrong.

The famous debate on whether human behaviour is a product of socio-cultural environment or our genes is called the Nature v/s Nurture Debate. The social sciences support the Nurture view whereas our scientific counterparts advocate for the Nature view. However, here, we shall consider only what is related to the question on gender issue. The debate is very heated and much ink continues to be spilled on this topic. Theories that advance that genes predetermine behaviour are termed as genetic determinism. One such dominant theory is Sociobiology. Developed by E.O. Wilson¬†in 1975, it is in part based on Charles Darwin’s¬†Theory of Evolution. Sociobiologists believe that human behaviour is shaped by a genetically based program called instinct. So, to resume, human beings are programmed to behave in certain ways. Thus, the difference in the behaviour of men and women are explained by the different genes we possess. For instance, Tiger and Fox conveyed the idea of biogramming. Tiger and Fox¬†argue that men and women have different ‘biogrammers’, or genetically-based programmes, which predispose them in behave in distinct ways. ‘Male biogrammers’¬†code the behaviour and naturally procure the faculties of being dominant, imposing, charismatic, bread-winners, aggressive whereas on the contrary ‘Female biogrammars’ encourage women to be emotional, caring, soft, child-bearing and to express maternal instincts. Another view stems from differences in the intellectual capacity of the brain. There are claims that hormones have indirect effects on male/female brain development. One area of research focused on the issue of Brain Lateralisation or The Split Brain Theory¬†as conceived by John Nicholson. The left hemisphere of the brain specialises in verbal and linguistic abilities whereas the right side is mainly responsible for vision-spatial abilities. It is believed that the left side is more dominant in girls which leads to greater verbal ability among them. The right side is more dominant in boys and as such they perform better in spatial and mathematics test. Thus, sociobiologists believe that gender differences are the result of biological differences. In general, men are naturally equipped to behave in the way they do because they were programmed to do so and the same is applied to women. They are considered to be passive, dependant on men because this is how roles have evolved from prehistory. The Psychoanalytic Theory¬†also supports these views but adds further by saying that gender identity is fixed before even children are aware of genital differences. For instance, Person (1974) found that blind children develop stable gender identities and share social definitions of femininity and masculinity.

So, it’s our fate as women. We should accept it and stifle in a male dominated society with no agency just because our biology tells us that we are weak and men are strong.

Wrong! Totally wrong, it’s just one side of the debate, my dear female friends. It’s what they ‘think’, and if we philosophise on the word ‘think’; It limits to the thoughts/opinions of a group of people, and it can be counteracted. Have you already forgotten, it’s a debate! We are yet to explore the Nurture view of sociologists. Sociologists argue that human behaviour is dictated by certain principles, because on this side, they believe that people will think and do certain things as they have been taught to do or think. That is, we act as we do because we have learned to be the people we are. Sociologists advance many counter-arguments to defend their stance. However, let’s focus again on the gender-related ones. There is an indirect example which shows evidence of social construct of gender. Around 1918, in India, in a cave-like den, two abandoned female children, later called Amala and Kamala, were discovered in the company of wolves. Sociologists refer to such persons as Feral or wild children. Their claim was if human behaviour was simply predetermined genetically, then, those girls would have behaved and survived as civilised humans. Thus, sociologists formulate that no individual can become one without undergoing the process of socialisation, in the presence of human society. It is with the adherence of society that we develop our conscience of individuals constituting it. We learn the expected pattern of behaviour as no such thing as ‘instinct’ commands our willpower. Those expected pattern or guidelines for behaviour are called norms. As such here, biology is a not valid explanation to explain gender roles and identity. Instead, society shapes our gender perceptions. As far as Amala and Kamala are concerned, let’s take them as example. The Indian conservative society emphasises a lot on decency of clothing(this is a prevailing norm in Indian society), however, when discovered for the first time, the girls were unclothed because in my opinion, they were never taught to hide their body in clothes because the learning they received from the animals inculcated them that nudity is not a shame, rather it is natural to be naked. As they never received the education that clothing was necessary in society, they never wore clothes as they was no one to teach them that. So, dressing sense for females are acquired by the social learning process by inculcating and internalising the adequate norm for this in society. Thus, through what sociologist calls gender-role socialisation, we acquire notions about gender-appropriate roles and responsibilities. Feminist writer Ann Oakley¬†heavily contributed to this view by suggesting four main ways in which gender socialisation¬†takes place in the first years:

  • Manipulation – Parents encourage behaviour that is seen as normal for the child’s sex and discourage the behaviour associated with the other sex. For instance, mothers may encourage girls to pay more attention to their appearance than boys.
  • Canalisation¬†–¬† Children are ‘channelled’ towards activities and toys appropriate for his/her sex. For instance, girls are given dolls which reflect their desire for physical beauty, miniature houses and kitchen toys to show their future household role and arouse and sustain their maternal feelings.
  • Verbal apellation – There are distinct ways to address a child depending on whether he’s a boy or girl. An experiment carried by Will et al. reveal this pattern of parental behaviour. He observed young mothers’ interaction with a baby presented as both Beth and Adam. With Beth, they used dolls and words such as ‘sweet’ to describe her. With Adam, (the same baby reintroduced but unknown to the mothers), they offered him a train and received fewer smiles. Though treated differently, it was the same child dressed in different coloured clothes.
  • Different activities – Boys and girls are encouraged to pursue different activities. While we expect more indoor activities and household participation from girls, boys on the other side obtain greater freedom. This persists even while girls and boys grow older.

Simple. If socialisation within the family is the root of the problem, then we can change things pretty earlier by encouraging non-sexist education and prevent male behaviour from going wrong.

Dear girls and women, if things were so simple, everything would have changed from a long time ago. Yes, we can agree on socialisation being the cause of the problem and rectifying some educational errors could help but not solve the problem. Actually, I retake the example of Adam and Beth earlier mentioned, it is your subconscious that somehow interferes in the education of men and women. We do not readily change what existed from so long because it is here since ages, somewhere hiding in our sub-conscience. Every action cannot be a result of our decision. We may end up saying or doing something contradictory with our beliefs; it happens almost all the time so how can you consciously modify every aspect of your kids’ education to prevent sexism? And yes, don’t forget the overpowering contribution of secondary institutions of socialisation. For instance, the media through serials, daily soap operas, advertising can change the game. Media which I frequently call a powerful ideological institution, for example, can encourage boys to adopt a very active and adventurous lifestyle by constantly portraying them as the stories heroes or invincible protagonist of action movies where women may be sidekicks only to support a romantic subplot or at best be accompanying agents in spy movies with less scope for action, thus, telling girls to be passive, submissive and dependant on men for subsistence. Advertising on cosmetics may encourage exaggerated concern for looks and sex appeal for women. Not only the media, there is also various institutions like Religion, Education, Work and even Peers which influence gender perceptions. So, they are likely to contradict your plans if you want a gender-balanced society with future generations. Things are of course changing but I do not think we are likely to progress much even in this fast changing world.

So, no chance at all. We will always be at a dead-end.

Not really. Apart from the Nature v/s Nurture debate, other evidences reveal something towards a changing/mutating gender identity and its roles and responsibilities. We will take a closer look at that later.

Male and female identities

Business People At Starting Blocks

Sociologist Connell revealed two forms of dominant gender identities:

  • Hegemonic Masculinity – associated with traditional physical and mental characteristics. For instance,physically, men are encouraged to adopt a particular body shape to fit in the notion of the ‘ideal’ men, having robust strength and an impressive physique. Mental abilities include logical thinking, better problem-solving faculty, leadership skill, calculating, cool among others. This is a dominant form of identity.
  • Emphasised Femininity – female identities are traditionally defined by interests and needs of men. The dominant identity is the one that ‘matched and complemented’ hegemonic masculinity.

An element of choice however is to be considered as alternative to these two identities exist.

Sociologist Schauer found these alternatives:

  • Subordinate masculinity¬†– ‘retrograded’ form of masculinity. Actually, either men are unwilling or unable to fulfil hegemonic roles. For instance, physical incapacity may be a cause.
  • Subversive masculinity¬†– challenges and undermines hegemonic masculinity by alternatives. An example may be the serious hard-working student in contrast to the traditional gender markers such as bunking class or failing.
  • Complicit masculinity – newly feminised masculinity. For instance, men combine paid work with their share of household works. This type sees women as equal. This identity occurs due to the changing status of woman, becoming more powerful in society.
  • Marginalised masculinity – refer to men who feel excluded from family lives. They cannot fulfil traditional responsibilities of bread-winner and family provider. Willott and Griffin notes that this type is prevalent in long-term unemployed working class families as the belief about the ‘good family man’ collided with their reality.

There are three main forms of femininity in contemporary society:

  • Contingent – Framed and shaped by male beliefs, behaviours and demands which include a normalised identity, where women play a secondary role to men and a¬†sexualised¬†identity which is fashioned through male eyes and fantasies.
  • Assertive – It reflects the changing position of women. Though this identity approves of breaking free from traditional roles, they do not completely set themselves apart from their male partners. Different types of assertive identity exist: ‘girl power’ identities such as ‘sex for fun’ and the importance of female friendship but older women are excluded, modernised identities¬†which relate for older women. These locate new-found female economic and cultural power within the context of family relationships. The assertive aspect here is the desire for personal freedom and expression. Ageing feminities which assert the right of elderly women to be fashionable, active and sexual beings.
  • Autonomous – involve competition with men on female terms. Sociologist Evans points to a female¬†individualism¬†as part of a ‘new gender regime that frees women from traditional constraints’, such as pregnancy and childcare. Autonomous women are likely to be: highly educated, successful, professional middle class and career focused. They also tend to non-committal heterosexual relationships, and are unlikely to involve marriage and children.

Is masculinity crisis a good news for women? Why are they reticent to change?

men and women 4

Wrong question. If your aim is to build a matriarch in vengeance, then we are not friends. Sorry, I advocate for gender balance. And it is not definitely not a good news for no one. Sociologist Benyon underlines these causes:

  • long-term unemployment
  • gradual decline of traditional male employment in manufacturing industries
  • lower educational achievement to girls
  • rise in female-friendly service industries

Such rapid changes are causes to the unwillingness of many men to cope with the forgoing of traditional gender markers. Trans-sexuality, homosexuality and metro-sexuality also threaten hegemonic roles of men. In response to the crisis, exaggerated forms are asserted in order to re-establish traditional forms of male identity.

  • Retributive – where men try to claim back ‘their’ concept of masculinity from peer groups. Typical behaviours include binge drinking, fighting and womanising. This identity is rigidly patriarchal, aggressive, oppositional to alternative identities and reclamational.
  • HypermasculinityWolf-Light characterises this form as ‘authoritarian, autocratic, impersonal, contemptuous and violent’.

Thus, no good news to rejoice at. Instead, we may dive back to square one in no time if this was the case of every man.

It is a rather very long post and I’m quite tired. Next time, transsexuals as a contradiction to traditional gender classification and how they differ from the characteristics associated with men or women. Also, the metro-sexuality culture in men and its impacts.

Continue to follow Understanding Individual and Society edition on Young Writers and Poets to know more!! Stay connected.

Foolchund Saahil is a writer and literature graduate and has written lovely poems on his blog youngwritersandpoets, also he is a Author & Communications Manager at Virtual Library blog Can you tell readers about yourself and your blog? Hello everyone! This […]

via Blogger Interview : Foolchund Saahil ‚ÄĒ Alien Poet

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