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.

E-Book Of Poetry

Hello guys,

Today is a very big day for me. Fifteen of my fabulous poems have landed in this collection, an e-book, published by Italian publisher and author Stefano Donno.

Click on the link below to access the book. I encourage you all to procure yourselves a copy and sit back to enjoy a poetic journey since the beginning as my first poem also appears in the collection. Here’s the link:

Amazon

Poems from Paradise Island is a thoughtful selection of 15 poems, just waiting for you, readers to appreciate them!

 

Summer Themed Poetry Contest

You want to enter your poems in this contest. Inscriptions are open for every blogger. Make sure to be aware of the guidelines by  visiting Virtual Library. Good luck for your entries.

Pencliff

Hello everyone and welcome to the first themed poetry contest here on Virtual Friends! Here are the rules and guidelines for this contest:

View original post 174 more words

3.2.1 Quote Me

Heartily thanks to a dear friend, Alien Poet, who nominated for the 3.2.1 Quote me game!

Click on the link to access and read the numerous wonders of a creative writer. His works are just awesome, do not forget to follow him and appreciate his works!

 Topic of the Day:

Smile

Rules: Quotes 3.2.1 Me!

  • Thanks the selector
  •  Post 2 quotes for the Topic of the Day
  • Select three bloggers to take part in ‘3.2.1 Quote me!’

Sending you cute smile

Smile, it is the key that fits the lock of everybody’s heart.

– Anthony J. D’Angelo

 

The real man smiles in trouble, gathers strength from distress, and grows brave by reflection.

– Thomas Paine

 

My nominees are:

  1. Reveuse
  2. Penfila
  3. Kurian

Spread the smile along the way and once again many thanks to Alien Poet for this superb nomination. You are all fab! Keep following my blog and yes, do follow Alien Poet’s!

Congrats to the nominees!

Virtual Library Welcomes You!

Dear authors in this blogosphere,

 

You want to join a growing community of writers?

So, what are you waiting for? Jump in the train and let your words shine on a new platform designed for you to grow. The Virtual Library has almost 13 writers specialising on various topics such as lifestyle, fashion, poetry among others.

Do you feel desperate about blog stats and followers?

Then, surely, you will have the chance of meeting with avid readers and writers by joining the movement.

A second chance?

Of course, it is! A chance to increase your readership with new followers and promote your works on another platform other than your own personal blog. Help others find good content to read and help yourself to find the follows you need.

How to join?

Very complicated question! Where do we start actually? Nah, it’s very simple. Comment on this post and your response will be taken care of by members regularly checking this blog including me. Other options include sending email to foolchund123@gmail.com or poetpby@outlook.com

I’m not sure! I want to inform myself on this prospective.

Doubts are allowed. Do not worry. We are here to clear them. Here’s a link to the blog which will dissipate your doubts:

The Virtual Library 

You will gain basic information about the blog, authors, editors and the essential guidelines to become an author.

And of course, my beloved readers, please find the link to my second contribution to the blog Virtual Library:

The Magical Tanka 

Henceforth, please find the links of my writing for The Virtual Library on its relevant page which will be regularly updated when needed.

We recently created an Instagram chat group to share our ideas, opinions and experiences as writers. If you are on Instagram and wanting to join Virtual Library, please inform if you are interested to join the communication.

Lots of good things take time to pop out! So, keep following my blog Young Writers and Poets to know more.

The Last Ride: Evil is King

He marched, worried and unsure towards his baneful destiny, his horse neighing noisily. Suddenly, the sky obfuscates and the dragoon looks up, his hands risen as if to protect himself. The lunar disc is gradually monopolising the sun. There are looks of consternation and the action dissipates in the run. The king halts his ride to take a close look at the phenomena. He does not understand anything. He says, in the wave of uncertainty that took his army:

“It is a divine indignation! Apollo is angry. All clashes of swords be ceased! Woe on us, poor men!”

The king does not add anything more except his perplexed look. The eclipse lasts over several minutes before starting to recede. The divine star again shines brightly but it will not bring joy instead an ominous ending to a conflict which opposes adverse forces well above what can be seen. The king who had stopped his ride runs again, wishing that the eclipse knew no end, but this conflict will stop only when the blood of one of the  monarchs will be spilled. The king gallops speedily to enter the battlefield already ravaged by the countless deaths harbouring it. His magnanimous heart contradicts this tragic end of his loyal soldiers who are fighting in the hope of a guaranteed peace and a brighter future for upcoming generations. They believed unquestioningly the words of an individual himself torn in the inside which jeopardises the unmovable roots of his beliefs. He forwards with stature and confidence in the mass of warriors but he is doubtful to whether this will end happily. No war has a worthy end and this one is far from being an exception to the rule. The men of the king advance like wild, fierce and invincible dogs on their enemies. The king rushes headlong, his sword drawn like a sceptre risen to announce the final judgement. His opponent, the king of the other side is galloping in his direction fuelled by the desire to kill him. In an ultimate confrontation echoes the shrill clashes of the swords lost amidst those who still stands. In this remote place from the two kingdoms, two kings are relentlessly fighting, one for glory and conquest, and the other for peace and future. Each king is trying to excel the attacks they are inflicting to each other to take advantage. The hits are fed with the animosity of the sovereigns and under the strike of fatigue after a long struggle, the enemy king dealt a fatal blow by piercing through the sturdy armour of the generous king. The sword of the enemy king is stained with blood dispersed to quench the thirst of revenge of this victorious opponent against principles which unfortunately did not survive. It is a raging defeat for the other side, while the conquerors shout while repeating:

“Glory to our grand victory.”

The good king, afflicted by the lethal sword of wickedness, die falling on the ground, literally biting the dust. The soldiers taken aback and disillusioned by their almost unshakeable faith will bear the burden of a new rule on their back; a king greedy of power who looks for the unquestionable servility of a dominated nation. Witness to the events – Hypocrite History! Its pages makes a wish:

“We only desire one thing. Fill us but fill our blank lines only with the name of the illustrious and victorious ruler whose reign was prosperous.”

History adorns itself only with glorious banners who were once honoured in war. The pages containing the history of a noble king took the same dust in which he died whereas the pages revealing the cantankerous king are eulogised, similar to a hymn which stands against the passage of time. Thus, we wonder, what is the place of good in our world? Can we still hope for an ounce of humanity? History was unjust towards the good king but more towards his fellow people, however, this is the unchanged rite of the world. The praises of the victorious shall be sang while the defeated shall be forgotten in the annals. So was the end of the good king!

Short Story by: Lyram Dinsmore

Originally written in French

Original title – La Dernière Chevauchée: Le Mal Règne en Maître

I personally realised the translation in English of the short story. The orginal french version is available on The Writer’s Destiny. For those wishing to consult the work in French, please visit my French blog!

Keep following Young Writers and Poets and send me your reviews or recommendation in the comments. And, please do not forget to convey your reader’s impression, it’s important to know whether I’m on the right track!

The Writer’s Destiny

Hello everybody,

Wanna explore my other blog? Please click on the link below:

The Writer’s Destiny

It is a blog which I have created to showcase my French literary skills. Interested to go through my works, review them or even join, do not forget to get in touch with me!

More information on the blog itself!!

Let’s create together a platform of quality literary content for the lovers of French and Francophone literature!

For those interested by the idea, you may leave your comments on this post.

~

Bonjour à tous,

Je vous invite à explorer mon nouveau blog. Veuillez cliquer sur le lien pour y accéder:

The Writer’s Destiny

C’est un blog que j’ai créé pour démontrer mes talents littéraires français. Si vous êtes intéressés à consulter mes travaux, à m’envoyer vos commentaires ou même vous joindre à moi, n’hésitez pas à me contacter!

Plus d’infos sur le blog!

Créeons ensemble une plateforme pour un contenu litteraire de qualité pour les amoureux de la littérature française et francophone!

Les interressés peuvent laisser leur commentaire dans les champs disponibles en contrebas.

Écrit par: Foolchund Saahil

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