Do you know the features of Gender Studies? Here I am going to share with you some features of gender studies.
Gender studies refer to the academic study of the phenomena of gender. What is meant by “gender”? Within feminist thought, a distinction has been made between ‘sex” and “gender”.
Sex here refers to the fact of being either male or female and gender to the cultural and social ideas of masculinity and femininity that are assigned to different sexes.
Gender refers to those traits and characteristics that a person is expected to possess by virtue of being male or female, as well as the different roles that the person is expected to perform.
For example, women may be seen as naturally caring and nurturing, while men may be seen as naturally rational and logical; this may lead to the belief that women are naturally suited to jobs like nursing, while men will make good scientists and engineers.
The traits associated with masculinity and femininity vary across different cultures and societies, as well as different periods in history.
Gender studies look at the manner in which the norms and patterns of behavior associated with masculinity and femininity come into being.
It studies the features of these norms and patterns which traits are considered masculine, which feminine, and why? How do stereotypical models of men and women develop?
How do they change over time, and what factors contribute to changes? Also, and very importantly, what impact do such stereotypes have upon actually existing men and women? In gender studies, there is a recognition that men and women do not exist in isolation from their other social roles and positions.
A woman is not only a woman within our society, she also has a certain class position, caste position, religious identity, sexual identity, and many more. All of these factors impact her life – therefore, while studying her life, all these factors need to be taken into consideration.
Another feature of gender studies is that it examines how the world is gendered. Some examples can explain this concept in more clear terms: Think of the difference in girls’ and boys’ clothing Skirts, saris, and salwar-kurtas are seen as feminine clothing, and trousers, shirts, sherwanis. etc. as masculine.
There are other differences too-feminine clothing is often more colorful than masculine clothing, and more likely to be decorated with sparkles and shiny material.
Clothing is gendered. It differs for both genders, and in doing so; it allows for determining whether the wearer is male or female. Sometimes men and women do wear clothing that is absolutely identical. For example, a school uniform may also consist of a tie that both girls and boys have to wear.
In this case, can it be said that the tie is also a gendered article of clothing? From a gender studies perspective, it will be seen that clothing that is common to both men and women is often men’s clothing that women have also adopted.
It may be noticed that both men and women go to work in offices wearing business suits- trousers and jackets. These are masculine clothes that have been adopted by women. It is much less common to find examples of women’s clothing that have been adopted, on a large scale, by men.
It is not usual to see men going to work wearing saris. This example also indicates another area that gender studies focus on-that of power differences between genders. It is more common to see the powerless adopting the characteristics of the powerful, than the powerful adopting the characteristics of the powerless.