The pursuit of human rights and freedom has become a priority discussion for many nations. It is disturbing that as the world moves towards achieving global standards for human rights, discrimination against women is still observed in many fields. The discussions provide a sociological perspective that reveals male dominance in almost every sector of society. The reading and daily interactions between peers show that women are exploited. The marginalization and abuse of women demonstrated in the chapter have reached the apex and require redress. Significantly, rights should be based on gender needs in society rather than a universal approach.
The chapter illustrates that being born a woman carries potential risks. Society uses women as tools of the trade in various situations. For example, in African civil wars, women bear the highest form of brutality, such as rape and physical abuse. Cultural norms also expect women to submit to their male counterparts. In addition, women who have improved their social statuses and gained professional training or employment remain victims of work-based abuses, including indecent treatment. The situation is even more interesting because professional women within similar ranks as men are disadvantaged in regard to work expectations, promotions, and other responsibilities.
The patriarchal nature of society favors male children compared to their female counterparts. The reading reflects on various perspectives where boys are hardened while girls are “softened” for the future. Male children in some cultures are discouraged from being shy and expected to be assertive to maintain the aspects of masculinity. Notably, even toys developed for boys and girls vary. Female children are expected to play with dolls, which call for tenderness, while male kids are socialized into cars, guns, and complicated moving plants, which require skill and aggressiveness. The effect of such differences on children’s cognitive development is that boys become more prepared to cope with real-life struggles.
The challenge, however, is that both women and men are expected to work for similar resources, albeit with different upbringings. These practices disenfranchise the girls who grow up as “weak beings” due to cultural expectations placed on them. The male-controlled system builds a tradition that produces gender characteristics that disadvantage women. For instance, society defines roles at birth based on the cultural expectations of each gender rather than allowing individuals to derive their identity from personal determination. To ensure equality among people, nations should enhance progressive cultures and practices to redeem women from gender-based discrimination.
The changing paradigm about education for male and female children and youth shifts the focus of gender discussions. For example, the chapter demonstrates that more women graduate with college or university degrees than men. However, although this aspect may be true, women have more debts due the educational expenditures. At the same time, men drop out of college to avoid obligations and shift to the workforce to gain early independence. Therefore, although women may bargain for higher salaries due to better qualifications, their level of indebtedness is relatively high, and this problem may affect their freedom. Finally, using gender as a benchmark for abuse or discrimination is wrong. Hence, society should reconstruct gender perceptions and allow for sociocultural and economic inclusion of all genders.