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Jakarta Post

Happiness in gender equality movement

  • Alita Damar

Pretoria   /   Mon, July 30 2012   /  05:00 am

Feminists’ comments on gender issues can sometimes be bizarre. For example, when mothers scold their sons for crying “like girls”, do they really demean themselves?

Don’t mothers also reprimand their daughters for sitting with their legs wide open or for behaving roughly “like boys”? Recently, a male feminist said he would not offer his seat to a woman in a crowded bus because he did not wish to offend her.

Many feminists prefer to ignore that gender is not entirely socially constructed. As anthropologist Steven Goldberg (1999) argued, “the reason men can grow moustaches is not that we tell little girls that facial hair is unfeminine”. The view that the social will predominant and that an act of social will is believed to enable the hereditary to be overcome and will produce a non-patriarchal society ignores the fact that the limits of the social are a fun...