I know that plagiarism is wrong. Plagiarism is to use another’s work and pretend that it is my own.
I have used the Harvard guide for citation and referencing. Each contribution to, and quotation in this essay/report/project from the work(s) of other people has been contributed, and has been cited and referenced.
This essay/report/project is my own work.
I have not allowed, and will not allow, anyone to copy my work.
Many people around the world especially Africans, are still confused about the differentiation between gender, sex and sexuality.
In most places in Africa people experience a lot of violence because of lacking knowledge of gender in other people, hence why gender studies were formed, to teach more about gender related issues so that people will know how to react when they see an unusual (term people use) thing on others.
On this paper I will be discussing how I understand gender so far since I have started this course, which empowers my knowledge on gender.
I will also reflect on the ways in which I have been personally gendered in, which at that time I did not understand that I was being gendered because of lack of knowledge.
Lastly, I will recommend what I would like to engage in, during my journey on this course. Understanding gender has been and is still the toughest thing for me to do, because of the environment I am coming form, where I was and still is exposed to only two genders but now, I have found out that the are more than two genders.
Gender is a socially and politically constructed binary, that comes from what is found on the baby’s sex, which is biological (Little, 2013). For me gender is what the society believes you are after they have seen the baby genital, for example if a baby has a vagina the community classifies them as a female and if the baby has a penis they are classified with males.
I have grown up to believe that there are only two genders, female and male because of what the society believes in but only to find out that they are more, there is intersex and transgender, etc. I have learnt that gender also denotes identities of those who do not conform to the societal norm of two genders, male and female.
I have learnt now that gender is no longer a binary but a spectrum (Fauso-Sterling, 1993), it has so many varieties to choose from. I now know and understand that gender differs from sex, because it is a societal belief, it is within the ideologies of people, whereas sex is biological genitals that differentiate people from the so called male and female and also intersex.
As mentioned by Little (2013), I have learnt that gender have gender identities and roles. Gender identities are what people choose to conform with or be, it is their individual concepts of themselves, e.g. transwoman and transman. Gender roles are the assigned roles of gender that explains for the society what it is to be a man and what it is to be a woman.
There are masculinity roles which are to be strong, brave and doing the tough jobs such as joining the military, and femininity roles are to be nurturing, supporting and to produce babies. All of these things about gender are what the society believes in.
Becoming gendered is when people predict or assume your sexuality and, in many times, it can be because of your biological sex or it can be because of the way you appear on them, your clothes or the way you walk in (Francis & Msibi, 2013).
I have been gendered a lot growing up without me knowing that I was being gendered. I remember in primary school they never allowed me to wear grey school pants even when it was cold because they said I am a girl and pants in their school are for boys, I had to go change because they would never let me spend a day in their school in pants.
Even in my church we are segregated into three parts, there is a man, women and girls section, when I started going there they just took me and put me in the girls section without asking any questions about how I feel about that, because they saw the way I was dressed in and assumed that I am a girl.
In all my life I guess I have always been gendered as a girl, because I have heard so many people asking me, when do I get a strong muscled man and get married to, as if I am not strong enough to be by myself.
I remember in my family, we once argued about me getting a haircut ,everyone made silly jokes that only included man and not women with short hair, even my mom said ” I have so many boys in this family and I don’t want one anymore”, this shocked me , because they were shouting me because of a hair cut that will make me look more like a man than the woman that I am.
Even me playing soccer was a problem in my society , because they believed that football is a game for men and boys not woman and girls, I had to go and play for another team because the one in my society claimed that they can not play with a “sissy boy”, they just concluded that I am a lesbian ,just because I want to play with them.
I was surprised when I was gendered as a boy or man because of the way I walk, talk and even the clothes I wear sometimes, this one day a girl came up to me, never asked any questions nor greet me, she just said “you would make a great boyfriend because you have the looks and even the voice”. Nobody understands that I took more of my father’s genes than my mom, and I look like him especially when I have cut my hair.
In this course I would like to engage in a topic about the solutions that can be taken or made, to make sure that every individual understands and do not judge homosexuality. I have seen so many people in townships and rural area, being victims of violence because of their chosen sexualities, because the others do not have a clear understanding or knowledge about gender stuff.
I have learnt a lot in gender and in this paper, I have discussed all that I have learnt in the course, and the incidents that have happen to me personally and made me understand the point of becoming gendered by others. I have also discussed what I would like to engage in in this course and the reason why I want to engage in it. I have also used some authors to back up my views about gender.