Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Society's Gender Role (Portfolio)


Steven Lee
Professor Dinsmore
Eng 114B
9 May 2012
Society’s Gender Role
Identity plays a big role in modern day life. It symbolizes who you are and how people think about you. No matter what people say about, “Don’t Judge a Book by its cover”, it does not matter because in our minds we judge people. We give them names based on their identity and we remember them based on their identity. The movie, Gamer and the graphic novel, Surrogate are two excellent sources that portray identity as a role in life. Society is a very cruel place when it comes to gender, if you are a woman you must be a sentimental human being, if you are a man you must be masculine. The ideas of women being inferior to men have been going along for centuries. These are common gender roles that society demands and expects people to follow.
The graphic novel, Surrogate shows a good example of how gender is portrayed in society. In the book, people lived a life where they could be anyone they want to be. They are represented in society as artificial humans who could live life having a different identity. The CEO of the Surrogate Company, Victor, is really a surrogate who is controlled by a woman named Victoria. The nature of this proves that as a woman, she believes that being a man in society gives her special privileges and  being a CEO of one of the biggest company that should be well taken care of. Victoria used Victor as a source of having a bigger voice in the company’s actions. Even in a world where everyone is perfect, she still uses a man as the symbol of power. The business world today states that, “although women make up over half of America's labor force, as of 2009, only 12 Fortune 500 companies and 25 Fortune 1000 companies have women CEOs or presidents”(Gettings). This shows where the power belongs in modern day civilization because in the book, their timeline is not so far from our time. 
Despite Harvey being emotionally strong, on the other hand, Margaret (Harvey’s wife), does not believe in going outside without her surrogate. She is living the fantasy that every woman wants, staying young and beautiful. This does not last forever because when Harvey turned off all Surrogates in the world, he goes home finding out that Margaret committed suicide. Society in Surrogate is trying to explain the nature of women, saying that their image is very important to them, they are very sentimental and weak, and they depend on men. These are all stereotypical things that relates to how society views men and women.
Harvey’s and Margret’s incident brings up the topic of the reason of why a specific gender cares about their personal appearance more than the other. The stereotype about women caring more about their looks than men is true because men seek women for their looks. This works more like a supply and demand way, but in society’s point-of-view. If men are looking for looks that means women are looking for personality. These kinds of stereotypes are all picked up from the media because we believe that in life, women are seeking a man who would protect them. If women are supplying the demand of men who are seeking the appearance of women, then this sums up the solution of which gender has the power in society.
In reality, from past to present, women are sometimes controlled by men both figuratively and literally. Both, the movie Gamer and the graphic novel Surrogate had scenes where men control women as another identity. In Gamer, a place called Society existed, people could only control other humans if they can are wealthy enough. A scene in Gamer showed a man controlling a woman, and he is having her do stuff beyond imagination. This kind of act is worse than chattel slavery because she is less than property that could be sold; she is basically controlled to do his bidding. In Surrogate it is a different story because the man who was controlling the woman was controlling a surrogate. Both of these examples are trying to tell us something about society in reality. Men want to be the superior gender in the world. They dominate women by controlling them.
There are many assumptions about gender roles, and they are very stereotypical when people talk about them. Taking a look at wiki-answer, there were some opinions about the life of a woman and the life of a man. “Men’s Instinct is to breed with as many women as possible, and to make sure they are having “his” kids. This kind of statement reflects on nature and the role of the male species. This applies directly to nature because life is all about reproducing and to do this they must have some sort of feature to “impress” the female, so this might be a relation to power.
In one of the most common religion, Christianity , the bible states that ,” The Genesis account of God’s creation of the first male and female gives a clear picture that is extremely different from evolutionary views in our culture. God designed both the man and woman in His own image equally “(Holy Bible,Genesis 1:26–27). Even though the majority of society are followers of Christianity today, the role of a female is still far inferior compared to male.  The bible is counteracting what is says because submission commands such as, “submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord” (Holy Bible, Ephesians 5:22–23), states that women are suppose to be inferior to men.  The history of religion promoting gender roles has changed the view on women and their role in society on whether they should be inferior or equal to men.
From the very beginning in civilization, society has a gender role and purpose for humans. Through time, these roles change, but some roles still stay specifically intact. Women are still inferior to men though. Although it is cruel and the stereotypes that are made about the opposing genders are very inaccurate, it is only a mere question on why we still think this way. Having an identity means you will be judged, not out loud, but it is from another person’s perspective. The gender we have is just an identity that reflects our image and is something to be used as a sub category of being human; the details are what counts. Male or female, gender is just an identity and it could be altered because it is based on appearances and external qualities.













Work Cited
Gamer. Dir. Mark Neveldine, Brian Taylor. Perf. Gerald Butler. Lions Gate, 2006. Film
Venditti,Robert. The Surrogates. Marietta:Top Shelf Production, 2006. Print
Gettings, John. “Wonder Women.” InfoPlease. Web. 9 May. 2012
Metzger, Bruce Manning. The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version Containing the Old      and New Testaments and the Deuterocanonical Books. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson            Bibles in Conjunction with Oxford UP, 2005. Print.

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