Women/men, dresses in a feminine way does it

female/male or girl/boy. The discourse surrounding the difference and between
men and women (gender) and male and female (sex) and how to achieve equality
has been one of the most controversial issues since the beginning of
civilisation. Perhaps, for most of the population it is easy to implement to
the terms and find their application unquestionable. However, what if this
easiness is really just an illusion. For example, does being a woman
necessarily mean that only the feminine side should dominate, or if she dresses
in a feminine way does it immediately indicate her heterosexuality? In this
essay, I will discuss that the terms of ‘sex’ and ‘gender’ are not interchangeable
and how society has imposed on us the perception about who we are today and the
position we hold in it. It is something that affects every one of us because,
since the day we were born or even before our birth, a label has been inserted
on us by society that we are supposed to carry for the rest of our lives and
‘obey’ to its rules. Considering the feminist perspective, until today, the
word woman and female are facing a lot of judgment as to how they should act
and ‘fulfil’ societies’ requirements and ideas. The real questions thus should
be what is a woman or more specifically are you born or become a woman and
lastly are men and women really that different in achieving equality? ‘A man is in the right in being a man; it is
the woman who is in the wrong.


begin with, in order to progress further into the subject, it is important to
make the distinction between sex and gender. Normally we can easily identify
ourselves as males or females thus the ticking of the box in a questionnaire
with the options male or female hardly poses any difficulties. Nevertheless, if
we assume that we are all born either male or female the classification of sex
is affected by the interaction of the classification of a different term- that
of gender. Sex is referred to the individual’s reproductive system and primary
and secondary characteristics whereas gender is a socially constructed concept.
Firstly, whether sex is indicative or not is one of the main points we should
clarify in order to understand the extent of the sex in which the person is inclined
to be. Simone de Beauvoir through her astonishing book ‘The Second Sex’ examines the reasons why women, even though they
constitute half of the population, have been positioned secondary in society
behind men. Influenced by Jean Paul
Sartre’s existentialism who urged her into the realisation that she grew up as
a girl in boy-made world, Simone de Beauvoir became very interested into the
matter that she gave up projects to concentrate to this new revelation of hers.She begins with the phrase
‘Tota mulier in utero’  which means ‘woman is a womb’. This implies
that all females should identify themselves as women since they are supplied with
a uterus, but several women can disagree on that declaring that they are not
women. Yes, women have ovaries and a uterus but this distinctiveness traps her
in her own subjectivity and slows down the evolution of her nature by
forbidding her to explore her limits. In the mind of a man the words ovary and
womb are enough in order to formulate a superficial definition of what is a
woman. It is clear that biology illustrates the distinction between male and
female however science cannot conclude this type of differentiation just by the
form of cells. The two gametes, the sperm and the egg, cannot be used to assume
that there are actually two types of sexes. We cannot infer that there are two
types of sexes basing it on the creation of two gametes, the sperm and the egg.
To be more precise a sperm and an egg can be produced by a common singular
entity like the hermaphroditic species. 
For what is certain is that the achievement of the continuation of life
requires both gametes and its production is purely coincidental. Nevertheless, the
terms passive and active have been placed amongst the two sexes by Hegel. He
obviously classified the male as the active since the female remains
underdeveloped in her consensus.To elaborate more, even
though later on the egg has been acknowledged as active, the movement of the
sperm and the inactivity of the egg has been the main abstention for the egg to
be considered as passive by men. Nonetheless, by now we should add that neither
gamete can be seen as more inferior to the other because when they combine they
both surrender their originality to the fertilised egg. They both play the same
role in the creation of a living being and are both lost and surpassed in the
process which signifies that, considering the biology, they are both equal in
their primary objective of producing life.

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   Regarding another important aspect of
biology, is the subject of the human body. It is evident that the male body is
larger and much stronger, the male is also more inclined to have a more
independent life and be more open to adventures, in general it is he who directs
power. A woman’s physique is weaker and feebler, physical suffering can easily
be inflicted on her which makes her more prone to vulnerability and insecurity.
However, the two sexes have different obligations to fulfil in the world. The
woman goes from puberty to menopause having incredible changes in her body. The
Anglo-Saxons used to link the word ‘curse’ with menstruation since the woman
goes through painful unnecessary changes in her body every month.  Her body becomes physically agonizing and she
has to go through hormone fluctuations that irritate and disorder her inner
core. Each month the body of the woman prepares for the ‘expected’ child and
then interrupts everything in a flow. Considering also pregnancy and childbirth
which is also painful and dangerous, in unfortunate cases the female body
cannot entirely support the birth of a child which can lead to death of the
infant or even the mother. Lastly once she reaches her fifties, women must face
another crucial state which is that of menopause, it is called the inverse
puberty and the woman can experience signs such as high blood pressure and
nervousness. Therefore the body of a woman is not just her tool for survival,
like the male body, but it is something more than that, a sacred anatomy that
has the ability to bring life into the world.These biological
characteristics of the female, like puberty, pregnancy, childbirth and
menopause should not be neglected. The way we envision to ‘hold’ the world
using our bodies as a tool can be interpreted in different manners and we
cannot base the ranking of sexes based on biological studies because they do
not provide for her an established and certain destiny. Heidegger, Sartre and
Merleau-Ponty believed that the body was the tool needed to seize the world and
also a restriction for our plans. Undoubtedly, woman is physically weaker, she
does not have the same strength capacity as man, her lungs are not as firm, she
will not perform as well as man in sports and she cannot overtake a man during
a fight. Her fragility and weakness are limiting her chances of ‘holding’ the
world the way she imagines, thus her opportunities in this world are
restrained. Equality is therefore difficult to be achieved if we only consider
the body as a physical representation completely ignoring changes the female
body goes through. However, Hilary Rose comes to turn this point around saying
that woman’s competence of caring makes female corporal activity, like menstruation,
more tolerable and burdensome.5 She wants to imply that
woman was made in such a way that she can handle the adjustments happening to
her in a tolerable way.



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