- What difference does it make to think of inequality as a system? Use three examples (at least two different authors) from the readings to support your answer.
Thinking of inequality as a system has the society accept to be seen as less equal than other. It is due to how we think of our differences that make us accept inequality as a natural phenomenon in the human race. Every system is controlled by certain forces that tend to resist any changes that may be enforced to the system. It is therefore difficult to bridge the inequality in the society for the society itself consists of several systems. Certain cultural and religious orientation has anchored inequality in them. In religion, certain individual have privileges that are not provided to others such as certain individuals are not allowed to the pulpit, such privileges creates inequality and restrains anyone from questioning the authority on rules set to create such inequalities. In a society there are rulers and those to be ruled. The system operates in such a way that, there persons who should lead others. This forms the genesis of inequality system in the society which everyone has accepted as a way of life. It is intergrating inequality in the society’s way of life that makes it a system.
- What is heteronormativity and how do gender roles play a part in its maintenance? Use three examples (at least two different authors) from the readings to support your answer.
Heteronormativity is a belief human being is of only two gender; either male or female. This concept refers to a common cultural, ideological and traditional belief that a society is strictly heterosexual; such that any individual in a society is either male or female. Heteronomativity holds onto that feminism and masculinity are the strict orientations that are held by female and male respectively in the world. In simple term, heteronomativity is the long held belief that there are strictly only two gender; male and female and that whoever does not conform to the two does it willingly. This belief has continued to segregate and oppress all persons that wish to challenge it. Any person that does not conform to the two distinct gender identities is discriminated.
Gender roles have been part of historical, political and religious undertakings that have overtime promoted sustained and even institutionalized heteronormativity. Historically each gender has been associated with a given roles such that no one gender should undertake roles attributed to the other. Moreover the roles are strictly different and individual are more identified by the roles rather than by their gender. This leads to persons to confirm to the societal norms and values for fear of isolation, discrimination and at times victimization.
Religious practices and beliefs have alienated any individual that does not conform to standard belief of heterosexuality in the community. Religion is anchored on heterosexism beliefs such that they hold beliefs that marriage can only be between persons of opposite sex. This is on the belief that it is only such a marriage that is fulfilling and satisfying and thus the societal expectation is that a male should marry a female for an institution of marriage to be established. Moreover, religion holds to the fact that only male and female were created with each given strict roles. Whoever does not confirm to what religion believes then defies deity. Heterosexism is more so anchored in religious text and all doctrines. Religious deliberate allocations of roles in terms of gender continues to promote heteronomativity in the society and the world today, considering that majority of people in the world holds certain religious beliefs.
heteronormativity has been anchored in law in a way that whoever does not conform to it is considered a deviant and misfit to the society. Legal framework over a long period of time has only recognized two genders, a factor that has criminalized any idea of transgender and bisexuality. Such legal huddles that fail to recognize other sexual orientation continues to sustain and promote heteronomativity and heterosexism in the society.
Over the time, heteronomativity has led to heterosexuality mentality in all institutional frameworks in the society such that it has shaped how the political, religious institutions and the society perceive any person that is against the idea of heterosexuality. This idea has led to societal roles being awarded according to gender and it’s therefore a must for every person in the society to conform to heterosexuality.
According to Werren Blumenfeld, heteronormativity has led to oppression of persons who do not conform to heterosexuality such as gays, lesbians and others who are transsexual and bisexual. These groups of persons have been marginalized as a result of the enforced established structures that identify and awards roles on the basis of heterosexuality.
Gender identity has overtime been conserved by roles allocated to each gender. Therefore, heteronormativity will continue as long as roles in the society are gender based.
- How does the law/policy enable social justice and how does it also limit it?For example, what has the ADA provided and what work still remains? Brown v. Board? Affirmative Action? (You can address one or two of these. You are not required to address all three). Please use three examples from the readings (at least two different authors) to support your answer.
- What does it mean to say, “Disability is socially constructed”? Use three examples from the readings (at least two different authors) to support your answer.