Point 1) Gender is a Social Institution

In the text, Patricia Martin gives the readers a thorough definition of social institution and constructs her twelve characteristics of social institutions.  I won’t repeat the characteristics because it is somewhat redundant.  As I expand my knowledge and think deeper into what FIRSTLY constitutes as a social institution, I think of endurance, or persistence over time.  Now, as it regards to gender, treating gender as a social institution will improve gender scholarship, increase awareness of gender’s sociality, and make gender’s complex intersections with other institutions more apparent.  Gender institution practices need to be examined in both their reflexive and unreflexive forms.  I researched Anthony Giddens and his view on reflexivity and gender.  According to Giddens, “People act with a purpose, but the effects of their actions are often unintended” (Giddens 1984).  This occurrence can happen at random events and also in the workplace.   Men can sometimes unreflexively behave in ways that women experience and have to put up with their masculinity.  For example, in a business room filled with employers, you have the head of the business which consists of managers, presidents, etc and then you have their employers, which most of the time are women.  Men have an overbearing upperhand on the women in this case because they are of a higher stature.  If some women do not argue with a decision being made, then if they decide to step and speak their peace, they’re taking the risk of maybe getting fired.  It seems as though whatever men say, goes!

Framing gender as an institution will make for positive changes within gender’s social character and dynamics.  In the text, there was no enough information, in my opinion, regarding gender as a social institution.  As I liked through online documents, I’ve came across a question that appealed to me.  How is it possible to both endure and change within a social institution?

Point 2) Institutionalized Gendered/Sexed Violence

Around the world some men exhibit femininity and some women exhibit masculinity.  That is just how diverse our society is.  But is violence necessary for these people who choose to be who they are?  Absolutely not.  This section of the text discussed ways in which violent things can happen to people who don’t exert the gender norms.  Men and women are vulnerable in this situation.  If a man has never raped or say he would never rape, because of a man’s masculinity, there is always the possibility of that man raping a woman.  It is a pattern of practices because in more cases, a man will rape a woman rather than the other way around.  If a woman has never been raped, there is always the possibility that she could be raped at some point.  Every woman thinks about the terror of that happening because, unless with a weapon, there would be no way of protecting themselves.

While reading this section of the text, I thought about the video we watched one of the last two days of last week.  I cannot recall the title of the video, but it was the video, where at the start of the movie, a man portrayed himself as a woman.  That woman had slept with a few boys from her high school.  When the news got around that that woman was in fact a man, violence broke out.  The boys that the woman had slept with got a bat and pummeled her to death and then buried her.  It was very hard to watch at times.  I believe there was another occurrence in the video in which a woman who changed herself into a man, committed suicide.  I want to pose a question about women and rape.  Could all women be at risk of sexual violence regardless if they have already encountered it or have never encountered it?

Point 3) Article:  The Picture for Men:  Superhero or Slacker

I enjoyed reading this article, but I disagree with most of the details embedded in the article.  I do not believe that men are a “hit or miss.”  Yes, some men can go down the wrong path and get involved in violent acts, more so than women do.  I don’t believe that men in today’s era exploit the type of behavior that superheroes do.  What I have seen in my experiences, middle school boys are mostly athletic which means they would look up to an athlete.

Most athletes usually do not perform violent acts.  I think more of the violence comes from video games such as Grand Theft Auto and Call of Duty rather than superheroes.  I did not like the analogy that the author used in this article.  In my middle school days, hardly any of my friends looked up to superheroes…it just wasn’t the “cool thing” to do.

I also disagree with Carlos Santos’s claim.  In my opinion, he creates a difference between mothers and fathers.  Some boys are closer to their mothers, and some boys are closer to their fathers.  Whoever a boy chooses to be close to does not result in what kind of person he is going to be.  I look up to, respect and am closer with my father more so than my mother.  Does this mean if my father has done some violent acts in his past that I’m going to follow?  Absolutely not.  We have all made mistakes in our lives and if for some reason he has caused a violent act, he sure did amend it for who he is now.

Let’s say some boy did cause a violent act, but was not caught for it.  His friends and family knew about what he did though.  Can friends and family help a person stop committing violent acts or will he be prone to cause more?  What runs through his mind?  Does he care more about greed or about life?