Calm down, America!
6 months ago
Though the monkeys had no concept of a "boy" toy and a "girl" toy, they still showed the same gender preferences in playing with the toys. That is, compared to female monkeys, male monkeys spent more time with "boy" toys, and the female monkeys, compared to their male counterparts, spent more time with "girl" toys.So how is this pertinent to my discussion regarding gender identity? The article ends with this assertion,
"Masculine toys and feminine toys," Alexander (the leader of the study) says, "are clearly categories constructed by people. However our finding that male and female vervet monkeys show similar preferences for these toys as boys and girls do, suggests that what makes a 'boy toy' and a 'girl toy' is more than just what society dictates - it suggests that there may be perceptual cues that attract males or females to particular objects such as toys."
The implication is that what makes a "girl toy" and what makes a "boy toy" isn't just human society or stereotypes but rather something innate that draws boys and girls to different types of toys.I would like to put this study's conclusion in light of a statement made by my church regarding the role of men and women here in life.
Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose.I believe the study's "something innate" to be a person's eternal identity. I am what I was and what I will be after I die. Yes, I believe in life after death and I believe that afterlife I will be the same person, both in terms of gender and sex, as I am now. Though some may think it unwise of me to bring in religion, how can I not? If I believe my religion teaches me truth and it is what shapes my thoughts and opinions of the world around then of course it will be a determining factor which shapes my opinion of gender exploration.
I was destined to become the sum of my parts, a composite personality.
There can be no one part of us that reflects all we are.Just as our clothing is an outward appearance to the world of our multiple situations and personalities, our online avatars are the "clothing" in which we dress ourselves in the social spheres we participate in, each part participating in the whole "Me."
-Being Virtual: Who You Really Are Online
At home, people consume 12 hours of media a day on average, when an hour spent with, say, the Internet and TV simultaneously counts as two hours. That compares with five hours in 1960, say researchers at the University of California, San Diego. Computer users visit an average of 40 Web sites a day, according to research by RescueTime, which offers time-management tools.Social networking sites, Facebook and blogging sites above the rest, have become social platforms for people to "update" about themselves. A colleague, Amanda, did some research on this topic of self-disclosure on the internet and its effects. She found an article published by The Open University where studies found,
"New, meaningful relationships can be formed in cyberspace because of, not despite, its limitations." He (Reingold) further argues that `the medium will, by its nature...be a place where people often end up revealing themselves far more intimately than they would be inclined to do without the intermediation of screens and pseudonyms'. Wallace (1999) argues that `The tendency to disclose more to a computer . . . is an important ingredient of what seems to be happening on the Internet'In the same post, Amanda also makes reference to a New York Times article "Brave New World of Digital Intimacy" in which it states,
It is easy to become unsettled by privacy-eroding aspects of awareness tools. But there is another — quite different — result of all this incessant updating: a culture of people who know much more about themselves.So what's the point of all this? It is important to understand that today's internet is part of self discovery. Traditional objective methods of evaluating and judging another have all but vanished with the emergence of social networking sites where representation is highly subjective.
There is, in fact, only one thing that we do not do online: be ourselves
Or do we? Online we are finally freed from the political conventions and cultural restraints that society determines we must apply to everything we do, everything we say, every relationship that we make and break...Perhaps then it is more appropriate to think that underneath whatever multiple masks we wear in the virtual world, however many personas we construct, a new collaborative identity is built which ultimately reveals the real us?Just as there are many cells and layers/types of skin composing what we know as "skin," perhaps there are many different "Me's" which all together compose Me. What does this have to do with gender? Well, quite honestly I'm not sure other than gender is one of the "Me's" which makes up Me. I'm still mulling around ideas and need to sleep on it (really it works! It's how I justify going to bed at 9:30pm some days, "I'm working on a paper!") and will continue to post my thought process, and hopefully come to some conclusions. But here's a start! What do you think?
|I have seen the moment of my greatness flicker,|
|And I have seen the eternal Footman hold my coat, and snicker,|
|And in short, I was afraid.|