Gender Identity and Expression from Experts Perspectives

Gender Identity and Expression
Gender Identity and Expression

Discussing gender identity and expression, it may be endless to always be studied, especially in a country that strongly upholds patriarchy. Equality is a goal that should be realized by all human beings with the intention of completely eradicating humans who consider themselves superior to others.

Gender inequality does not only happen to women, but there are several cases of gender injustice that befall men. However, it is still possible that the majority of inequality is more common for women, ranging from subordination, negative views (stereotypes), marginalization, domestication which has an impact on excessive workload, to physical and mental violence.

Gender Identity and Expression in General

Gender is defined as an inherent characteristic of men and women and is socially constructed, culturally or socially variable and highly dependent on cultural, religious, historical and economic factors. 

1. WHO Explanation 

Meanwhile, an international organization called the World Health Organization (WHO) illustrates that gender is defined as a male and female trait that cannot be separated from the norms, roles, and relationships between groups of men and women. Gender can differ from one group of people to another, and can change with the times.

2. Hilary M. Lips and H.T. Wilson’s Perspectives

Terminologically, gender is defined by Hilary M. Lips as cultural expectations of men and women. In contrast to Hilary M.Lips, according to H.T. Wilson gender is defined as a basis for determining differences in the contribution of men and women to culture and collective life as a result of which they become men and women.

3. Elaine Showalter’s Argument

Elaine Showalter

Meanwhile, Elaine Showalter also provides an argument related to the definition of gender, according to her, gender is something more than just the distinction of men and women seen from socio-cultural construction, she emphasizes that gender as an analytical concept that can be used to explain something.

Discussing the concept of gender, there are two terms namely gender identity and expression. Gender identity is an activity of a person’s perspective in seeing himself, either as a woman or a man. 

Meanwhile, gender expression is defined as a person’s effort to express his gender (manifestation), through the fashion he uses, haircut style, voice, to the traits and behavior shown.

Gender Equality Serious Issues

Apart from gender identity and expression, a small example of gender inequality that befalls women often occurs in the world of education, there is a phrase that states that “A woman does not need to bother with education to a high level, because it is a waste of money, time will eventually take care of the household.” 

This expression has been successfully indoctrinated into the way of thinking of the Indonesian people, especially people living in rural areas or villages where higher education is not prioritized (traditional patriarchy).

Gender Inequality Against Women

Gender discrimination or gender inequality against women creates a negative paradigm towards the existence of women. The world may assume that women are creatures that God deliberately created only to depend and continue to shelter behind men. 

In fact, women are capable and entitled to the same rights as men both in the right to guarantee a decent life through education, to get recognition and respect comparable to men.

The presence of understanding gender identity and expression has an important task and role in efforts to realize gender equality, because it has democratic principles and also freedom in terms of education. 

Namely the principle of equality and equal opportunity in learning and gaining knowledge without being distinguished in terms of social stratification or gender.

In accordance with the theme and a little description that has been conveyed, the author considers that studying gender identity and expression is an important and interesting thing to review. 

This is because gender identity and expression does not discuss women’s ambitions to be above the position of men or vice versa, but gender equality is an effective step in terms of humanizing humans without any element of domination of a group. 

Keep in mind, God does not see which group we come from, or how high the social stratification we have, but God only sees how good he is in his life. Of course, gender equality is very necessary in equalizing the position, rights and opportunities for women and men. 

Final Words

Even though the issue of gender identity and expression is still a common problem in the world, only Iceland (with their gender equality) is one of the countries that has the best gender equality worldwide and is ranked as one of the most- friendly countries for women. Because this country strongly upholds gender equality in all aspects of life.

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