The article Boy vs. Girl written by Ken Macqueen (2003) is aimed at examining the meaning of gender differences in contemporary Western societies. In particular, the writer pays attention to the way in which the notions of femininity and masculinity have evolved. The author’s methodology is not clearly discernable.
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In particular, one can speak about the review of books and articles that supplement the writer’s arguments. However, Ken Macqueen (2003) does not explain why these particular sources were selected among others. Furthermore, the writer often relies on his own experiences while describing the impact of gender differences on the life of both men and women.
Overall, Ken Macqueen (2003) expresses several arguments. First of all, he argues that for a long time, many social and political activists envisioned a community in which gender differences would no longer be relevant. This is one of the main themes examined by the writer.
In fact, it was expected that these differences would be reduced only to physiological distinctions (Macqueen 2003). This view reflects the principles of feminist theory according to which social norms set for men and women are artificial constructed. However, these expectations did not come true.
Certainly, there are some important changes. For instance, one can mention the use of unisex clothing which could be completely unacceptable in the first half of the twentieth century. Nevertheless, Ken Macqueen (2003) says that modern society is still marked by the notions of femininity and masculinity.
For instance, the choices of study and employment can be explained by gender differences (Macqueen 2003). Thus, the author concludes that gender distinctions are recognized in the contemporary communities even despite the arguments of many activists who say that these differences are artificial.
On the whole, the author’s analysis is not sufficient for making any generalizations about the way in which people perceive gender. The main limitation is that that the arguments are not always supported by empirical data.
Admittedly, Ken Macqueen (2003) makes some references to psychological or social studies that can support his arguments. Nevertheless, in many cases, the writer just refers to the examples of separate individuals such as Hayley Wickenheiser who is a female hockey play.
Certainly, these cases are very eloquent, but they cannot reflect wide social trends. Moreover, the writer speaks about the so-called Western society without mentioning that Western communities could have been shaped by different cultural or social norms. They can be very heterogeneous.
These are some of the limitations that should be considered. Furthermore, while examining the concept of gender, Ken Macqueen leaves out such perspectives as social class, religion, or cultural background of various individuals.
It should be kept in mind that very often, a person’s view on gender may depend on the educational or cultural background of his/her parents who act as the agents of socialization. This is why the impact of these factors should not be disregarded.
Admittedly, Ken Macqueen’s arguments coincide with my own perceptions of gender differences. I also believe that gender distinctions will play an important role in the modern societies, even through people continuously emphasize the idea that these differences are usually irrelevant.
However, I also understand that such claims must be supported in a more rigorous way; otherwise, their validity can be questioned. This is one of the main arguments that can be put forward.
Macqueen, K. (2003). Boy vs. Girl. Retrieved from https://www.macleans.ca/