Essay on Gender And Sexuality Section Of Explorations

Essay on Gender And Sexuality Section Of Explorations

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In the films Paradise Bent, Muxes–Authentic, Intrepid Seekers of Danger and the Gender and Sexuality section of Explorations in Cultural Anthropology explore the identification of gender and sexuality (Croall and Altmann 2000)(Islas 2006)(Boyd and Lassiter 2011). The introduction to gender and sexuaity in the book Explorations in Cultural Anthropology, Boyd and Lassiter (2011) discuss how once a baby is born, they are being socialized “into one of the two ‘appropriate’ roles- male or female” (Boyd and Lassiter 2011: 218). The baby is expected to meet the expectations he/she is born into (Boyd and Lassiter 2011). For example, in the films, it is greatly commented by the muxes and fa’afafines that they didn’t follow the gender ideologies, the “system of socially constructed ideas… of what is feminine or masculine” based on their sex or biological identity (Boyd and Lassiter 2011; 217). Both groups admitted to enjoy playing with the girls and their dolls rather than with the boys and their car toys (Croall and Altmann 2000) (Islas 2006). Several of the muxes and fa’afafines also express the desire of wanting to dress the part such as applying the makeup and wearing a dress rather than what a typical boy would wear (Croall and Altmann 2000) (Islas 2006). Through these two films, the audience begins to understand what it’s like to defy the rules in society including how they’re understood, practiced, the social inequalities/problems created, and what this implies about the views on gender and sexuality on the contemporary US society.
The films have similarities in the gender roles but they differ to the extent they are accepted. In Paradise Bent a woman is considered to be a housewife who does the chores such as ironing, sewing, cooki...


... middle of paper ...


...common gender ideologies would be detrimental for any fa’afafine (Paradise Bent 00:45:11) In the eyes of the fa’afafine, the western world is seen as closed minded as they attempt to label/analyze everyone.
In conclusion, these different cultures have designated gender and sexuality roles. Yet fa’afafines and muxes are welcomed setting aside the rejection of a few. The environment in which fa’afafines live in is more accepting than where muxes grew up as their gender roles seem more strict and were often rejected by the men, specifically the father in the family. The fa’afafines and muxes question the societal norms in the western world as they are used to an environment where they are respected, for the most part, and are considered as part of a community rather than the divided social groups that the western world has created for people who are similar to them.


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