The argument has been made that gender is fully a social construct, with no biological merit. I want to argue against this point. First, I do consolidate to the fact that there are obvious cultural artifices in constructing how the two sexes behave. Pink is for girls while blue is for boys, Ashley is a girl’s name and john is a boys name, etc, these are all examples of gender norms put in place by society. But there is also certain predisposition that is fully biologically based. Point one, men and women have varying degrees of hormonal difference. Men on average have far higher levels of testosterone than women and women on average have far higher levels of estrogen. Our emotions and behaviors are heavily based on chemicals in our brain. For example, higher levels of testosterone lead to a higher instance of aggression, assertiveness, and violence. Estrogen makes individuals more empathetic. These two chemical being unequally distributed among the sexes leads to both having two different biological dispositions and behavior.
There has many who point out how Gender roles are socially based. But I want to argue that gender roles are a part of human evolution. Humans are a sexually dimorphic species which means that there is the physiological difference between the two. First men are on average 3 inches taller and weigh 25% more than women. Nature doesn’t just make species sexual dimorphic unless there was some sexual are surviving benefits from it. Case in point, a book written by Leonard Shlain “Sex, Time, and Power”(A must read) Shlain( a surgeon) theorizes that because women on general suffer from Iron deficiency(due to the fact they lose blood every month from menstrual cycles, as well as their red blood cells produce less Iron), and the fact women have to go through eight months gestation and six years weaning a newborn child. Women needed men to help them attain Iron by providing her with meat, in return the man got copulation.
For those(particularly feminist) who are skeptical about this. Imagine 150 thousand years ago, living in the Savannah of East Africa being a pregnant mother(let’s imagine 6 months) trying to go hunting. You would put yourself as well as your child at great risk. Sure you would be able to go forging, but subsisting on local vegetation alone will not be enough for you are your gestating child. Men would have to go out and hunt while the woman remained in the village. This arrangement would exist for all of humanity until the emergence of civilization around 10 thousand years ago.
With the beginning of civilization, humans moved away from solely surviving on wild game and vegetation but to domesticating both crop and animals. Many of the roles that woman had previously still remained somewhat the same, because women still got pregnant and had to attend to her young children. Men now had to attend to the field are face starvation. We see the emergence of patriarchy in this time period. Men having a physical advantage over women, took responsibility of keeping the society safe from outsiders as well as seeing to all the intense labor required for agriculture.
Feminism as we know it wouldn’t become a serious ideology in Human affairs until the industrial revolution. For good reason. Humanity(at least in the west) weren’t reliant on muscle power but that of stem and steel to grow its food. Women could go out for work. This new era of technological advancement is the only reason feminism was able to emerge!