Women and Men: same Rights and Opportunities

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Just imagine a world where there is equality amongst genders. A place where women and men have the same rights and opportunities; as one making decisions for the nation, having equal income, respecting opinions, valuing aspirations, and satisfying the needs of all genders.

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In the western world, the mere thought of our 13-year-old daughter having a boyfriend sends chills down our spines. We believe the stress of a relationship will inevitably take a toll on their schoolwork which in turn would lead to a disastrous future. Saying “you’re not mature enough” and “you’re not ready yet” to them in hopes of discouraging their decision, and instead replace that aspect of their lives with other activities such as sports or hobbies.

In contrast to the western world, the kreung community does the exact opposite. When young girls reach the age of puberty (13-15), they have a tradition where the fathers build them a separate hut called the “love hut” located away from the family. These huts were made in order for the girls to socialize and experiment with boys in privacy. As a matter of fact, premarital sex is accepted, encouraged and celebrated in this culture. In the hopes of finding a suitable spouse, girls can have multiple boyfriends at a time with no consequences or name calling from others.

These type of communities fully trust their teenage daughters to make their own decisions about their romantic lives and far future. This was a very fascinating article to read, especially knowing that the girls are completely in control over themselves being responsible for all the decision making when it comes to picking out a husband. During this “exploration stage“ the boy(s) really have no say in the matter “The boys are not aggressive (they have been taught that their respectful behavior towards the girls will affect their families livestock and they take this very seriously) and let the girls call the shots.” Even though the females make their decisions at such a young age, they do not get divorced.

It’s really unfortunate that the communities tradition of love huts are being phased out as they become increasingly exposed to the western world where power lies in masculinity. Which brings me to the article “The Egg and the Sperm: How Science Has Constructed a Romance Based on Stereotypical Male-Female Roles” by Emily Martin (1991). It shed light on how science portrays eggs as inferior and feminine, and on the contrary sperm as superior and masculine. In the instance of a boy from this culture who sought out to get a formal education, the way the textbooks are written may alter his attitude and way of thinking towards females. This article goes further to explain that “reproductive biology relies on stereotypes central to our cultural definitions of male and female” (Martin, 1991, p. 487). Which means the message books are trying to convey that the males’ reproductive system is more worthy than that of the females. It all starts from learning these predispositions and they will consciously or unconsciously act on this information.

Another article that would definitely support the exploration of sex is “Thinking sex Gayle Rubin”. Rubin discusses how sexuality is not a topic to shy away from and be open to talking about. Something we need not abstain from, but to be embraced instead. She believes sex education should be taught to both the old and the young. The more knowledgeable the nation is about the matter, the better for everyone. ”The notion that sex per se is harmful to the young has been chiseled into extensive social and legal structures designed to insulate minors from sexual knowledge and Experience” (Gayle,1984, p 4). She explains that sexuality has its own sets of complications, so instead of making sex a political issue by creating laws around it (which are governed by the man), we should not be encouraging abstinence or condemning masturbation. We should keep an open mind and treat sexuality as an individuals choice. Just like the females from the Kreung community.

In the Kreung community, the girl makes all the decision on whom their spouse will be. which gives female power, not the dad nor the husband. In the article “”The Traffic in Women: Notes on the ‘Political Economy’ of Sex” Gayle Rubin would definitely support this notion because it eradicates the whole notion of the father giving their daughter hand in marriage to another man. For the sole reasons for forming kinship, which controls the rights of women in this situation. This system of exchange establishes men as the capitalists and women as their commodities fit for exchange. “”Kinship system does not merely exchange women. They exchange sexual access, genealogical statuses, lineage names, and ancestors, rights, and people”” (Gayle p. 177). Which make a man feel superior over the woman.“ This exchange of woman within is a seductive and powerful concept. It is attractive in that it places oppression of woman within social systems, rather than in biology” (gayle p. 176). I really like the practice of the kreung people because it gives the woman power instead of being exchanged like a piece of property.

In conclusion, after reading these three articles I was able to compare and contrast the various factors that come into play within these communities where women are in power versus when men are in power. It also shed light on how women are still treated unequally in the society we live in today. It saddens me that the culture of the Keung is slowly fading away due to the influences of the outside world. As it is much easier to preserve your own traditions, without the interferences of the western. I hope this community can go back to its roots where premarital sex was celebrated and explored rather than it be a taboo.

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Women and Men: Same Rights and Opportunities. (2020, May 13). Retrieved January 30, 2023 , from
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