Gender, Gender And Sexual Orientation Essay

2043 Words9 Pages
America, a country that preaches equality for all and may be considered the land of opportunity, has had a bad history of oppressing groups that differs from the norm: white, heterosexual, and male. While legislation has been passed to rectify past oppression of racial, gender and sexual orientation groups, America remains a patriarchal society whose institutions are structurally designed to favor white, cisgender, heterosexual males. The film Higher Learning, brings to light this issue of institutional racism, while perpetuating in majority of the male characters what the ideal man represents and how that is related to racial issues and sexual orientation in the film. Issues of homosexuality is not only brought up in opposition of masculinity, but also femininity. Thus, American society has an attitude or belief that endorses hyper masculinity in males, but this is not viewed as a positive attribution in African Americans, nor is homosexuality considered a normative behavior. The socialization of gender, specifically men, has caused the development of societal expectations of what traits are deemed desirable in a man. Masculinity in the film is defined by aggressive behavior, strength, power, athleticism and sexual attraction to the opposite sex. Men, depending on their race, who exhibit these traits are viewed by society as being a part of the norm. In the film, there were many examples of men of all ethnicities who fit this criteria, such as: Malik, a star track
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