I hope this will just be a short post.
Although this post is only initiated after reading a status and the following comments on Rukia‘s Facebook wall, I have thought about this for quite some time. About kodrat. Particularly of men and women. What is the kodrat of men? What is the kodrat of women? Are men better-suited as a family leader and breadwinner? Are women supposed to be the caretaker? Before writing about that further, I would firstly like to point out the culprit that I suspect.
Yes, the evolution process. People of the ancient times, including the prophets of our respective religions, might consider this inherited practice celestial, that it is God’s direct will that men and women were created to have different roles in life, but for me it is always evolution’s dirty hands (well you can still consider God’s indirect will if you believe in theistic evolution). Evolution, including its biological and the social aspects, can be hold responsible for everything which happens today, from social order to love affairs. This includes kodrat. Ever since our ancestors still dwell in caves and wore skinned bear furs, men might have been the primary hunter-gatherers, and women might have been the kid carers. This practice continues to dominate at least until the sexual revolution. Therefore, it seems to me now that civilisation has converged to this point, before it makes an abrupt turn. It is similar in other aspects of life. Sitting, for example. Our ancestors had to work relentlessly in the field. To hunt down sabretooths. To plow the farms. Now, the industrial society requires some of us to sit still on our seats all day long. Me included. It is not healthy for our body, as it is not designed, through evolutionary process, to sit for an extended period of time.
Back to the kodrat topic. Feminist proponents might want to argue that this practice is a gender discrimination. I think that makes sense up to certain points, noting that women were not allowed to drive automobiles and vote until the beginning of the 20th century (CMIIW). However, complete rejection might not be sensible too, considering the assumption that this is the pattern to which our bodies have got used. These stereotypes, for example that men are more logical and women are more emotional, might be true due to the evolution process, although the converse might not be true. These liberal bastards™ are definitely trying to oppose Mother Nature.
No, just kidding. That was a satire (I myself consider me as a social liberal and a personal conservative). Anyway, now, the question is whether this role taking pattern is valid and has to be adhered all the time to begin with. I would like to disagree with this view on the basis of three points. Firstly, as I hinted in the previous paragraph, the converse of a stereotype is not always true. There are special cases which falsify the stereotype. Secondly, things might work even if we don’t follow the conforming way. A family might still work despite not adhering to the kodrat as the society dubs. Thirdly, I allege, it encourages discrimination. Even if it is not one, I would still resent, as the Cantonese call, “kay poh” people who would really love to talk about things which are not common in our society but do take place in their surroundings. If other people prefer to have uncanny ways of life, and they are fine with it, why bother?
To conclude, I would like to say that it might be true that depending on some factors, such as sex, our bodies are better suited for such and such tasks. But I do not like to adhere to kodrat as the sole correct way of loving our lives. I would prefer to deviate and create new branches.
Thank you for reading this rather un-academic post.
PS: I don’t know the English term for “kodrat”. Is it fate? Destiny? Nature? Kismet? But it is related to what roles the society traditionally deems “normal” for men and women.
PPS: I study neither social sciences nor humanity studies. I do not refer to existing research when writing this post, so, again, this post is definitely not academic, and just contains my allegation. Please do not cite this post in your paper, for your own benefit. Now I need someone to verify this post.
PPPS: Damn, it’s long. And it takes much longer time for me to write the proposal I should complete on Friday. 😐