I need someone to give me their opinion on the essay below. Due TODAY! (oh no!!!)


Differences Between The Sexes

It is readily accepted that there are very distinct differences between the sexes. Several well-known books (such as the “Mars and Venus” series by John Gray, Ph.D.) have been written to clarify the behavioral differences between men and women, especially with regard to romantic love. The stereotypical differences between men and women (sexuality, bathroom behavior, hygiene, and driving directions) have been extensively explored; however, less attention has been spent on the manner in which the sexes respond, or why they respond, to the pressures raised by society and culture in regards to appearances.

It is rarely discussed why a stereotypical female feels the need to have a closet full of clothes, shoes, and jewelry, while a conventional male could surely survive with two t-shirts (clean or dirty) and a pair of jeans. Women characteristically make large investments in clothes that are portrayed by society as chic, elegant, or stylish. They fill their closets with clothes that do not reflect their own taste or they do not need, but purchase because of their desire to conform to societal pressure. Advertisers create that pressure by focusing on a woman’s need to be noticed and to feel attractive. Advertisements boast skinny, beautiful women in fashionable clothes and jewelry, leading the ordinary female to believe that if she purchases those clothes and that jewelry, she too will look skinny and beautiful.

Men historically, and in contrast to women, have a much smaller wardrobe. They are not as influenced by the media as are women. Their attire is meant to serve a more functional purpose, rather than purchased in conformance with what fashion trends dictate. Men may also subscribe to the certain limitations to what society may condone them to wear. While women have the option of wearing a dress, or a shirt with a skirt or pants, men’s only option is to wear a shirt and pants (possibly a jacket) in public. Any deviation from this would possibly result in a downcast eye from the public.

When it comes to shoes, women are well-known for having several pairs of the same color shoes. Men most likely have one pair of dress shoes and one pair of tennis shoes. While preparing for work, a woman will dress in a suit and a pair of sneakers and she will decide which pair of two-inch black high heels to throw into a plastic grocery bag. When she gets to work, she will put on her dress shoes and soon after she will take them off and hide her feet under her desk because they are uncomfortable in the shoes that are considered stylish by modern-day society. Comparatively, a man may wear a pair of tennis shoes the entire day, whether or not it looks ridiculous with his suit.

Another issue seldom raised is the extensive, time-consuming, and sometimes painful process a woman will endure in order to make herself presentable. A man, however, often expresses a lack of desire to spend an excessive amount of time grooming. When a man does show concern for his image, his reasons most often differ from those of a woman.
Although women may have set the precedent for the length of time they spend grooming and attempting to look better than other women, men are joining in on the competition to look good. Advertisers are shifting their focus and promoting more health, fitness and beauty products for men. There is still a long way to go before men catch up with women (who compete daily with other women) to be more attractive. The competition is fueled by a woman’s need to be desired and found attractive. Even in old Arab times “women would compete for the favours of men and excel in subtle allurements to attract men towards marriage, love and sex” (p. 518). In modern times, women more often than not compete by dressing provocatively.

Another reason for the “enormous amount of female energy, money and time spent on beauty and fashion and romance, on attracting men and keeping them…” (p. 408) may be because of the appeal of “difference feminism”. This sets them apart from their male counterpart and they are able “to define themselves as independent of men.” (p. 408)
Women value how much better they feel about themselves if they dress well and look good. Many women will spend an hour picking out the perfect outfit and applying makeup in order to go grocery shopping, go to work, exercise, or to clean the pool. A man will typically, and grudgingly, dress up for Sunday morning church services, weddings and funerals.

Women, in general, who show more concern about their appearance, seem to get more attention and it is reflected in how they deal with others. Men, however, have had a history of believing that it is not macho to brag about spending time in front of a mirror. The trend, however, is emerging where there is less of a stigma related to men who groom and men are realizing that there is nothing wrong with trying to maintain a youthful appearance. Men who have traditionally been accused of oppressing their feelings are now starting to express themselves externally, but still not to the extent women go to dramatically improve their image.

With magazine headlines like “Watch Those Pounds Melt Away”, or “Tight Abs in Five Minutes a Day”, men are falling into the same unrealistic-image traps that have plagued women for ages. Women have always gone to great lengths and paid a painful price to achieve beauty and attract the attention of males. Before hair salons, some women would rip their hair out to achieve a “stylish” bob. As stated in Maxine Hong Kingston’s No Name Woman, “she looped a piece of thread…and ran the double strand across her forehead. Then she pulled the thread away from her skin…ripping the hairs out neatly, her eyes watering from the needles of pain.” (p. 328). Apparently she accomplished her goal of desirable beauty because “Even as her hair lured her imminent lover, many other men looked at her.” (p. 329) Men would most likely tremble in fear at the thought of ripping their hair out because they deal with the horrible thought of losing their good looks if they lose their hair. Even though the stigma of baldness still resides in society, evidenced by the number of men who receive hair transplants, a man who completely shaves his head is not often disparaged and is often portrayed as more masculine.

Culture, society’s expectations and fashion trends have fueled what is acceptable in terms of appearances, even to the extent of plastic or cosmetic surgery. Men’s reasons for having surgery are often very similar to women's, but the professional aspect is more of a priority for men. Men are undergoing surgical procedures because they want to compete with younger men on the job. Women are trying to achieve the unrealistic and air-brushed images they often see on television and in magazines.

There are many reasons for the extreme behavior of women to conform to what society considers appropriate, and men’s history of lethargic desire to join them in that behavior. Whether it is advertisers pushing conformity, the need to feel desired or attractive, or for reasons known only to those of their own sex, men and women react differently to the pressures placed upon them by a culture, or they have different reasons for complying with standards set by society, and they probably always will.
Looks pretty good to me, Somethin. Are you ESL or a native speaker?

Just a couple of phrases you may want to look at again:

'a downcast eye from the public'

'but still not to the extent women go to dramatically improve their image'

What do the page nos refer to?

Thank you so much for your help. Yes I am a native speaker.

I will change those phrases as you recommended.

The page numbers refer to pages in the reference book we were supposed to use for this paper. I hadn't added the source yet.

Thanks again!!