In Social Studies, SEX and GENDER are like kismet and choice.
Sex regards the inarguable genetics we’re born with. Sex is about the XY and XX chromosomes, and whether we are born with a one hole or two. And we don’t argue with genetics after birth, okay?
Gender, in the meantime, is a more fluid idea, and more confusing to stick to. Gender describes the roles and behaviors that society expects us -- either voluntarily or fearfully or begrudgingly -- to stick with.
Of course, if everything were peachy perfect, gender roles and identities would not be controversial. If every father and husband in the world brings the bread home and every woman and mother in the world is satisfied with that bread, then traditional gender roles are perfectly AWESOME.
But, since society is a flexible and moody bitch (depending on the time and place and economy), problems with gender spark when society can't afford imposing her ideas on the individual. Gender identity blurs when society fails to fulfill the basic physical, psychological or emotional needs of the individual.
Not every man is a cowboy, and not every woman is a domestic goddess, you see?
What we, as part of the judgmental society often forget, is that traditional gender roles can be adhered to only when we can afford it. Because there are times when the patriarch falls ill, and times when women have better chances at keeping their jobs, and times when balance is tipped that society cannot afford batting a judgmental eye on untraditional gender roles.
And because the world is not a perfectly peachy place, to those heroic men and women who are both mothers and fathers, who bear singlehandedly the roles that are meant to be shared between two or an entire village, out of love and obligation, and in spite to what society dictates -- to them, we offer the most solemn respect.