#UgBlogWeek Day 4: Death of Gender Roles and Stereotypes
The year is 2018, and phrases like ‘a woman’s place is in the kitchen’, ‘act like a man’ and ‘that is unladylike’ are still being used; not surprised but disappointed.
Gender roles are defined as roles or behaviors learned by a person as appropriate to their gender, determined by prevailing norms. They are ideas of how we expect men and women to dress, behave and present themselves, and give birth to gender stereotypes.
People are usually defined by personality traits, domestic work, occupation and physical appearance.
There’s a lot that has been said about gender roles, but if there is one thing that stands out for me, it is that gender roles put us in a box. They are chains that hold us back, that keep us from discovering the possible opportunities that are out there for us.
For example; women are expected to be polite, accommodating and nurturing. Men are expected to be strong and aggressive. Women are expected to get married, have children and look after the home. Men are expected to provide for their families.
Unfortunately, we have all been conditioned to think this way. So we continue to pay the price. It is important that we unlearn such gender roles, and it is possible. A good place to start would be through;
Pointing It Out
A lot of the time, people are unaware of the gender stereotypes in the media, movies, and on the internet, and therefore don’t see them. Pointing them out makes these people aware of them, and shows how gender stereotypes can be hurtful.
If your friend/colleague is making statements that reinforce gender stereotypes, either in person or online, call them out on what they are doing.
Trying IT out
What is IT that society says that you can’t do? Try it out, find out whether there are people of your gender that have tried/done it before. Gender roles continue to exist because we don’t know someone else like us who has done it. Because if they have, then it proves that the stereotype is false.
What gender role(s) has been forced onto you, and how has it affected your life?