While I like to assume everyone knows what gender roles are, u know what they say when you assume.
gender roles– social construct of roles and traits that are put on someone starting in the womb. In America, these roles are based on sex. Want more details? Check here.
Have you ever heard the phrase ‘be a man’ or ‘act like a lady’? If you have, then you have witnessed someone trying to force someone into a gender box or role. (Notice above, the ‘Him’ presents relate to tools, while the ‘Her’ gifts relate to domestic tasks.)
Don’t get me wrong, we all do it. And I have yet to hear a solution about how society can break away. However, being aware is a step in the right direction.
1. The media helps dictate what these gender roles should be. It’s not even society at large deciding what these roles are! Try to find a sewing set for a boy (why is the project runway sewing machine only on the ‘her’ side? Last I checked, there are men on that show.) or a toy car for a girl that is not pink. (and please do share if you do!). I have been running into this issue as I am shopping for a friend who is having a boy. Everything is BLUE. We are both sick of blue. But BLUE=BOY. (all we want is green, orange, and some yellow. Is that too much to ask for?)
2. No one actually fits in these boxes perfectly, all of the time. I know I don’t. While I can’t pass a shoe store without drooling (remember, girls are supposed to want to be pretty and want to shop), at the same time I cannot stand the thought of being pregnant or having children of my own (remember, women=baby machine).
The stereotype of feminists is that we want to be outside of this box and be more masculine. However, that is not it at all. In reality, we just want to be us without the label attached. I do not choose to be more masculine and reject feminine. I consider myself in the in between. Feminists want to get rid of the boxes all together.
3. Trying to force someone into the box is destructive. Think of the worse name you could call someone. What is the meaning behind it? Does it have something to do with gender? If it does, what does this say about being in the wrong box?