Gender Stereotypes In today’s society, people stereotype to generalize certain groups; such as religion, beliefs, or even discriminating groups of people because of there race, gender, or appearance. Stereotypes can be very harmful and unfair. Gender stereotypes have been around since the beginning of time, and are still very prominent today. As a child, I was brought up with the idea boys are strong, aggressive, and the leader; where as, girls are weak, passive, and the follower. My mother, made it clear to my sister and I, that playing sports was not acceptable for a young lady. Young ladies should be playing with dolls and playing house.
Growing up, my friends and I would get together to play house, and every time we would play; Steve was the working father, Kelsey was the daughter and I was the housewife. Even at a young age, women are portrayed as the homemaker, cooking and cleaning, and the male going to work and bringing home the “bacon.” When children are playing house, adults should guide them in the right direction. Simply explaining to the child woman work also can do this. As a teacher’s aide, I have the opportunity to work with children, and seeing first hand how children have been influenced by stereotyping.
While observing the students, I noticed a little girl, Emily, crying. When I approached Emily she was very upset. I asked Emily what was bothering her and she replied, “Nathan,” said “I can’t play with him” because “I was a girl” and “Girls can’t play football.” I took Emily’s hand and walked over to the field where Nathan was playing. When I approached Nathan I simply explained to him that girls could play any game boys can.
Children need to be taught that no matter what your gender is you can do anything you set your mind to. Now-a-days women do have jobs and are working their way to the top of the ladder. Working to the top of the ladder is very difficult for women and can be very competitive. In our society, we make gender assumption based on job title.
For example, when we talk about doctors we automatically picture a man in a white robe. And when talking about teachers we again assume it is a female standing in front of a class wearing glasses. Recently women are becoming more involved in the medical field. Women are specializing in many different areas; such as cardiology and gynecology. As for the male they are also being seen on the other side of the spectrum. For example men are becoming teachers and nurses.
Society should not make gender assumption based on job titles. In the past certain job titles specified certain genders. An example of this was seen in our police departments. The officers were once called “Policemen.” In turn leaving out women. Women were rarely seen out in the streets protecting our neighborhoods. They were thought of as not being strong enough or capable of dealing with the tough world.
Stereotyping is a natural way of thinking but needs to be minimized. Gender stereotyping will never vanish. In the work place, women and men need to have equal standards and regulations. In order to get a job whether it’s for a male or a female, the applicant must have the same requirements, so why don’t men and women get paid equally. For every dollar men make women only make 60 cents. Since both men and women have the same standards they should also have the same pay rate.
As a society, we need to try to get reed of the stereotyping because it is unfair and is very cruel to the public.