I can fortunately and happily say that I personally have not experienced unequal treatment in regards to my chosen career, educational path or previously held jobs. What I do still see currently being stereotyped are gender roles and the way they are allowed or not allowed to sexually express themselves in the public eye. From my experience it is more acceptable for men to compose music about sex, be in main stream media selling sex, have successful careers in sex, and everyday unequal expectations in dating, sex and relationships.
Men have more sexual freedom in the world today. Men are encouraged and in most cases applauded on the discussion of how many partners they have had in the past and the specifics of each experience, yet woman are still expected to hide their sex from the world in fear of ridicule and isolation. In our society today woman who are overly sexual or dress in form fitting clothes or lack thereof are automatically stereotyped as the promiscuous type. Why the double standard?
I don’t agree at all with displaying private sexual acts to the general public to gain fame and wealth and in by doing such corrupting children and destroying the beauty of sex but I don’t believe that we should have to hide that women are as much sexual beings equally as men. I feel religion and culture play major roles in the history of sexual repression of woman. Even dating back to the Puritan who believed that anything resulting in pleasure was a sin, women’s freedom to express their sexuality has been suppressed in fear of domination because we are just as powerful as men.
Growing up in a strict catholic home I was always taught to act like a lady in public. Exactly what was meant by that I wasn’t fully sure but I knew its underlying symbolism was repressing my sexuality. I wasn’t allowed to wear spaghetti straps, mid drift shirts, shorts above my knees, or make up till I was 18 years old. Sex was not spoken of in my household at all, and if it happened to be seen in a movie or on television I was instructed to cover my eyes because sex was forbidden. Being a sexy woman was seen as vulgar.
If I had male friends I could not talk on the phone with them or play outside of school with them without a parent or chaperone. On that contrary my younger brother was encouraged to dress well, wear cologne and have many female friends. It was a symbol of popularity. In my father’s Hispanic culture the young men were pampered and treated as kings with double standards. The women were there to serve them. We are not allowed to be sexy or let alone discuss sex in anyway shape or form. As an adult now I can understand why I completely rebelled against the stereotypes created by my religion and culture.
It’s not fair to make women feel less than human than men. We are sexual creatures who share the same desires and needs. I now embrace my sexuality. I’m not afraid to be who I am, and say how I feel. Being a single mother in society today puts me in another stereotype as well. Having a child out of wedlock is still looked down upon, and more so with the mother. We are labeled as “promiscuous”, “unholy”, and “irresponsible”, but to me I loved a man for 8 years and wanted to create a life with him. Unfortunately the abuse I endured was too great to allow after the child was born, so I chose to leave.
On the other hand the single father is praised and labeled as “hard working”, and “honorable”. In news and media woman are portrayed as sex objects in order to entice society. It draws women in because they either want to be like them or look like them and it draws men in because they love the visual stimulation. Sexuality is used as a shock value for ratings. Are sexy woman who love their bodies and the way it makes them feel really that shocking? Instead of conditioning our young woman to hide their sexuality we should be teaching them healthy ways to explore and express their human desires of sexuality in a safe, healthy way.