Women and men are “so- called” equal or treated with the same respect. Yet, people enforce stereotypes at a young age in families, women and men don’t have equal rights within sports, and women and men have different society roles based on their gender. Why can’t a boy like pink and a girl like blue? Why can’t a female athlete get paid as much as a male athlete? And why can’t a woman be a firefighter and a man be a cosmetologist? Because people are not open-mined, they don’t accept the equality between men and women, and they don’t want and aren’t ready for change.
Children are taught at a young age the famous “you’re a boy so you do this, and you’re a girl so you do this” stereotype. They are taught that boys play with cars and girls play with dolls. They are taught that boys are stronger and that girls are weaker. They are taught that boys don’t cry and girls always need comfort. In movies, they are taught that the brave and powerful boy saves the cowardly and useless girl. And as these young children get older, their mind is set that boys have more authority, are stronger and are superior.
And that girls don’t have an opinion, that they are weak and must get saved by someone else. Well, I’ll tell you something, a girl might like to play with a toy Ferrari, she might be able to lift more than a guy because she strives to be the best, she can hold in her tears and she can save herself because there might not be anyone else to. And you know what? A boy might want to play with a doll because he has a bright and wonderful imagination, a boy might be weaker than a girl, a boy might cry because his dad has just died and he didn’t get to say “goodbye”, and a boy might need someone to save him.
SPORTS- THE SEXIST SIDE
Women and men are also differentiated through sports. Females are sexualized and described as soft and girly. Females are portrayed as though, through media such as sports reports, game coverages, interviews, etc. It’s unfair, rude and plain wrong to criticize a female as such. On the other hand, males are described as tough and strong.
Females are sexualized all the time in magazines, newspapers, etc. In example, in ESPN Magazines they describe several female athletes as being “hot.” Unlike men, who are described as being “sensational”, women are put to thinking that they’re physical appearance is worth more than their sports abilities. Also, not only the words used to describe them are sexist but the image that is displayed. Female athletes are dressed differently and positioned differently for magazine covers/ photos then men are.
When females are taking photo shoots they’re dressed in dresses, short clothes and/ or tight clothes. While males are dressed in jerseys, full uniforms and hold equipment/ sports related things. Women are also positioned differently. By this, I mean that the way they’re presented is in a sweet, sassy and/ or sexy way. Alternatively, men are shown as aggressive, intimidating and passionate. An example of this can be seen in ESPN Magazines yet again.
SOCIETY GENDER ROLES
Furthermore, gender roles in society are very hidden yet present. Boys and girls grow up thinking that there are specific roles that they are supposed to play in society. In example, when you ask a male child, from the age of 4-9, “What they would like to be when they grow up?” they’re 90% more likely to say a police man, fireman, soldier, etc. On the other hand, when you ask a female child, from the age of 4-9, what they would like to be when they grow up, they are 90% more likely to say a “mommy”, princess, etc. Gender roles can be dated back when people started living in organized societies.
When men and women started living in organized societies they started creating specific roles for each other (Paraphrased from Common Issues Regarding the Gender Roles in Families). Because males are and/or were muscular they did the “hard” work and females were frail they did the time consuming and fragile jobs. This effects later societies by creating a rule to live by. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing but as females are emerging, to becoming stronger or “man-like”, they want jobs as such. In addition, men are also becoming more open to there feminine side. Some may say that “we need to keep America’s traditions” of being a housewife/ mom and men as the workers. But, we need to be open- minded and see the positive aspects of the materialization of the new generations.
In the end, children need to get taught that boys are not superior and girls are equal to them in a physical and even emotional way, men and women are becoming different than the “traditional” roles they are supposed to play, and last but not least, women need to be presented through media (especially sports) in a respectful yet equal way to men. Girls and boys, women and men, females and males, are ALL the same meanings yet we differentiate them through EVERYTHING. As the 21st century moves into an era of creativity, we need to be unbiased tolerant to the decisions that people want to do with their life. People may say that this country isn’t focused on “individuality” but I was clearly not addressing the individuality of a person but the respect that a gender deserves. I refer to males, females/ men and women not personalities.