Gender is the state of being male or female. The society identifies ones gender through physical features and behaviors. There are those traits associated with gender. Masculinity for example is associated with males. This brings out the idea of social gender stereotypes. This is the socially adopted thought and beliefs about a specific type of individuals or specific ways of doing things. These thoughts and beliefs are not always reflecting the reality.
There are several basic types of gender stereotypes. Based on personal traits, Women are expected to be passive, shy, submissive, organized and clean. Men are supposed to be tough, dominant, aggressive, and self-confident. However the society paints men as messy and lazy.
Based on domestic Behaviors, Women are supposed to perform house choirs such as cooking and house duties. Women are seen to be better in children raising. Mothers who stay at home raising children are considered better than working mothers. For men, they are better at duties such as repairs and they cannot sew, cook, or care for their children. Men are considered as the heads of the family and direct women on what to do.
Based on occupations, women are expected to have jobs that are considered clean such as teaching, nursing, librarians and secretaries. In education, women are poor in math are expected to make less money than men. Women are also not expected to engage in politics and cannot be presidential candidates. On the other hand, men are considered to have jobs that are considered dirty such as construction workers, mechanics, plumbing and engineering. They are expected to be good at sciences and make more money than women. They are also expected to be politicians.
Physical, women are considered slender, short, delicate and small while men are expected to be tall with wide shoulders. However, stereotyping of gender various with culture. In some cultures where men are small in physical appearance, they are considered masculine by showing off their strengths in fights, smoking and drinking. Women who smoke and drink are considered masculine in some cultures.
People who are threatened by gender stereotyping always have insecurities. They however act on these insecurities by exaggerating the specific stereotyped behavior through hyper masculinity or hyper femininity. In our family, I am the only male in the family. I am the last born in a family of four siblings. As I grew up, I could not understand why I looked different from my sisters. Most of the times, I found myself doing what my sisters were doing and most of my friends laughed at me.
They told me that I was a man and I should not behave like a girl. This was all new to me and it was hard to comprehend it. At home my parents could not allow me to do some of the things such as go to the kitchen as my mother cooked. I was told that cooking is done by women. However, I was astonished to see my uncle cook. My uncle was not married and I was his frequent visitor. Whenever I visited him, he would cook something for him. He was very good in cooking since his food was always tasty. This confused me more. My parents told me that men should not cook but my uncle was cooking. In my young state, I just believed what my parents taught me.
When I went to school, the teachers were both male and female. They were all teaching us alike. I thought that only women were supposed to be teachers. In school both boys and girls were treated equally. Girls often fought with boys. It never occurred to me that both girls and boys are alike except the physical appearance. Though boys are more masculine than girls, girls can still do what boys can do.
As I advanced in education, my understanding of the idea of gender stereotyping becomes clear. There were no specific behaviors meant for any gender. It was the society that had input the beliefs in people that specific things are meant for specific gender. When I was all grown up and a bachelor, I realized that people do things because of situations. There are many women engineers and math professors. These are considered to be men careers by the society but the idea of gender stereotyping does no longer exist.
Traditionally, gender stereotyping was real. However, with the advancement in technology and globalization, information has become accessible and cultures have interacted. When I was all grown up and a bachelor, I cooked for myself and also did my laundry. I could not wait for my mother to do it for me because I considered myself mature enough. It was not a big deal and more so it was my food and clothes and no one else. The society has developed considerably. There were days when men could not cook let alone look after children. Today, women are working as men look after the children. In addition, there are those women who earn more money than their husbands.
In the developed countries, gender stereotyping rarely exist. However, in the developing countries, it does exist. In some countries such as African countries, men still remain as the sole decision makers in their families. Women are not expected to work rather the=y are supposed to stay home rearing children this has led to increased poverty since when only the man is working, the risk of the man losing his job and the family looting in poverty is real.
As I conduct my duties in the family, I do consider everything to be my duty. Nothing was crated specifically for a specific gender except the reproductive process which will soon change with the advancement in technology. Today, women can give birth without engaging in sex. Women have become more informed and can take care of themselves.
As I grew up I learnt that one has to take care of himself/herself. Being a man does not mean that one has to make all the decisions or work as the woman stay home. Things are different in the twenty first century. More and more women are engaging in politics and there have been several women presidents. These are things that society does not expect of women. I have learnt that gender stereotyping is no longer viable in today’s society. Though we are products of the society, we have personal decisions to make and aspirations to achieve. The society can no longer dictate what one has to do and not do. All people are equally created with different capabilities and talents to exploit.
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