“We’ve begun to raise our daughters more like sons… but few have the courage to raise our sons more like our daughters.” - Gloria Steinem.
From the moment a child comes into the world, we tell them what to wear, what to play with, and how to act, based solely on the sex they were assigned at birth. This is wrong.
Gender roles are social expectations and norms dictated by society, namely: our families; peer groups; and the mass media. Stereotypes based on the sexes are drilled into our heads from birth. This leads us to believe we are acting normally rather than following strict social constructs we are barely aware of anymore. Studies have shown children learn about gender roles at two or three years old, before they have even begun attending school. They are more likely to play with “gender-conforming” toys when given the choice because parents tend to praise children for gender-normative behaviour. Children strive to please their parents, so follow these guidelines despite perhaps wanting to act differently. What kind of a monster would deny a child the right to be themselves? The Let Toys be Toys campaign aims to teach parents and carers of young children that toys do not have a gender. It is pointless labelling certain toys as girls and others as boys based on stereotypes. Children learn social behaviours from a young age. They retain this information and apply it to later life. Boys who play with building sets be engineers or scientist, while we teach girls to play house with dolls and be stay-at-home mums. The toys we play with as children shape our futures, our dreams, our aspirations. Why confine someone, especially children who only know how to follow what they have been taught, to a ...
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...make associations about how they will act. We teach young, impressionable children who they are, without even consulting them. Ideas stick with us and it is extremely difficult to shake the stereotypes and aspirations our parents have drilled into our brains. We need to let children be who they are and not question how they want to dress or act. In the words of Emma Watson, “It is time that we all see gender as a spectrum instead of two sets of opposing ideals.” Sex and gender are completely different, and gender roles, in short, are stupid, pointless and a complete waste of time
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