Gender Socialization In Michael Lewis's Buy That Little Girl An Ice Cream Cone?

707 Words2 Pages

Gender socialization between boys and girls have been a topic of controversy for years. With views varying from supportive to disproving, one general consensus can be drawn from either side: gender socialization is the foundation of how children are brought up and is the primary reason for how boys and girls view the world in different ways. In Michael Lewis’s “Buy That Little Girl an Ice Cream Cone”, the reader is given personal anecdotes about Lewis’s family vacation trip to Bermuda, followed by an event that shaped the way he viewed both his two young daughters and the socialization of parents towards their children. Society’s differentiation between how boys and girls should act and behave is the main indication that children are socialized …show more content…

Young children are typically raised around specific sex-types objects and activities. This includes the toys that that are given, activities that they are encouraged to participate in, and the gender-based roles that they are subjected to from a young age. Parents are more likely to introduce their daughters into the world of femininity through an abundance of pink colored clothes and objects, Barbie dolls, and domestic chores such as cooking and doing laundry (Witt par. 9). Contrarily, boys are typically exposed to the male world through action figures, sports, the color blue, and maintenance-based chores such as mowing the lawn and repairing various things around the house (Witt par. 9). As a result, young children begin to link different occupations with a certain gender thus narrowing their decisions relating to their career goals in the future. This separation of options also creates a suppresses the child from doing something that is viewed as ‘different’ from what they were exposed to. Gender socialization stemming from early childhood shapes the child and progressively shoves them into a small box of opportunities and choices relating to how they should live their …show more content…

Society typically excuses most behavioral-related slips ups among boys with the saying that “boys will always be boys”. However, if a girl were to commit the exact same mistake, nearly every bystander would be taken aback in shock. For example, Lewis describes an instance in which his three year old swore to an older boy who was teasing her sister (655). Lewis described this outburst as an occurrence that caused “all hell to break lose”, with parents stunned as to what they have just witnessed (655). On the contrary, if a boy were to act in a similar fashion observers would most likely overlook the situation, excusing it for ‘typical behavior among boys’. The general public considers swearing among boys to be socially acceptable, but if it were to be done by a female regardless of age it would be considered ‘improper’ and the female would be deemed as ‘ill brought up’. This difference between the socialization of young boys and girls creates a divide in the aspect of how children are brought up and expected to behave.
However, there is still and will always be debating points stating that gender socialization either doesn’t occur or doesn’t pose a problem. This can be refuted using multiple examples that trace back to one main topic: sexism. Sexism essentially has been the byproduct of gender socialization in the sense that it is based off the notion that ‘one sex isn’t

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