Gender, Gender And Its Expectations Essay

Gender, Gender And Its Expectations Essay

Length: 2036 words (5.8 double-spaced pages)

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Within western culture, gender is assigned through sex assessment which dictates everything individuals should and should not do. Gendered interaction is enforced from birth. Messages of gender and its expectations guide children as they grow, drawing influences from the media, religion, and community. Failure to follow the expectations of an assigned designation can result in children being forced to play with toys and engage in occupations that they do not enjoy to avoid social ridicule and neglect. Some believe that gender is innate while others encourage reformation of gender in hope of a more accepting society. Despite the insistence of the necessity of gender roles for an efficiently run society, traditional gender roles are dangerous and hinder the growth of all people.
Attempting to fit in at school was like trying to swim without knowing how to stay afloat. Before attending public school, I did not experiment with makeup, take part in salon days, wear dresses, or play with fancy princess dolls. As a young child, I would beg for everything pinned up as “the opposite:” replica planes, plastic ships, military toys, and nerf guns, to name a few. Although this kind of behavior was not particularly encouraged by my parents, they did want me to be happy, so playing with “boy toys” was what I did. Before I was placed in elementary school, I was able to play with and participate in activities that made me happy without feeling neglected. However, after finally being admitted and attending my first day of classes, I realized how harsh the sad reality of school actually was.
The isolation I faced from my peers because of my interests was incomparable. Even the few boys who befriended me based on our similar interests would mock me...


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...ors to enforce the gender binary and its traditional roles is flawed as there is no correlation between sex, a biological factor, and gender, a social construct.
Traditional gender roles institutionally hurt both women and men across western cultures. How can a change be made when the root of sexism and harmful stereotypes lies in strict gender roles in and of itself? If the idea of these roles being abided by became an option more than a forced decision, children of future generations would no longer have to push themselves to fit stereotypes that would be acceptable in the eyes of society. Though opposition continues to lies ahead, progress is in sight. Only by informing others of the harm of traditional gender roles and stereotypes and teaching peers they do not have to abide to labels will there be progress towards a more functional, healthier, jovial society.

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