Posted by: kyranixon15 | January 16, 2014

‘You Can’t Be a Princess’

Last Tuesday in class we talked about the stereotypes we have towards gendering others. For example, the idea that boys should wear blue and girls should wear pink or that males are “supposed” to be stronger than females. We all are guilty of doing this and even though I feel that gender stereotyping has greatly improved over the years, I still think that sometimes we have an innate, unconscious reaction wired into our brains that views certain activities, dress, and circumstances as more masculine or feminine. Sometimes it just happens without us even being aware of it. I think that is where part of the problem lies: that it is so ingrained in us even from such a young age that boys and girls are somehow different members of the same species. I am a big fan of the ABC show ‘What Would You Do,’ where hidden cameras capture everyday people’s reactions when they are put into sometimes uncomfortable situations that deal with race, sex, morals, etc. When we were talking in class about defining whether gender was still an issue today, I was instantly reminded of a segment of the show that I watched a few years ago. It is about little boys and girls who go Halloween shopping with their mom and end up wanting to be a character of the opposite sex. For example, the boy wants to be a princess and the girl wants to be Spiderman. Of course they are all actors, but the actress who plays the mom immediately freaks out and then the reactions from unsuspecting passersby is captured. What really surprised me about this clip is the fact that out of all the people they filmed, every single person but one agreed with the actress mom that the children should stick with costumes that matched their own accepted gender. Not only this, but I was shocked to see that even at such a young age, children were being taught what is considered female and what is considered male. This is illustrated in the scene where even other children in the store scream in shock at the thought that a boy would want to be a princess. I just feel that this clip shows how society, media, and culture has taught our minds that certain things only belong to certain sexes. I think this may be part of the core reasoning behind why we don’t have as many women leaders as we would like. People may still cling to traditional views of women and men and this may end up clouding their openness for change. I definitely think that our society has made major improvements in regards to women’s rights in the last few decades , but I also think that if maybe we were able to change our mindsets a little more and try to move away from the traditional views of feminism, we would be able to have more women at the forefront.

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