Posted by: monicaholtz | August 30, 2016

Adding to Stereotypes

This morning when I was walking to class, I saw a guy wearing a backpack that one of my female friends had in high school. I thought to myself “why is he wearing a girl’s backpack?” Immediately, I thought back to class and our discussion about hair and “gendered” or “feminine” hairstyles, and our first reading and how it talked about gender stereotypes and how we’re forced into them from birth because of our sex. There is nothing saying that men and women can’t carry the same backpacks or have the same hairstyles except the rules that society has placed on us. After my thought about his backpack I told myself that I shouldn’t think that way, and he can carry an backpack he wants, and I usually do think that way, but in that moment I thought back to how my female friend had the same backpack and convinced myself that a guy shouldn’t have the same one. That goes to show how engraved gender roles and stereotypes are into our brains from the moment we’re born.


  1. Monica,

    I completely agree that arbitrary things such as backpacks or even hair styles are so ingrained into our everyday ways of thinking. It’s not to say that it makes it necessarily “right” or “wrong” it’s simply just that we have been socially constructed to believe certain things correspond with certain genders.

    Connecting this back to the idea of leadership, I would argue that we see the same things in regards to professional bags. I know that I own a laptop bag that I take with me to my internship, yet it would widely be considered feminine in regards to a general consensus. Additionally, I know that men tend to carry satchels or brief cases instead. This seemingly innocent difference is something that gets continually shaped over time.

    I thought you had some really great points, and anyone can own which ever backpack they want!!

    -Jen Duvall

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