Gender Roles Should Not Determine Someone’s Choices.

Go to the nearest gift shop and ask them for gifts for new born babies, they will take you to the new born babies section, and my guess is that you’ll find two kinds of a set of gifts. One that says “Baby girl,” colored pink with flowers and a white teddy bear, and the other kind will say “Baby boy,” colored blue, with just a brown teddy bear because boys don’t like flowers. That’s the preconceived idea of how a person of a certain gender should be, should wear, or should like, that most people have because they grew up learning it and seeing it around them. So that’s how they want you to raise your children. Based on things that hold no place anywhere, but instead they’re just roles that tell one gender that they are superior and the other that they are inferior. That one should always be strong and the other will always be weak.

Imposing gender roles doesn’t only hurt girls but boys too. Boys are taught at a young age that it’s not okay to cry because you’re a man and men don’t cry, and that they should be into sports and aggressive things. Girls are taught that they can be sensitive and that they’re princesses and should like anything pink and wear dresses all the time. YouTube star, Hannah Hart explained that with men, there tends to be a higher dropout rate, higher suicide rate, and more susceptibility towards violence, and addiction. The Forbes article explained that the higher suicide rate is linked to the fact that men have a “higher threshold for pain,” which causes them to lash out in a way that would lead to suicide.

This could also affect a person when they grow up, they will get a feeling but never know why they feel that way because they are taught that a person like them should never feel that way. In an article titled “10 Words Every Girl Should Learn”, Soraya Chemaly explains that from a young age women are taught to be quiet and to listen to a man when he talks and to accept being interrupted and being inferior because that is what being a lady is. Thinking of that, growing up must be hard for those women who think that they should just accept it as it comes instead of being part of the conversation and also being heard.

Maybe you think that boys and girls should dress differently too but who actually decided what the dress code for men is and what the dress code for women is? In an article published by Smithsonian magazine in 2011, it said that up until the age of 6, all children wore white colored clothes and that it was until before the First World War that colors became based on gender. The colors you wore were primarily based on what you looked like “blue was flattering for blonds, pink for brunettes; or blue was for blue-eyed babies, pink for brown-eyed babies.”

As a matter of fact not even high heels were originally for women. In an article written on BBC, Persian soldiers were the first to wear high heels as they felt that they were much more practical, they helped them stay in balance while shooting an arrow. Later on, the high heel was adopted by the higher class of the Europeans and made its way to the lower classes of the society and after that two types of heels were made ‘Fat heels’ for men and ‘skinny heels’ for women but a while later men stopped wearing high heels as they did not want to be associated with anything that women did as they felt it took away their power as men.

Most importantly, however, is how we demotivate women from pursuing certain careers, or taking certain jobs, because they are predominantly male fields, and so she would not be able to carry out the job. But women have proven to achieve greatly, even in fields that are traditionally men’s fields. Let us not forget about Margaret Hamilton, the female engineer who led the team that developed the software for Apollo 11. Or Susan Wojcicki, who is not only the CEO of YouTube, but she also helped in starting up Google. When the founders of Google were starting up their company, they set up their office right in Susan Wojcicki’s office.

With all that in mind, we need to recognize here that the problem isn’t in our children but it is that we tell them they cannot do certain things only because they are considered the taboos of their gender. We shouldn’t tell one gender that they should like make up, dresses and playing house, and tell the other that they should like sports, fighting and cars. Instead of that, we should give all genders the same encouragement and teach them the same values and responsibilities. Tell them that they can all have the same goals and achieve them as long as they strive for them.