Blog Post #3: Breaking the Proverbial Glass Ceiling
Throughout my life, I have learned much about societal rules and regulations. There are certain aspects of the male and female genders that had to be maintained when we were children, for fear of getting ostracized and bullied. One day in kindergarten, I bravely proclaimed that blue was my favorite color. Less than a second later, a boy yelled across the room, “Blue is a boy’s color! You can’t like blue!” In that moment, I remember standing there and asking myself, “Why can’t girls like blue? It’s only a color after all, isn’t it?” It was a few years later that I realized the answer to my question: Blue was a typical boy’s color and pink was the typical color for girls. My third grade-self came to this epiphany and disagreed with the whole concept altogether. I happened to not like the color pink. So, I gave myself a new favorite color: purple. I told myself that day that I am not bound to any rules that society pushes on me. I create my own rules, and push away those that society tries to shove up my nose.
While I was able to fight the gender stereotypes as a child, there are many that follow, or are forced to follow, gender stereotypes. However, the world is on the course for combatting gender stereotypes, for all ages. What is the evidence? According to the Pew Research Center for Social and Demographic Trends article, there is a change in perspective when it comes to gender stereotypes. More and more people are starting to see how gender stereotypes are affecting the world and how we can change that. There are a variety of television shows that try to challenge the dominant view of stereotypes. For example, the Big Bang Theory had an episode where one character explains to another about how one can never tell what a child is going to be like solely based on their biological gender. The entertainment industry is slowly attempting to educate their audience about gender stereotypes, and about how people should not be judged based on these stereotypes. The conclusion we can get from this is that the people are changing their perspectives on growing up and living gender roles. Is this a logical conclusion based on the evidence? The article was written this year and each of the charts given have cites underneath them. In addition, there is a continuation of the page which gives the article’s bibliography and the names and titles of those who worked on the article and the surveys.
Whose perspectives does this represent? This represents the perspectives of those who believe that there needs to be a change in the perspective of gender stereotypes and those who believe that gender stereotypes are important in society. The people that have decided that there needs to be a change believe that these stereotypes are causing problems for women, people of color, and other minorities both in schools and in the workforce. It is a fact that women earn 88 cents to the dollar that men make for doing the same job. There are people who do not get hired for jobs simply because they are the ‘wrong’ skin color. The more of the minority attributes one has, it will be that much harder to cross the obstacles. However, there are also people, mostly the older generation, who believe that there is no gender gap. They believe that men and women have their own, separate, roles to play in the family and the community. There are many of this generation who believe that the gender gap is real, but necessary to keep up the status quo. There are many people who unknowingly satisfy these gender stereotypes. According to Holly Brewer’s article from the Health Guidance website, right from knowing the gender of the unborn child, we adorn the parents with pink and girly things for girls or blue and boy-like things for boys. It is important to raise children from the beginning to know that they can be whatever they choose to be, and not pressured to fit gender roles that were imposed upon them.
Whose voice is missing? The sources that I researched did not have one variable: ethnicity/background. Families that come from different ethnicities, cultures, and backgrounds have different beliefs about what boys and girls have to do in relation to the family and their duties to the family and the community. In traditional Indian communities, it is common for parents to expect their children to study medicine, engineering, or law. Those are high-paying jobs that can keep their children and their children’s children financially secure. It has definitely changed since my parents’ time, where women were not required, and not encouraged to, have a job or even an education before getting married. After getting married, a woman was required to sire children and take care of the family and the house. Not just in the United States, but world-wide, parents of many different communities are becoming more accepting of what their children want to be in life and who they want to be as people.
When researching a controversial topic like gender roles vs. equality, it is crucial to understand where to spot the bias. The bias would mostly be centered on minorities and women who feel that there needs to be a change. The other side is not as highlighted. If this narrative was told from a different perspective, the story would naturally be different. If the narrative is coming from a Caucasian man who believes that everything in society is fine just the way it is, then the story would be biased toward the people who share the same beliefs. The point of view would be different if it came from a child who is currently growing up with these gender roles. For research, it is imperative to understand whether sources are trustworthy or not. Most of the sources that I used to uncover more about gender roles are from sources that did extensive research on the subject. The articles were written recently, meaning that they are very up-to-date on current research. The articles, however, do follow the question: What is the gender gap, if there is one, and how can we bridge the gap?
What is the enduring legacy of this narrative? This narrative revolves around why the change in gender roles is beneficial for today’s society. With so many people growing up to work hard to achieve their dreams, that glass ceiling is slowly cracking little by little. Bridging the gap creates more opportunities for everyone, not just for those who society allows. Breaking the glass ceiling is all about bringing everyone’s struggles to the surface and making a difference. Changing the rules about gender roles from the very young to the very old will create a world where we judge each other based on our actions and our intent, not on our beliefs, backgrounds, ethnicities and race. The enduring legacy of this narrative is to create a more equal society for everyone.