Samples Discrimination Gender Equality Essay

Gender Equality Essay

1030 words 4 page(s)

Gender is often an element that makes individuals perceive the world in a certain manner. The role of ascribed roles is heavily present when meeting individuals. As a male, certain stereotypes were ascribed to me at a young age. Individuals make certain assumptions based on gender. Males are often perceived to be more masculine, strong and handy. In contrast, women are often perceived as being nurturers, feminine and sensitive. The role of gender plays a vital role in how people perceive others.

As a male, I was expected to complete certain tasks. Growing up, girls around me played with dolls, fake kitchens and pretended to be mommies. In contrast, boys are given different roles. As a child I was given a fake tool set. I played sports such as football and baseball. I had no interest in the prospect of playing house with the girls. I didn’t imagine growing up to be a parent, like my female counterparts. Instead, I grew up dreaming of becoming a professional athlete. I wanted to be bigger and stronger than others. I watched television shows that focused on supper heroes and how they saved the day. When my female cousins would visit they would complain about my television viewing habits. However, I did not enjoy their viewing habits either, as they mainly focused on watching shows focusing on playing house or dressing each other up.

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My early interpretations of gender roles were reinforced with my parents. Although both of my parents worked, they performed different household tasks. My mother was primarily responsible for cooking and cleaning. In contrast, my father did other tasks including mowing the lawn, taking the garbage out or fixing things that broke around the house. I don’t think that I have ever seen my mother pick up a screwdriver and attempt to fix anything. At the same time, I don’t think I have witnessed my dad ever try to make a decent home cooked meal. Instead, his idea of a home cooked meal was takeout.

My early interpretations of gender remained relatively static during primary school. Girls were more interested in boys and carrying around plastic dolls. In contrast boys were more interested in playing spots and rough housing with each other. However, I don’t remember any great differences in genders being present in academia. Instead, it appeared at this age that my classmates, regardless of gender, were equally uninterested in the topics be covered.

My early experiences of gender flourished in middle school. Our middle school required students to take special life preparation classes. Although none of the students were required to take these classes for the full semester, all students, regardless of gender, were required to participate. Although I don’t remember all of these classes, some of them included: cooking, sewing, plumbing and woodshop. Quite a few of the girls were interested in learning to cook. Many of them had previous experience with cooking with their mothers. As a result, females tended to be dominant in this class. It was a similar experience in sewing. However, I was thankful for the girls, as my ability to perform these tasks was limited. Thankfully, my group had a large number of girls. However, the girls were less interested in taking classes such as woodshop or plumbing. Although this was likely the result of gender roles, I believe that the females and males in the classes were thankful to have each other to lean on when they could not complete a task.

During high school the role of males and females were drastically different. Females always appeared to be in the bathroom looking in the mirror. They also appeared to be more into school. In contrast, the boys tended to be into sports and rough housing. Males were significantly louder than females and tended to treat each other with less respect. Although females were quieter, they tended to be meaner to each other. However, they went about it differently than males. Even out of school it was common to witness two pretty girls fighting over a guy. It was not uncommon for girls to be more offended by name-calling. Boy on the other hand were less offended by name-calling and tended to be more inclined to physically fight when confrontations over girls arose.

Even in the present there is an evident different between the way men and women are treated in society. This is best presented when watching the news, as females are often targeted randomly. It appears to be rare to see a male being victimized, let alone a male being victimized by a female. Women are often cautioned to be careful when they walk alone at night. However, rarely is this caution extended to males. Instead, males are expected to hold their own. In a sense, they are perceived as stronger and better equipped to take care of themselves.

These gender roles further appear to extend into the next phase of life. In watching my married cousins, I have found that the women primarily take care of the children. The males appear to be less interested in child rearing. Perhaps, part of this is due to the fact that females were given baby dolls to take care of at a young age. It also appears that few females go into professions that are predominately dominated by males such as mechanics, plumbing or other handy professions. However, it is also area to hear of a male that became a preschool teacher or works with young children.

I believe that individuals are given ascribed roles based on their gender. In my experiences, many individuals grew up to demonstrate the characteristics they were ascribed as a child. Even as individuals transition into the next stage of life, these ascribed roles play a guiding role in determining which behaviors are acceptable. The University of Akron (2011) expands on this in defining gender roles as “behaviors required by persons occupying the male or female status” (para. 4). Although it initially sounds odd that gender would be a predictor of behavior, the ascribed roles given to individuals based on their gender makes gender a strong indicator of how an individual will behave.