In every society, men and women are given roles which they are expected to pursue based on their gender. Traditionally, majority of societies had the impression that women are more nurturing compared to men. This view is the reason why they were assigned the role of caring for the family by being present in the home fulltime, rather than being employed. On the other hand, men were presumed to have effective leadership skills. This presumption is the reason why they were assigned with the role of being the head of a family where they had to make important decisions for the household. Today, the society still relies on these gender roles which is why in various situations, male and female are treated quite differently. The dynamic question for this essay is “Does the society’s perspectives on gender roles encourage gender stereotyping?” This paper supports the argument that the society’s presumptions on gender roles contributes significantly to the issues of gender stereotyping.
The various disciplines available today have each offered a range of perspectives on gender roles. For instance, the ecological view is that gender roles are determined by the interactions between individuals and the communities and environments in which they live in. This implies that the individuals, their physical, and the social environments are all responsible for constructing gender roles. Unfortunately, even as time goes by, these views are still present in the society. Presently, it is linked to the expectations of both male and female when at home and at work. Therefore, even though gender roles seem to be evolving, it is evident that this issue is still persistent in the society. This is why even the workplace recognizes the difference in tasks to be assigned to male employees or female employees. Csinos (2017) notes that gender stereotyping are acquired early in life when children adapt to the cues they hear on specific gender. Jingjing, Bin & Lei (2016) also notes that being stereotyped has the capability of affecting a person’s person as it affects their self confidence too.
Unfortunately, the predominance of gender roles in the society has triggered a lot of gender discrimination as well as gender stereotypes in the contemporary world. To further analyze this idea, the movie “She’s the Man” by Donner, Rosenberg and Lucchesi (2006) will be considered. Gender stereotype is defined as the preconceived ideas held by other individuals which prompts them to arbitrarily assign characteristics and roles based on gender. It has the capability of limiting an individual’s development of natural talents, as well as their professional life Perceptions on appropriate gender roles are mostly distorted by gender stereotypes. The stereotypes are exaggerated, erroneous assertions which are made about the male and female species (Csinos, 2017). For instance, a common stereotype is that Men are not emotional beings while the females are considered to be the exact opposite since they are said to be overly emotional. However, this is an exaggeration as men also get hurt by others and will often shed tears as a result. Such views are the reason why movements such as the feminist movement have been created as they seek to deconstruct such myths and instead put in place alternative visions that will reflect equality of both men and women (Jingjing, Bin & Lei, 2016).
. In the movie “’She’s the Man”, Amanda is a young and lovable girl who is forced to pretend to be a boy just so she could play soccer. She takes the place of her twin brother Sebastian and tries out for the boys’ soccer team just because she thought she was good enough but could not be allowed due to her gender. This movie represents a lot of what goes on in the society today. Many individuals have been denied job positions not because they are under qualified, but because they are of the opposite expected gender.
For instance, most organizations which advertise for managerial positions tend to give men the priority. Women are given opportunities in the secretarial and office administration positions. Therefore, as much as the board of the organization may argue that it does not discriminate against gender, it is evident that gender stereotyping is present as a result of what the society has come to perceive (Csinos, 2017). They do not directly discriminate, but it is clear that this is still the case because they feel like a man would be more fit and competent for the position compared to the female applicant.
In the movie “She’s the Man”, it is clear that when gender is neutralized, there is really no difference between male and female. Amanda managed to pretend to be a boy and she performed so well in the soccer team meant for boys. She was now at equal grounds of competition since they were all fooled that she was a man. Eventually, she even managed to outdo them all in a game that was not meant for female players. To deal with the need of females competing at level grounds with the male students, the school had put in place a girl’s soccer team. This separation based on gender shows how discrimination takes place silently in the society today. If the same scenario is applied in the current workplace, there would be more women employed in majority of the leadership positions (Csinos, 2017). Unfortunately, this is not the case as they are constantly perceived as weak human beings who do not have what it takes to make important decisions for large corporations.
Women are also presumed to lack the necessary manpower needed to carry out tedious tasks, such as within the construction industry. However, in rare cases, some companies have employed females who work alongside their male counterparts (Jingjing, Bin & Lei, 2016). However, when such a woman is noted working by other members of the society, the situation is considered weird and the individual may even become famous for beating the odds and managing to obtain employment in a “male profession.”
The issue of gender stereotyping is still challenging the current society. Although improvement has been noted from what was the case traditionally, individuals have to deal with stereotypes which prevent unequal treatment of both genders. There are situations where men are discriminated against, and those where female are discriminated against. Unfortunately, this prevents them from developing any further because they cannot practice what their professional background is all about. It limits their experience other roles other than what they intend to pursue. Since individuals are key players in how the environment will react, it is evident that they are also to blame for this stereotyping. Fortunately, there is hope if each and every one of accepts that gender does not determine a person’s capability.
Csinos, D. M. (2017). Will Boys Be Boys and Girls Be Girls? Correcting Gender Stereotypes Through Ministry with Children. Priscilla Papers, 31(4), 21-26.
Donner, L., Rosenberg, T., and Lucchesi, G. (2006). She’s the Man. DreamWorks Pictures.
Jingjing, S., Bin, Z., & Lei, Y. (2016). Effects of Gender Stereotypes On Performance In Mathematics: A Serial Multivariable Mediation Model. Social Behavior & Personality: An International Journal, 44(6), 943-952. doi:10.2224/sbp.2016.44.6.943