Ever remember being told that pink is for girls and blue is for boys? Well what if I told you that this never used to be the case? It used to be pink for boys and blue for girls. But why even bother assigning a colour to a gender? Pretty pointless, do you agree? This is only the start of my issues with only assigning certain things to certain genders...
I remember being under the impression as a child that I should only be playing with barbie dolls and baby Annabelle. That my main purpose in life was to find a man, get married and have children, and when I did have children that I would have to be the one to stay at home and look after them and that my husband staying at home and me going to work was not an option. I guess I was blind to the fact that I could play with toy cars, that my main purpose in life was not to find a husband, and that men can stay at home and look after the child(ren) and women can go to work. I was a child that grew up throughout the noughties. Now we are just two weeks away from 2020, I want to ensure that all of the children who are growing up now do not believe in the same stereotypes I did. I also want to try and educate any adults who still believe in these stereotypes, as this should also help stop them from telling their children and/or their grandchildren about these stereotypes and encouraging them to conform to them.
There are many gender stereotypes that still exist all over the world. These can range from the smallest of things, such as who does the washing up, to the more important things, such as women not having a place in top executive roles. Who does the washing up? It depends on whose turn it is. Do women have a place in top executive roles? Abso-bloody-lutely.
But the problem does not purely lie in how society views women. It is also how society views men. The way that I see women drool over men with big muscles and toned abs when they take their tops off actually disgusts me. I am thinking of one UK show in particular when I say this (see if you can guess which one - it is not Love Island by the way), but the way they speak about men like they are pieces of meat and encourage them to take their tops off is revolting. If that show involved men encouraging a woman to take her top off then there would be a national outrage. I understand that men are not without their problems in this department and I am not trying to defend them in this situation, however the fact that this behaviour by women is encouraged by showing it on live TV is vile.
If any of you did not already know, I am currently in my second year of studying an early childhood degree, and this year and last year I have spent some time on placement in a nursery. In both nurseries I have been in the pre-school part of their nursery and one of the things they have is a dressing-up box. In my first nursery I witnessed many of the girls dressing-up in male superhero costumes, such as the hulk. In my current nursery I have witnessed a few of the boys dressing-up in dresses. Both instances have actually given me some hope of the fact that children are not being told about these stereotypes, or that if they are being told about them they have chosen to ignore them. I think we need to encourage children more with not living up to gender stereotypes and actually dressing how they want or going into any job sector they want just because they can. Women can wear trousers. Men can wear dresses. Women can be farmers. Men can be nurses. I would never do a double-take if I saw any of these things happen. Would you?
I believe in encouraging people to be what they want to be. I hate seeing gender stereotypes coming out in force on a regular basis. I hate that as a woman I am constantly being asked why I do not have a boyfriend, almost as if having a boyfriend is my only purpose in life. I hate that if a woman becomes successful and is at the top of her field, people say it is not because she worked for it but because she slept with people in order to get there; yet if a man becomes successful and at the top of his field it is because he worked for it. Women, as well as men, work hard to get to where they want to be. The only thing that is specific to gender, as Connor Franta once said, is our reproductive organs. What is not specific to gender is clothes, toys, jobs, and pretty much anything other than reproductive organs.
Love Beth xx