When I was a child, because of gender stereotyping, I used to think that I had to act and be a certain way, and I used to deny things about myself because it didn’t fit others expectations of me. As I grew older, I then started to realise that there were things about me that matched the male gender stereotype, and I slowly began to accept this. I changed the way that I behaved in front of and around other people, and now I am much happier with the way that people see me and the way that I am.
I actually find that some of my “male” qualities are greater than that of others who actually are male, and I actually seem to identify more with this set of qualities. There are many things that I like about the way I have developed, and the blend of qualities that I actually have. Having stereotypes means that a woman could be really skilled at what would be considered to be a man’s job, and visa versa, but that they can not do this because of others expectations and so society is missing out on people’s more valuable skills just because of what people supposedly “are”.
Gender stereotypes mean that as well as having the strengths of that gender, you must also have the weaknesses of that gender too. Mixing them together means that you can have the strengths of both and you can try to be a better person in every way. As we all know, gender stereotypes were probably made more to suppress women, but in the same way as a second effect they have also damaged men too.
One example of this would be in the case of sexual abuse on children. I imagine that to believe that more girls are abused in this way would be a misconception. Although all cases of abuse are under reported, males are a lot less likely to disclose information on sexual abuse because of the characteristics they are expected to have. A cultural bias means that males are expected to be more confident or aggressive, and to be perceived as a victim would mean that a male was inadequate as a male. A lot of people appear to be less sympathetic towards boys who are victims of sexual abuse, and this is one of the many, many examples that I could use to argue that gender stereotyping is always WRONG.
As a young person it made me angry and frustrated, and now I most definitely disagree with it and don’t see how it benefits society at all. A caring, loving male to me is much more attractive than an aggressive one (despite the fact that I’m not really straight but never mind). I’m sure many straight girls would agree…