Our Imagining Equality project has been keeping careful track of the multiple, varied ways that gender stereotypes are challenged, broken, and reshaped around the world.
It bothers me immensely when I see and overhear gender stereotypes integrated so casually into conversation. Whether it is talk between a couple of North American moms at the local organically sourced coffee shop or in the drawing room of a sprawling mansion with a group of South Asian women chattering over high tea.
I will however discuss what we can do about it to ensure our children are armed with knowledge, perspective and an open mind to make equality a reality.
Guess who the first change starts from? Children internalize these messages with awareness of gender role differences from two years old Weinraub et al.
This is further reinforced through school and in particular the media. I would argue that I probably received the same messages growing up and still have a healthy perspective on gender roles. In fact it took me a while to get over being anti-pink because even that extreme was unfair and hindered the equality movement.
Since I have always been conscious of this stereotype I tried to balance bias cues as much as I could. Despite this my 3-year-old daughter is currently going through a princess phase.
And it is alright, because she enjoys it. In my experience there was rarely a stigma if you were a tomboy.
Both men and women should feel free to be sensitive. Both men and women should feel free to be strong. It is time that we all perceive gender on a spectrum not as two opposing sets of ideals. I feel just as strongly for the stigma-free right for boys to be able to show vulnerability, wear pink and play with unicorns as much as girls should be able to take charge, display strength and play with automotive toys without being labelled.
We should be able to interchange these traits without it defining us. I will always remember this particular moment when my friend and I were given gifts for her son and my daughter.
We both looked at each other and naturally exchanged the bags. Her son loves pink and my daughter adores yellow. We both knew what our kids would enjoy. Parents who adopt an egalitarian attitude regarding gender roles are more likely to foster this attitude in their children.
This could mean having Mom change the light bulb or use the power tools and Dad wash the dishes and bake the cookies or vice versa without it being an issue. For those of us who are home with the kids, they will assume that all moms stay at home and all dads go to work.
Dads can stay at home too. Talk about the different jobs that exist and that your child has access to whatever he or she wants to be.
Keep a check on your own biases that can inadvertently come out e.
Probe your child and get them to think out loud why it can be a toy for anyone. The same applies for colours. Even for the most progressive thinking father watching his son play with dolls might be difficult, but it is important to know it does not have any negative connotation just pure joy.
Fight the bias and remember the more you emphasize on it the more adverse the effects will be. Encourage play dates with both boys and girls. This will ensure exposure to varied activities and interests, from creative play to building and athletics while learning how to play with each other.
Break generalizations down to specifics. If you let your child thrive, so will you. Help us carry on the gender bias conversation further!
We would love to hear from you.There are lots of shows that break gender norms, to some extent or another! Depends on what generas you are into and what gender roles you prefer to be broken.
Most shows break some gender roles but follow others. Home > Our Impact > Breaking Out of Traditional Gender Roles Breaking Out of Traditional Gender Roles. Breaking Out of Traditional Gender Roles. Publication info.
2/25/ By. “Over time, the interventions became the new norm.” In villages like Brifo Maal, for example, women traditionally could own chickens and pigs but not.
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