You Decide What It Means To Be A Man Or Woman, Not Society

You Decide What It Means To Be A Man Or Woman, Not Society

Two different genders, two different expectations.

According to a study conducted by the California Technical Institute, 25.9 percent of girls are matched with prospective adopting families while 34.4 percent of boys are matched with theirs. This issue demonstrates that gender profiling is a growing issue in our society concerning the increased preference of one gender over the other, based on their so-called superior masculine or feminine traits. Both women and men have faced the discriminating impacts of gender inequality within their daily lives, but nothing substantial has been done about it.

A common misconception is that males are better workers and more intellectual as compared to their female counterparts, when in reality, neither gender surpasses the other gender in their abilities. If it is possible to have women occupy professions, such as pilots, lawyers, and business CEOs, then it is safe to say that with ambition and hard work, women can be seen as strong candidates when competing for occupations against other males. Now in the workplace, bridging the wage gap has long been a goal for many feminists, but this issue still remains deeply rooted within various workplaces. Women are paid about 20 percent less than men for doing the exact same job, not to mention the burden of their moral obligation to do housework and raise children.

On the other hand, males also face inequity in regards to social behavior. Young girls are seen as easily submissive while boys are known for engaging in significantly rebellious behavior, then afterwards being blamed for their impulsiveness. A study conducted by the University of California tested whether a group of boys or girls would object to being made to drink lemonade with salt. The girls, in an effort to spare feelings, attempted to swallow the entire drink, but the boys were more assertive and voiced that the lemonade needed sugar. When young, boys are encouraged to speak out frequently and demonstrate their strength to portray dominance, while girls are strictly disciplined to avoid such open behavior. Therefore, as they grow older, men are seen as most likely to commit a crime as compared to women, and they often fall under the scrutiny of police officers and other authorities far more frequently. The University of Minnesota’s census states that approximately 80 percent of arrests for violent crime are of men.

Whether it’s in social situations or educational endeavors, women and men both have their advantages and disadvantages within societal norms, and that is not ethical. Every person should be free to be themselves, and a person's gender should not rule their decisions. Having an individual voice and expressing opinions should not be limited to only one gender. Individuality should not be repressed according to society’s norms; after all, each person has their own unique skills that they use to contribute to society in ways that others cannot. Those who see that our society is still somewhat unequal should be applauded.

There are already many barriers within our population, such as religion, age, sexuality and more. By embracing the distinctive traits that come with each gender and working together, one more barrier can be broken.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash / Riki Ramdani

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Austin Alexander Burridge, Volunteer Advocate, Shares 3 Great Reasons to Volunteer and Help Others

Austin Alexander Burridge is an avid academic who studies Environmental Science at Winona State University and believes that work in the service of others is a key pillar to personal development.


Sometimes it's easy for someone to adopt a "me, me, me" attitude. While focusing on oneself, a person may feel nice in the moment, but serving and helping others will bring lasting benefits. While there are many great reasons to serve and help others, there are three universal truths that resonate with volunteers around the globe.

Austin Alexander Burridge's 3 Reasons to Volunteer:

1. Accomplishment

Often, people fall into a trap of focusing on themselves when they are feeling down. Maybe someone did not get a job they wanted. Or perhaps a person gets dumped by an expected lifelong companion. Maybe someone feels they have underachieved after looking at Facebook and seeing great things a high school classmate has accomplished. When feeling down, helping others is a proven way to improve one's mood and attitude, and it can provide a sense of pride and accomplishment. The act of giving to those in need is an inherently good action and leaves people with a wonderful feeling of joy.

2. Gratitude

One can become more appreciative of life by serving others that have less. Whether volunteering at a soup kitchen, visiting the elderly at an assisted living center, or helping families after a natural disaster, service enables people to be grateful for what they have. Seeing people who have fewer advantages, especially those who are spirited and thankful for small things, allows one to realize just how fortunate he/she is in life.

3. Friendships

Volunteering is a great way to build meaningful friendships, not only with other volunteers but also with those who are served. One of the most profound and fascinating aspects of these relationships is how volunteers will learn from those served and vice versa. As these special bonds are built, they lead to impactful connections that last for years to come.

Of course, these are just a few reasons to volunteer and serve others. One can never go wrong by helping others as opposed to merely focusing on oneself. Volunteering invariably and inevitably contributes to personal growth, development, and satisfaction.

About Austin Alexander Burridge: Helping others has been of paramount importance to Austin, and as a part of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), Austin gave back to the community around him. He also has participated in annual peanut butter drives, The Minnesota Sandwich Project for the Homeless and collected canned goods for local food shelters. Additionally, Austin has a passion for the environment, which he pursued when visiting the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador, and the Amazon Rain Forest while studying at the School of Environment Studies, which investigates ecological systems and their sustainability

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A Glimpse Of My Adventure In Germany & Poland

This why everyone should study abroad.


Two days ago, I arrived back in the States from a two-week study abroad trip to Germany and Poland. This trip was entitled Experiences in International Justice. On this trip, we studied the Holocaust and its consequences through the lens of criminal justice. This trip changed my life in so many ways.

Firs, I really connected with all the other students on my trip, so I know that I can find friendship and understanding in them because we shared this experience.

Secondly, I discovered a newfound respect for life and need to work towards a more just world through learning more about Adolf Hitler's Third Reich and the Holocaust. We visited three infamous concentration camps: Dachau, Sachsenhausen, and Auschwitz-Birkenau. I don't know if I can explain to you the emotions I experienced, but I would like to try since I think it is very important to share my experience with others. It was so surreal to be in a place where millions of innocent lives were taken away. Seeing where the many Jews, Roma, and many other groups slept, worked, suffered, and died really put my life into perspective.

It got me reflecting on what I have to be thankful for, and the problems that I feel are a too big deal to handle. Nothing I could ever go through can be compared to what those poor people went through. Because of this realization, I have become empowered to do what I can to help those who are suffering and who do not have anyone to stand up for them. I know I can't effect change all over the world, but I want to help others in any way I can, in my community and in my future career as a Forensic Psychologist, as well as with my friends and family.

I also have been inspired to be a torch-bearer for the memory of the victims as well as the Holocaust itself, so that something like it never happens again. Knowledge is power, and so being educated about what happened and how it happened can help us take a stand for what's right. Because not everyone has the privilege to travel to the concentration camps as I have so I have an obligation to share my experiences there with the world. I do not want the victims to disappear, from the Holocaust or any tragedy. From a criminal justice perspective, it was also very interesting to read more about the perpetrators, how normal people can be so violent and destroy fellow humans without remorse. I think it is beneficial to study them because it shows that anyone can become overwhelmed with power and let it go to their heads.

My trip to Germany and Poland was an amazing experience that expanded my mind and my world, inspired me to continue down my chosen career path, and gave me great friends. I hope that everyone has a chance to study abroad and always be curious and open-minded because it will do so much good for you.


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