Fighting Gender Inequality, From Both Sides
Start writing a post

Fighting Gender Inequality, From Both Sides

In honor of International Women's Month.

Fighting Gender Inequality, From Both Sides
Jade Richards

When we think of female empowerment, our minds automatically go to inspirational figures who are taking pivotal steps towards gender equality. Women such as Emma Watson, who was appointed UN Women Goodwill Ambassador in 2014 and advocates the #HeForShe campaign. We think of the women in powerful positions who are constantly fighting for a level playing field between males and females. I have always looked up to these figures, hoping one day I can be as courageous as them to stand up for what's right.

But we can't all be UN Ambassadors. What we can do, is each play our individual role in breaking down the barriers between genders. Emma Watson rallies for men as well as women. She believes gender stereotypes on both sides are just as harmful to the entire picture of equality. "If men don't have to be aggressive in order to be accepted, women won't feel compelled to be submissive. If men don't have to control, women won't have to be controlled." Those words have stuck with me. I am immensely saddened when I come across a man who is so obviously trying to fit into the role he has been taught is right for him, who is embarrassed to be seen feeling emotion or showing a moment of weakness.

Who decided that boys don't get to feel as deeply as girls?

I am just as happy to have a heartfelt conversation with my male friends as I am my female friends. I often confide in them for emotional support and advice, or even just for someone to vent to, yet time and time again I'm told that this is wrong. It's great to have guy friends but I should be mostly turning to my girlfriends. Guy friends are just there for fun, right!?

This is so wrong, and it's this mentality that has led to suppression — both for men and women. It creates the idea that men shouldn't be soft and mushy and want to talk about their feelings and that women should only do just that. It's the outdated ideal we need to move away from. There should be no difference in emotional capacities between genders. We're all human!

I also strongly believe in breaking down our feminine stereotypes. As I was growing up, I remember being told to sit "like a lady." I had a bit of a tendency to laze around with my legs apart — "manspreading," if you will. Geez, even that word makes a certain way we sit gender specific! I used to complain about being dressed in skirts and dresses because I couldn't climb trees as easily as my friends who were boys. I loved going to the hardware store with my dad and spent the weekends at skate parks on my scooter or bike (I was a very cool kid). I wasn't even aware that a lot of my habits were seen as slightly embarrassing. Apparently, it's not normal for a girl to eat as much as a "growing teenage boy," or to have a pretty delayed interest in make-up and fashion.

As I grew up I realized I was seen as pretty different at times and spent most of my teen years trying so hard to suppress my natural instincts. I started wearing make-up and taking an interest in how I looked. I swapped the bikes for magazines and nail polish, and I quickly became very self-conscious about what others thought of me (particularly boys). I hated that they didn't see me as one of the "pretty girls." For a while I went overboard and forced out the materialistic, "girly" side of myself — it wasn't a good look.

I've now grown to despise this ladylike idea. It's like I'm going through a late rebellious phase, except this time I'm rebelling against a societal idea that I can't act rough. I'm embracing my dirty, chewed nails, my messy hair and my baggy clothes. I'm unapologetically "manspreading" on a daily basis.

I want to break down all the barriers that categorize men and women into their stereotypes, so we are each free to live exactly how we want to. I don't want anyone to have to think about what they should be wearing or should be doing, to feel like their true personality is being suppressed. I want to be unashamedly unladylike. Stuff everyone's expectations!

This International Women's Month lets focus on celebrating the things that make us so unlike our gender stereotypes. Man, it feels good to act like a man!

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Student Life

Top 10 Reasons My School Rocks!

Why I Chose a Small School Over a Big University.

man in black long sleeve shirt and black pants walking on white concrete pathway

I was asked so many times why I wanted to go to a small school when a big university is so much better. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure a big university is great but I absolutely love going to a small school. I know that I miss out on big sporting events and having people actually know where it is. I can't even count how many times I've been asked where it is and I know they won't know so I just say "somewhere in the middle of Wisconsin." But, I get to know most people at my school and I know my professors very well. Not to mention, being able to walk to the other side of campus in 5 minutes at a casual walking pace. I am so happy I made the decision to go to school where I did. I love my school and these are just a few reasons why.

Keep Reading...Show less
Lots of people sat on the cinema wearing 3D glasses

Ever wonder what your friend meant when they started babbling about you taking their stapler? Or how whenever you ask your friend for a favor they respond with "As You Wish?" Are you looking for new and creative ways to insult your friends?

Well, look no further. Here is a list of 70 of the most quotable movies of all time. Here you will find answers to your questions along with a multitude of other things such as; new insults for your friends, interesting characters, fantastic story lines, and of course quotes to log into your mind for future use.

Keep Reading...Show less
New Year Resolutions

It's 2024! You drank champagne, you wore funny glasses, and you watched the ball drop as you sang the night away with your best friends and family. What comes next you may ask? Sadly you will have to return to the real world full of work and school and paying bills. "Ah! But I have my New Year's Resolutions!"- you may say. But most of them are 100% complete cliches that you won't hold on to. Here is a list of those things you hear all around the world.

Keep Reading...Show less

The Ultimate Birthday: Unveiling the Perfect Day to Celebrate!

Let's be real, the day your birthday falls on could really make or break it.

​different color birthday candles on a cake
Blacksburg Children's Museum

You heard it here first: birthdays in college are some of the best days of your four years. For one day annually, you get to forget about your identity as a stressed, broke, and overworked student, and take the time to celebrate. You can throw your responsibilities for a day, use your one skip in that class you hate, receive kind cards and gifts from loved ones and just enjoy yourself.

Keep Reading...Show less

Unleash Inspiration: 15 Relatable Disney Lyrics!

Leave it to Disney to write lyrics that kids of all ages can relate to.

The 15 most inspiring Disney songs

Disney songs are some of the most relatable and inspiring songs not only because of the lovable characters who sing them, but also because of their well-written song lyrics. While some lyrics make more sense with knowledge of the movie's story line that they were written for, other Disney lyrics are very relatable and inspiring for any listener.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments