Limitations upheld by Gender Bias

Limitations upheld by Gender Bias

Stop labeling me before you Know me

We live in a world where life itself is structured. Where children are expected to be respectful, to mature into hard working adults, and end their journey wise and fulfilled. This road map that we all embark on has different challenges for everyone; most of the expected bumps can be predicted based on what you like and how you identify. This can be broken down to what gender identifies you. Gender is socially constructed, and each culture has a different expectation regarding such trait.

There are five different combinations of these sexes, however our society acknowledges only two of them. When a baby is born out of the norm, a parent is forced to assign a specific gender to the child. This leads to a life of confusion for the child, often making them feel trapped in the wrong body. In Ancient Rome, these different sexes were acknowledged so this is not a new issue. Rather, it is rejecting human anatomy to fit the perfect ideals of the community. After birth you are expected to have specific characteristics, and grow to be like everybody else.Even though this is not new to the human race, people are still being discriminated against for not conforming to the norm. With the latest push to be the ban of gender less bathrooms. When an individual has to limit their bodily function to fit in, it is clear that it is just a tactic to isolate individuals until they conform. This war strips the individual of their rights and empowers corrupt legislation.

Gender roles are determined by culture. In the United States, there has yet to be a woman president, women make seventy cent per dollar that men make; Women are also largely misrepresented in their communites. Women make up half of the United States population, yet that is not reflected in Congress nor is it represented between CEO or high ranking leadership positions. Francoise Giroud once said, "a woman will be really the equal to man, if one day, an incompetent woman is designated to an important position". Women have to work harder to achieve the same status as men. Women are perceived as weak, dainty and emotional beings that would not be able to handle tough conversations or difficult tasks. That is why traditionally women have stayed in the homes, raising children while men worked. This tradition was changed in the 1960’s when women wanted to expand their rights, socially as well as politically. Even in the United States, the land of the free, women and men are still not ranked or looked at as equals.

In the Middle East, women are still fighting for their basic rights. It is due to their social structure which places men as the dominant power. This construction happens through their specific culture. In the country of Pakistan, we hear of young Malala Yousatzai who was targeted and shot by the Taliban due to her desire to get an education. Under Taliban rule, it is unacceptable for a woman to receive an education, a simple right reserved for men. This society deprives its citizens from the beauty of the written world. Her gender made her a target, as well as made her a hero. However, there are also African tribes where women lead the congregation. In the book, Things Fall Apart By Chinua Achebe we see how their social construct follows a more traditional route. In the Nigerian culture, northern women work all day in the field collecting yams and other vegetables, and are in charge of caring for the home and nurturing children. Their main goal is to one day get married and have their own families. In the south, women pursue and education and their goal is to work in the city, instead of being a house wife. Although they are from the same country, they have different views on their lives because of the different possibilities available to them. The way people view themselves and their capabilities are determined by their culture and what is expected of them.

The divide between genders is optional but due to centuries and centuries of oppression, people believe it is the only way we can survive. Every culture is structured different, and most of the differences can be broken down by how each gender perceives each other.

In order to make a change in this, individual’s have to take a stance against oppressive practices. More women, POC and LGBT members need to be put in places where they can too be role models. In order to change he narrative we must educate people of human differences and acknowledge them rather then think of a way to change them. By valuing an person individuality you are able to lift them to feel like the dignified person they always were.

This inequality is based off of bias and superficial beliefs. If every culture accepted everyone and saw no differences between him and her the world would be equal. To be truly free, we would have to allow everyone to be himself or herself as well as lift prior limitations. This would be easy if we judged based on the person and not their outer appearance, only then can we all be equal.


Popular Right Now

An Open Letter to the Person Who Still Uses the "R Word"

Your negative associations are slowly poisoning the true meaning of an incredibly beautiful, exclusive word.

What do you mean you didn't “mean it like that?" You said it.

People don't say things just for the hell of it. It has one definition. Merriam-Webster defines it as, "To be less advanced in mental, physical or social development than is usual for one's age."

So, when you were “retarded drunk" this past weekend, as you claim, were you diagnosed with a physical or mental disability?

When you called your friend “retarded," did you realize that you were actually falsely labeling them as handicapped?

Don't correct yourself with words like “stupid," “dumb," or “ignorant." when I call you out. Sharpen your vocabulary a little more and broaden your horizons, because I promise you that if people with disabilities could banish that word forever, they would.

Especially when people associate it with drunks, bad decisions, idiotic statements, their enemies and other meaningless issues. Oh trust me, they are way more than that.

I'm not quite sure if you have had your eyes opened as to what a disabled person is capable of, but let me go ahead and lay it out there for you. My best friend has Down Syndrome, and when I tell people that their initial reaction is, “Oh that is so nice of you! You are so selfless to hang out with her."

Well, thanks for the compliment, but she is a person. A living, breathing, normal girl who has feelings, friends, thousands of abilities, knowledge, and compassion out the wazoo.

She listens better than anyone I know, she gets more excited to see me than anyone I know, and she works harder at her hobbies, school, work, and sports than anyone I know. She attends a private school, is a member of the swim team, has won multiple events in the Special Olympics, is in the school choir, and could quite possibly be the most popular girl at her school!

So yes, I would love to take your compliment, but please realize that most people who are labeled as “disabled" are actually more “able" than normal people. I hang out with her because she is one of the people who has so effortlessly taught me simplicity, gratitude, strength, faith, passion, love, genuine happiness and so much more.

Speaking for the people who cannot defend themselves: choose a new word.

The trend has gone out of style, just like smoking cigarettes or not wearing your seat belt. It is poisonous, it is ignorant, and it is low class.

As I explained above, most people with disabilities are actually more capable than a normal human because of their advantageous ways of making peoples' days and unknowingly changing lives. Hang out with a handicapped person, even if it is just for a day. I can one hundred percent guarantee you will bite your tongue next time you go to use the term out of context.

Hopefully you at least think of my friend, who in my book is a hero, a champion and an overcomer. Don't use the “R Word". You are way too good for that. Stand up and correct someone today.

Cover Image Credit: Kaitlin Murray

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating


A thought on what happens after life.


It's an infinite loop intertwined with life that all humans have to deal with.

It's a looming shadow that leads to a hole in the ground.

It's a terrifying presence in everyday life, and you never really know when the scaly, slithering snake will strike.

It doesn't discriminate; It loves to take the youngest, it loves to take the oldest, and loves to take everything in between.

It's the silence before the storm and the storm itself.

It prowls, it preys, on the weakest.

It is both the biggest, strongest bear and the deadliest bug bite.

Death, it is the blackened stumps of the wildlife caught in the worst of fires.

Yet, it can be beautiful.

Most wouldn't think so, probably have never put "death" and "beautiful" together in the same sentence, let alone even in the same paragraph.

But death is beautiful.

It can be like the last whisper of a fall breeze before winter sets in.

Or is like the sunset, right when the last of the red from the sinking sun fades from the darkened night sky.

It can be the peace on a late Sunday afternoon, sitting in the shade of a giant tree in the summer.

It's like taking the hand of the partner you've decided to live with, even after fighting with them.

It's the hand you use to stroke the head of kittens, and the hand you use to scratch puppies tummies.

It's the hand that gives, but it is also the hand that takes away.

Related Content

Facebook Comments