The Negative Effects of Gender Roles

The Negative Effects of Gender Roles

They may appear innocent but they can be disastrous.
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Since a young age, people are told what they should like, act like, and become based on the gender of their body. These preset ideas start off by expecting young females to like pink or pastel colors and young males to like blue or darker colors. It teaches young children that females are nurses and males are doctors, that the mom stays home to clean the house, cook, and take care of the children while the dad goes off to work to make money and provide for the family. Society has come to call these ideals gender roles since they are basic roles and ideas that a certain gender should conform to and accept. While these stereotypes and ideal roles may seem innocent and harmless, they have a dramatic affect on the everyday lives of people. From personality development to careers and education, gender roles have set boundaries that cause a negative effect on both genders.

One of the basic foundations of gender roles is the believe that certain personality traits are linked to biological gender. For example, women are believed to be “submissive” while men are “aggressive and assertive”. Women are expected to be emotional while men “should manage and suppress their emotions”. These can lead to many problems. These expectations force people to change who they are and shames them if they do not. Trying to change or not accepting one’s personality can lead to internal conflict and unhappiness with the situation that the person is in. Depression, anxiety, and low self esteem can be caused by oppression emotions or putting oneself in situations that one is not comfortable in. The belief that all men are aggressive leads to a acceptance and normality in relationship abuse. The phrase “He’s only mean because he likes you” is often said after a elementary boy pulls a girl’s hair or pushes her down. By telling elementary students this phrase, it teaches them to “connect pain with love”and should be expect abuse when a male is in a relationship.

In addition to personality, gender roles influence the careers that people select. Since some jobs require “caring, comforting, and serving behaviors” they are labeled as a woman’s job and stereo-typically do not have a high male employment. Jobs such as nursing and flight attendant often have a majority of females for they require “tenderness and patience”, while jobs like construction and police officers have a majority of male workers for they require “physical strength and toughness”. Males are encouraged to enter jobs that require physical, scientific, or mathematical skills for they are believe to be better at those fields, unlike women who are believed to be better at emotional skills, language, and humanities. Females are encouraged to attend college before forming a career, while men are expected to go straight into the workforce. Due to this gender stereotype, over 57% of college students are female. Therefore, males are receiving less education. Yet, the effect does not stop at career choice. Due to gender roles, women experience “pay gap, occupational segregation, denial of promotions to leadership, glass ceiling in different professions, increased casualization of women workers” and “lower levels of equation and work opportunities”.

Furthermore, gender roles are a major factor in the roles that men and women have in a family setting. Most families are set up where the father works and is the head of the house and the mother stays at home to take care of the house and children. This can be linked to the idea the women are more nurturing and gentle. Society places a pressure on women to have and raise children, even when most are happy without them . Due to the stereotype that males such have authority, it is looked down on when a man is a stay-at-home husband and his wife works. He is seen as weak and “unmanly” for not seeking a demanding job and letting wife provide for the family. Some people do not believe that stereotypes and gender roles play a major role in people’s lives today. Some believe that “the gap between different genders has already melted down, creating an all equal society and more equalized families” and that families should have a set system for “Kids need to be trained to cop up with the family roles. This will help them to be more understanding and affectionate to parents”. While they say that gender roles were once an issue, they do not believe that they are a current problem. Yet, in 2015 female full time workers 20% less than a male with the same credentials and job. Even though the writers say that there is no gender roles in society and that the genders are equal, they also believe that children need to have a gender role for a stay-at-home parent in order for children to be affectionate. Yet, that believe is disproven by a multiple studies. According to these studies, the only difference between a nontraditional family and a gender role conforming, traditional family, is that the children of the nontraditional families tend to stray from the typical gender roles and stereotypes.

While gender roles and stereotypes may seem innocent and almost nonexistent in today’s culture, they are still present and cause a major effect on the current and future generations. They set limits on personality and mental health awareness. They try to force males and females into certain job categories and discriminate against those who do not conform. Gender roles even affect the way family life is built and maintained. The gender roles that were made many years prior have damaged the culture of today. They affect education by telling males that schooling, especially college, is not necessary unless one is female. They affect economy by creating a wage gap between males and females, even when the job and credentials are the same. They affect they way a person is raised and how they preserve themselves by labeling traits and behaviors as female or male. Gender roles and stereotypes may not seem like much, but the impact that they have will last for many generations to come.

Cover Image Credit: Think Link

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I'm A Christian And I Have A Tattoo

Stop judging me for it.
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Like most people, I turned 18 years old during the course of my senior year of high school.

I'll never forget the months prior to my birthday, though, because I spent hours making a decision that would be with me forever, the decision of where I would go to get my first tattoo and where that tattoo would go, and of course I spent a lot of time deciding on the font, the colors, and all of the other aspects of the tattoo I wanted.

Throughout this time, two things stood firm 1) the fact that I was going to get a tattoo, and 2) the six letter name that it would consist of.

Now, three years later, I'm 21 years old and I still get the occasional dirty look at church on Sunday or in line at Walmart, and more often than not this look is accompanied by the following words: “Why would you do that to your body when God says not to?"

A few weeks ago at a new church, a woman came up to me and said, “How can you consider yourself a Christian when you have that blasphemous thing on your foot?", I simply smiled at her and said: “God bless you, have a good week." I let it roll off of my back, I've spent the past three years letting it “roll off of my back"… but I think it's time that I speak up.

When I was 8 years old, I lost my sister.

She passed away, after suffering from Childhood Cancer for a great deal of my childhood. Growing up, she had always been my best friend, and going through life after she passed was hard because I felt like even though I knew she was with me, I didn't have something to visually tribute to her – a way to memorialize her.

I, being a Christian and believing in Heaven, wanted to show my sister who was looking down on me that even though she was gone – she could still walk with me every day. I wanted it for me, for her. I wanted to have that connection, for her to always be a part of who I am on the outside – just as much as she is a part of who I am on the inside.

After getting my tattoo, I faced a lot of negativity. I would have Leviticus 19:28 thrown in my face more times than I cared to mention. I would be frowned on by various friends, and even some family. I was told a few times that markings on my body would send me to hell – that was my personal favorite.

You shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks on you: I am the LORD.
Leviticus 19:28

The more I heard these things, the more I wanted to scream. I didn't though. I didn't let the harsh things said about me and my choice change the love I have for the Lord, for my sister, or for the new precious memento on my left foot. I began to study my Bible more, and when I came to the verse that had been thrown in my face many times before – I came to a realization.

Reading the verses surrounding verse 28, I realized that God was speaking to the covenant people of Israel. He was warning them to stay away from the religious ways of the people surrounding them. Verse 28 wasn't directed to what we, in today's society, see as tattoos – it was meant in the context of the cultic practice of marking one's self in the realm of cultic worship.

26 "You shall not eat anything with the blood, nor practice divination or soothsaying. 27 You shall not round off the side-growth of your heads nor harm the edges of your beard. 28 'You shall not make any cuts in your body for the dead nor make any tattoo marks on yourselves: I am the LORD. 29 'Do not profane your daughter by making her a harlot, so that the land will not fall to harlotry and the land become full of lewdness. 30 'You shall keep My sabbaths and revere My sanctuary; I am the LORD. 31 'Do not turn to mediums or spiritists; do not seek them out to be defiled by them. I am the LORD your God."
Leviticus 19:26–31

The more I have studied my Bible over the past few years, the more I pity those who rely on one verse in the Old Testament to judge and degrade those, like myself, who made the decision to get a tattoo for whatever reason they may have for doing so.

This is because, you see, in the New Testament it is said that believers are not bound by the laws of the Old Testament – if we were, there would be no shellfish or pork on the menus of various Christian homes. While some see tattoos as a modification of God's creation, it could also be argued that pierced ears, haircuts, braces, or even fixing a cleft lip are no different.

24 Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith. 25 But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor."
Galatians 3:24-25

In Galatians, we read that the Old Testament law was created to lead people to Jesus. However, we know that Jesus has come and died on the cross for our sins. He has saved us, therefore we are no longer held to this law in order to have a relationship with the Lord. Our relationship with Him comes from believing that Jesus came to Earth to die on a cross for our sins, and repenting of our sins – accepting Jesus as our Savior.

I am a Christian, I have a relationship with the Lord that is stronger than it has ever been, and - I HAVE A TATTOO.

I have a beautiful memento on my left foot that reminds me that my sister walks with me through every day of my life. She walked with me down the red carpet at my senior prom, she walked with me across the stage the day I graduated from high school, and she continues to be with me throughout every important moment of my life.

My tattoo is beautiful. My tattoo reminds me that I am never alone. My tattoo is perfect.

Stop judging me for it.

Cover Image Credit: Courtney Johnson

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Football Players Aren't Kneeling To 'Disrespect The Flag,' They're Kneeling Because People Are Being Killed

It seems like every day there is another unjustified police shooting against a minority. And that is exactly what the NFL players that kneel are trying to bring awareness to.

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If you have been watching the news this past football season, then you had to have heard about all the kneeling controversy. if you are confused or haven't heard about it don't worry, I will make it easy for you to understand. Back in 2016 Colin Kaepernick, a player for the San Francisco 49ers at the time, began to sit then eventually kneel, every time the National Anthem was sung. Once the media got ahold of this it was like a wildfire. Other teams and players that understood why Colin was doing it and began to do it too. It took off so much that even newscasters began to argue about it.

What the media, politicians, news crews, and some people in general don't understand is that these football players ARE NOT kneeling with intent to disrespect the American flag, the National Anthem, or our vets. They kneel to bring awareness to the growing issue of police brutality we have going on in our country. We all have to admit that lately the only things that have been in the news a lot are things about police shootings. Especially "accidental" killings against minorities.

Many of these protests started with the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson. But now they have escalated. It seems like every day there is another unjustified police shooting against a minority. And that is exactly what the NFL players that kneel are trying to bring awareness to. Since kneeling Colin Kaepernick was dropped by the 49ers and has literally been blackballed, no team has picked him up. Not because he isn't a good player, he is actually very good at football, but because the team knows that if they pick him up, Colin will kneel. And that will bring unwanted attention to said team.

Now that about two seasons have gone by and players are still kneeling, President Trump has gotten in on the commentary action. His comments have sparked more attention to these kneeling players and a lot of dislike towards them. Which is wrong, clearly people do not understand why the players are protesting. Although it seems like from these comments the NFL has decided to make a new rule about the National Anthem, whoever tries to kneel or sit will be heavily fined.

This new rule has brought on a lot more controversy. Although I believe Malcolm Jenkins from the Philadelphia Eagles said it best in his You Aren't Listening interview. He gave facts as to why players kneel, these were some of the facts,

Approximately 60% of people in prison are people of color. In 2018, almost 500 people have been killed by police thus far. The US population is made up of 8% African American males & now 25% of African American males have been shot and killed.

These were just a few of the facts. There are many more out there that are very outstanding. Start listening. It's not about disrespect, its about bringing awareness. I want you to keep those facts in mind the next time you see someone kneeling or sitting when the National Anthem is being played.

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https://unsplash.com/photos/iWv-bGqUfao

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