The Negative Effects of Gender Roles

The Negative Effects of Gender Roles

They may appear innocent but they can be disastrous.

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.

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Will Enough Ever Be Enough?

Yet another school shooting in America, still nothing done. We are dying.

Tuesday, March 20th, 2018: We are all heartbroken to hear about another school shooting.

At Great Mills High School in Maryland, a 17-year-old male is pronounced dead at the scene after shooting two other students and a school resource officer. Just before their first period started, at 7:55 am, Austin Rollins shot one male and one female student with a handgun before being shot by the school's resource officer. While the 16-year-old female is in critical condition, the 14-year-old male is currently stable. This is the 17th school shooting in 2018. That's 17 days out of the past 80 that parents have gone to bed with their children in body bags as a result of gun violence.

I don't care what political party you associate with, gun violence is completely out of control. I am a registered Republican and completely agree with stricter gun laws. Learn the difference between a gun ban and sales control. Concerned citizens are not trying to take away your guns, but are trying to take away the rights from those that are risks.

Could you imagine legally having to send your child to school but never coming back? You've packed their lunch, maybe with a special note, and gave them a kiss before they left for school, not knowing that it was their last. No matter where we go, we are not safe. We can't go to malls, movie theaters, schools, or even churches without having to worry if it will be our last trip. Our homes, our places of worship, and our schools are supposed to be the places where we feel safest and, instead, our children are filled with fear. Instead of focusing on the political views that divide these groups, why don't we focus on what unites us? Why don't we focus on protecting our kin?

Everyone has had an opinion on the walkouts that have been happening around the country. Everyone has had an opinion on the 17 minutes of silence for the 17 children lost in the Florida shooting. I've seen people disgusted that Nickelodeon had 17 minutes of broadcast cut because it "interrupted the only program [I] let [my] children watch".

If your child was shot at school, you wouldn't have to worry about what programs they watch, but rather where to bury them and how to afford their memorial.

I've seen people saying that it's no wonder that Millenials are dumb. They "find any excuse to cut class". Have you thought about the fact that they are genuinely worried about going to school?

Personally, I've experienced both a shooting scare at my high school and a bomb threat at my college. I shouldn't have to worry about my life ending. I'm legally forced to go to high school and get an education or I'm putting myself into a lifetime of debt to get a degree.

We are all too young to stress about gun violence. Our school years are supposed to be the times our of lives, but they're being wasted on worrying about dying every day.

Rest in peace to all of those who have lost their lives in shootings, not only this year, but always. Hopes, thoughts, and prayers go out to their loved ones. One day, we will unite and find a solution.

We need to work together and forget the labels of parties and cliques in school and look out for one another instead. There is no kind but mankind.

Cover Image Credit: Boston Herald

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The Republican Versus Democrat Stigma Needs To Slow Down

We Need To Be Individual Again

We as a society have developed an unnecessary need to place people in a specific party based on what could be a single value out of many. This is a letter for those who do not define themselves as one or the other; for those whose values range between conservative and liberal, for those who feel the unfortunate pressure of society to choose one even though your values do not fit just one.

The political parties at one point generally just meant “these are my basic beliefs, so this is the candidate I will vote for because they most closely represent them.” Party affiliation was harmless. Republicans and Democrats could get along fine, differing opinions not getting in the way of relationships and alignment. More importantly, you did not have to be part of a specific political party to be an active member of society. Your opinions and principles were yours.

Over the years following the last two election races, political parties gained a much more significant and defining meaning in our lives as individuals and as members of society. There is a newly developed stigma behind political opinions. You are almost pressured to feel one way or another about every single topic. If a majority of your values are of the conservative agenda, you must be a heart-and-all Republican. In contrast, if you are more liberal-leaning you are docked as a set Democrat. We as citizens are being labeled according to what may be a few hard-values. And dishearteningly enough, can be ridiculed for what we value. Even if you might not value everything the same as your determined party.

There exists those of us that hold values from both parties. It is possible to value women’s rights and also value a traditional marriage. It is possible to be a gun owner and also active in keeping children safe in school. You do not have to just submit to every belief of one party. You can value aspects of different parties and still be a functioning member of the American society. Do not let the looming obligation to declare yourself as strictly one or the other. You do not have to pretend you agree with everything Democratic or everything Republican; you can have your own values. And you should. Our society is messed up in the way that values are pushed on citizens. We are meant to be free individuals with our private values.

It is not fair to those of us who value different things. Not every American is a to-the-bone Democrat or Republican. It is possible to hold liberal beliefs as a conservative person. And Vice-Versa. We need to stop labeling one another as one or the other, conservative or liberal. We need to stop silencing each other because we have differing views. We need to accept not everyone is perfectly one party, and diversity exists. Open mindedness exists in Americans, despite the seemingly growing generalizations. We need to be able to agree to disagree on certain topics.
Cover Image Credit: LexiHanna

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