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.

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No, I Don't Have To Tell You I'm Trans Before Dating You

Demanding trans people come out to potential partners is transphobic.
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In 2014, Jennifer Laude, a 26-year-old Filipina woman, was brutally murdered after having sex with a U.S. marine. The marine in question, Joseph Scott Pemberton, strangled her until she was unconscious and then proceeded to drown her in a toilet bowl.

Understandably, this crime triggered a lot of outrage. But while some were outraged over the horrific nature of the crime, many others were outraged by a different detail in the story. That was because Jennifer Laude had done the unspeakable. She was a trans woman and had not disclosed that information before having sex with Pemberton. So in the minds of many cis people, her death was the price she paid for not disclosing her trans status. Here are some of the comments on CNN's Facebook page when the story broke.

As a trans person, I run into this attitude all the time. I constantly hear cis people raging about how a trans person is "lying" if they don't come out to a potential partner before dating them. Pemberton himself claimed that he felt like he was "raped" because Laude did not come out to him. Even cis people that fashion themselves as "allies" tend to feel similar.

Their argument is that they aren't not attracted to trans people, so they should have a right to know if a potential partner is trans before dating them. These people view transness as a mere physical quality that they just aren't attracted to.

The issue with this logic is that the person in question is obviously attracted to trans people, or else they wouldn't be worried about accidentally going out with one. So these people aren't attracted to trans people because of some physical quality, they aren't attracted to trans people because they are disgusted by the very idea of transness.

Disgust towards trans people is ingrained in all of us from a very early age. The gender binary forms the basis of European societies. It establishes that there are men and there are women, and each has a specific role. For the gender binary to have power, it has to be rigid and inflexible. Thus, from the day we are born, we are taught to believe in a very static and strict form of gender. We learn that if you have a penis, you are a man, and if you have a vagina, you are a woman. Trans people are walking refutations of this concept of gender. Our very existence threatens to undermine the gender binary itself. And for that, we are constantly demonized. For example, trans people, mainly women of color, continue to be slaughtered in droves for being trans.

The justification of transphobic oppression is often that transness is inherently disgusting. For example, the "trans panic" defense still exists to this day. This defense involves the defendant asking for a lesser sentence after killing a trans person because they contend that when they found out the victim was trans, they freaked out and couldn't control themselves. This defense is still legal in every state but California.

And our culture constantly reinforces the notion that transness is undesirable. For example, there is the common trope in fictional media in which a male protagonist is "tricked" into sleeping with a trans woman. The character's disgust after finding out is often used as a punchline.

Thus, not being attracted to trans people is deeply transphobic. The entire notion that someone isn't attracted to a group of very physically diverse group of people because they are trans is built on fear and disgust of trans people. None of this means it is transphobic to not be attracted to individual trans people. Nor is it transphobic to not be attracted to specific genitals. But it is transphobic to claim to not be attracted to all trans, people. For example, there is a difference between saying you won't go out with someone for having a penis and saying you won't go out with someone because they're trans.

So when a cis person argues that a trans person has an obligation to come out to someone before dating them, they are saying trans people have an obligation to accommodate their transphobia. Plus, claiming that trans people are obligated to come out reinforces the idea that not being attracted to trans people is reasonable. But as I've pointed out, not being attracted to trans people supports the idea that transness is disgusting which is the basis for transphobic oppression.

The one scenario in which I would say a trans person should disclose their trans status is if they are going to have sex with someone and are unsure if their partner is attracted to whatever genitals they may have. In that case, I think it's courteous for a trans person to come out to avoid any awkwardness during sex. But even then, a trans person isn't "lying" if they don't come out and their partner is certainly not being "raped."

It is easy to look at the story of Jennifer Laude and claim that her death was due to the actions of one bigot. But it's more complicated than that. Pemberton was the product of a society that told him that disgust towards trans people was reasonable and natural. So when he found out that he accidentally slept with a trans woman, he killed her.

Every single cis person that says that trans people have to come out because they aren't attracted to trans people feeds into the system that caused Jennifer Laude's death. And until those cis people acknowledge their complicity in that system, there will only be more like Jennifer Laude.

SEE ALSO: Yes, You Absolutely Need To Tell Someone You're Trans Before Dating

Cover Image Credit: Nats Getty / Instagram

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Donald Trump's Sanctions Toward The Iranian Government Are Giving Us Painful Flashbacks To North Korea

Whether the sanction is effective is uncertain. But just like the North Korean nuclear problem, there will also be an answer soon.

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The recent news is that Iran president Hassan Rouhani is willing to talk with Donald Trump and the American government about newly established sanction towards Iran. Three months ago, Donald Trump announced that the U.S. would exit the Iran Nuclear Agreement and threatened to impose sanctions on Iran nuclear in 180 days. Recently, Trump tweeted what could be seen as a threat to the Iranian government.

Donald Trump wanted to force the Iranian government to change their economic policy. There are a lot of domestic problems in Iran. The Iranian government is busy expanding their power in the Middle East. The government used to support the Syrian government. The Saudi Arabian government and the West, which supported the Syrian Rebels, attempted to stop Iran from interfering with Syria. The Iranian government worried that the Syrian governmental crisis would affect their political stability. The overuse of the financial budget has influenced economics, causing Iranian people to appeal the government to revolutionize.

Compare the North Korean Nuclear Crisis and the Iranian Nuclear Crisis and we can see Donald Trump's similar strategies. Firstly, Donald Trump has put in a lot of pressure of either country to force them to give up the nuclear plan and improve economics instead. In the North Korean Crisis, last year, Donald Trump called Kim Jong Un "rocket man" and Kim Jong Un condemned him "crazy."

After temporary language confrontation, Kim Jong Un gave and was willing to negotiate with Trump beginning in early 2018. As for Iran, Rouhani also laughed at Trump's policy and criticized Donald Trump's sanction to Iran which was not supported by the European Union. But the latest is that Iran officials are still willing to talk to the U.S. In the trade war with China, Donald Trump also exerted the pressure on China in order to negotiate.

Many people dislike Donald Trump. It is undoubted that Donald Trump's sanction has effectively forced the country to open their economy to a larger degree of freedom. In the Kim-Trump Summit, the U.S. government reportedly played a video that assumed the future of North Korea.

In Iran currently, the inflation is so high that the public wants the economics to be promoted and anti-America sentiment is expected to end. As Donald Trump mentioned, the aim of the sanction is not to overturn the Iranian government, but to let them rethink how to focus on economics rather than on political stability.

Whether the sanction is effective is uncertain. But just like the North Korean nuclear problem, there will also be an answer soon.

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