Gender Stereotypes

Cis-gender stereotypes are so engrained in society that we experience them a hundred times a day and don’t even realise it. It starts with the gender reveal parties (which I’d love to eradicate) before we are even born. When we come into this world, there’s already an expectation of how we will look, dress, act and exist…purely based on the genitals we are born with. 

It seems absurd when you take a step back and think about it…so much of who we become as people is a projection of what society says we should be because of our gender. Why do certain personality traits need to be categorised as feminine or masculine? The same goes for clothing, makeup, careers and hobbies. Someone is no less of a man for deciding to be a nurse rather than a doctor. Someone is no less of a woman if she chooses not to have children. And someone is no less human if they don’t identify as either gender at all!

Gender stereotypes are damaging to everyone because they:

  • Aren’t inclusive: Humans are gloriously diverse and gender is not black and white. Binary cis-gender stereotypes invalidate trans, non-binary and gender fluid people
  • Create an unhealthy hierarchy: These tropes usually reinforce that masculine traits are superior to feminine ones, which is damaging for everyone (let boys cry!)
  • Tell us we are only acceptable if we are a certain way: It’s the arbitrary blueprint society has set for us and forces people to think they should be a certain way to be deemed ‘normal’

Gender is fluid and specific genders don’t own particular personality traits, have a monopoly on certain fashions or dictate a person’s career path. It’s ok for everyone to cry. All kids can be superheroes. Anyone can wear skirts, makeup and nail polish. 

A person is no less deserving of kindness, and respect if they don’t fit within the gender stereotypes society has set. Our value isn’t defined by what we wear, our career or whether we show masculine or feminine qualities. I suspect if we all stopped trying to pigeonhole people into stereotypical gender roles, we’d see a shift towards acceptance and everyone feeling safe to be and express who they really are.

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