Gender Stereotypes

Marissa Soto and Claire Moylan, Staff Writers

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Thelala.com reported in a 2015 Vox poll conducted by PerryUndem, a research and communications firm, that 85 percent of Americans believe in “equality for women.” Despite this, only 18 percent of respondents to the poll identified as feminist.

Because most of the United States population advocates for gender equality, it is expected of the younger generation to fight for equality as well. Fighting for gender equality includes fighting against gender stereotypes. So, a majority of the American people sometimes find stereotypes offensive even if science and facts argue the contrary.

We are part of the minority opinion not affected by gender stereotypes. We believe that stereotypes only affect people if they allow it to affect them. Stereotypes can be used offensively, but not all stereotypes are meant to be offensive. A multitude of factors contribute to the formation of gender stereotypes. Throughout centuries, men and women had defined roles in society, so stereotypes have stemmed from truth. Second, they are structured to accommodate the differences between the bodies of men and women. When people like us feel indifferent or accept the expectations gender stereotypes imposed on us, we are labeled as sexist or sympathizers to those who make real offensive comments.

One of the reasons why we are not offended by gender stereotypes is because most stereotypes are centered in truth. Throughout history, women were considered the keepers of the house because there were not many job opportunities and educational opportunities available. According to Time.com, a Gallup poll reported that 56 percent of women with children under the age of eighteen would rather stay at home and care for their child than go to work. An outsider looking into a stay-at-home mom’s life should not get offended by a mother wanting to take care of her children. It is wrong. People can live their lives however they want. There is no reason to get offended if mothers decide to fit into that stereotype because it is part of their nature.

Another reason we are not irritated by stereotypes is because human physiology prevents men and women from doing equal jobs. Men have more muscle mass whereas women have more fat. It’s science. A man’s metabolism converts calories to muscle where as a woman’s metabolism converts calories to fat. Men also have more muscle because their bodies do not have to hold a child during childbirth. That is why women have more body fat and have wider hips; they hold the child during childbirth. It is not offensive. Some stereotypes have been established because human physiology inhibits women from doing the same activities as men. Each gender is able to achieve similar goals in modern day society, but human biology still affects how people work.

There are reasons to get upset when gender stereotypes are used to insult others, but there is no reason to get upset when they are used in a general matter. There is almost no point in getting offended by ideology that has been ingrained into American culture for most of our history because many are legitimate. Stereotypes are in our society and will possibly be there forever. Men and women in our society today are able to utilize both gender roles regardless of what physiology or facts have to say, but the time and effort put into fighting these stereotypes can be put into more important issues. It does not mean women are any less valuable than men, but the value of women is not meant to be identical to the value of men. Both have thier own characteristics, and neither is better than the other. Each is suited for particular tasks in some aspects and equal in others. Regardless, we should accept the differences we have.

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Gender Stereotypes