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Millions of kids all over the world grow up having specific expectations what they should be like in the future based on gender roles. These expectations come from old philosophies from centuries ago. Today, people have begun to allow men and women to stand on equal grounds. We must continue to change our traditions for the better. Although some may argue that roles create order and structure in society, I believe that we should tear down the idea of gender roles and eliminate gender stereotypes to encourage children of the next generation to pursue their own interest as they see fit so that our future may flourish.
These gender roles were established a long time ago, when women were constantly being sexually objectified. We are holding onto an old tradition that is no longer applicable to today’s society. I say, we should eliminate gender roles so that future generations won’t have to be bound by old beliefs. These stereotypes are outdated. They value the ideas of femininity and masculinity and place them on a pedestal. These ideas are saying that women are weak and should be doing the clean jobs such as sitting at a desk as a receptionist or taking care of the children and the house. These ideas are saying that men are the protectors of the house, they make the money, and they do the dirty jobs. Women have been associated with the words “submissive” and “domestic”, while men are associated with the words “dominant” and “aggressive”. In recent history, there have been social movements such as the second wave of feminism that grant women the ability to stand on more equal ground to the rest of humanity, as they were originally seen as inferior to men. This is very disrespectful to successful women who work hard at what they do, but are unrecognized for their skills. Women are expected to be worse than men in many fields of work. There is still a wage gap that has been around for a very long time. However, we have begun to realize that there are a diverse range of men and women all over the world. Look at your daughters. Can you really say that they should earn less than the rest of the world because of how they were born? We have begun to realize that men don’t need to be strong or smart to prove their worth. We need to keep moving on this path so that gender stereotypes and gender roles are unheard of because they will be completely wrong in the near future.
Our parents and elders are enforcing these gender stereotypes on the young, we are taught and expected to fulfill the roles that society have set up for us. Because of this, men are constantly dealing with the stress of being seen as ‘masculine’, they are unable to freely show their emotions because it would be seen as being feminine. They are constantly trying to push themselves to act tough to prove their worth as a male. They are under peer pressure to be more macho to reach the pinnacle of male value in society. Men should be allowed to speak freely for themselves and their emotions, without fear of being demeaned because it’s natural for humans to have feelings and be able to express them.
As a girl, my mother heavily expects me to be good at cleaning, cooking, and sewing. She thinks that I would be better at fixing clothes than fixing cars. What my mother firmly believes in is what most parents universally do to their children. Parents worldwide have made it so that when we grow up, we won’t be rejected by our community by being different. Basically, they are destroying the individuality of young children by telling them that they should be a certain way to be accepted as an individual. You should really rethink the expectations you might be forcing on your children the same way your parents forced them on you. Maybe unknowingly, but your children might grow up with a mindset that they have to act a certain way, and this is diminishing their creativity as a whole. We should act against this for our children must learn to think for themselves.
Men and women are more than just male or females, we are individuals. Our sex is what we are born with, not what we grow up to be. Our roles are not assigned the moment we are born. Not all men are going to grow up to be protectors of their families or be athletic and smart. Not all women are good housewives or clean and proper. Sure, we are born with different body parts, but it doesn’t say “femininity” anywhere when a baby girl is born. We shouldn’t push the responsibilities of caring for children only to women. We shouldn’t leave the hard, “dirty” jobs just to men. Sex is biological, gender is sociological. Kids should be able to grow up and choose what they want to do with their future, not having to follow guidelines that society has set up for them. Gender is only a part of who we are, it doesn’t define us as individuals.
There are a lot of people in the world who believe that gender roles are essential to having the best functioning society. These people think that our “roles” in society contribute to creating order and peace in society. Without gender roles, there would be chaos. Although this could possibly work to provide a sense of order in our community, these gender roles are actually a hindrance to a child’s personal character. Society can function perfectly fine if girls don’t grow up to be housewives, it would actually benefit the world’s economy. The world would be perfectly fine if men don’t take up masculine jobs and do the heavy lifting. Although women and men have different skill sets that make them better at different jobs, they shouldn’t be restricted from anything because of their sex.
In the end, it really matters who you are as a person, not what bits and pieces you were born with. We shouldn’t be listening to outrageous claims from the past. To allow the most creativity in children, and to have the most prosperous future, we must eliminate these gender roles that we have set up. The idea of femininity and masculinity is flawed, and it can be destroyed at any moment. It’s time to accept that your son enjoys dressing up dolls, and it’s time to accept that your daughter loves Superheroes more than Barbies. The first step that we take should be telling our future children, or the children we already have, that they can do whatever they want, regardless of their gender.