Stereotypes and GenderIn today’s society, gender and stereotypes are perhaps as extremely prevalent and affect almost every single person. According to the “Encyclopædia Britannica” sex is defined as “the sum of features by which members of species can be divided into two groups—male and female”. On the other hand gender identity is defined as “an individual’s self-conception as being male or female”. Today it seems like some people almost use gender identity, gender, and sex as synonyms when in fact that is not the case. Transgender people (people that identify as a gender that they were not born with) face extreme prejudice because some people think that the gender you identify as should correspond with the sex you were assigned with at birth.
Transgender women and men all over the world are getting killed on a regular basis just because they identify as a different gender and people can’t understand that. Now to move onto the topic of gender stereotypes and gender roles. Gender stereotypes and gender roles are greatly connected in society today are how people are expected to speak, act, dress, and present themselves based on the sex they were assigned at birth. Gender stereotypes can be very damaging to a person because they leave no room for people to act in a way that fully expresses their emotions. For men to be expected never to cry or express sensitive emotions, and for females to feel like they can’t be independent or that they must have a male do all the hard work for them can be extremely harmful to a person’s self-esteem. In school gender roles and gender stereotypes are especially prevalent with boys and girls in some states making fun of others that act or dress in a way that our society deems wrong.
We have come a long way in the past couple of years with people being more accepting of breaking gender roles and with doing away with gender stereotypes, but we are still nowhere near where we need to be. For example, women are, to some extent still expected to kind, emotional, and accommodating. While men are still expected to be independent, strong, and show no insecurities. I feel like I am definitely directly impacted by gender and stereotypes. I wear some things that would are not exactly considered masculine and conduct myself in a manner that does not correspond with the general consensus of how males are supposed to act. I have been made fun of in the past because of the way I acted but I feel like it has gotten much better since I got into high school.
In my personal experience, people that break gender roles are more accepted in high school than they are in middle school in some states. In some places like Kansas, Mississippi, and Texas homophobia, gender roles, and general prejudice against any members of the LGBTQ community are extremely prevalent in schools and in general day-to-day life. In our own school gender stereotypes and gender roles are not as bad as they are in other schools such as the ones in the states previously mentioned but there is always room for improvement. People still throw around the words gay, faggot, and tranny like they are playthings with no real meaning or harm behind them. What they don’t realize is that those words can be very harmful or offensive to people that identify as a different gender or whose only escape from homophobic people in their life is school. I’ve had friends that felt like one of their only safe places is school and people throwing around those hurtful words destroys their feeling of safety or security at school.
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” The New York Times, The New York Times, 25 Aug. 2017, www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/08/25/opinion/sunday/worst-and-best-places-to-be-gay.
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