Gender norms are confusing, constrictive, and exhausting. They allow zero room for variety, independence, and individuality. We are born either a girl and a boy, therefore, we are destined to act, look, and feel a certain way according to our biological sex. How awful! Gender norms are equally harmful to both men and women, forcing us to conform to a certain image that may not match our true identity.
For instance, young boys learn at any early age that openly expressing emotions is ” unmanly”. They are forced to bottle their emotions and follow Gary Cooper’s ” strong, silent type” model. Well, we all know how well that worked out for Tony Soprano ( cue panic attacks, fainting spells, and overall mafia induced chaos). Sorry y’all but I can’t think of masculinity without linking it to the greatest of shows, The Sopranos.
Girls, on the hand, are taught at a young age that marriage and beauty are a woman’s greatest aspirations. We are taught to not take up too much space, to always smile, and be physically appealing.
One of my classmates in my Argument and Advocacy Class, hosted a wonderful advocacy event just this past week. She held it on Wednesday on the Quad from 12-3. I went to check it out and was very impressed. The location was perfect as the quad is an heavy with student traffic. Additionally, it was easy to locate because she had a large, pretty, and well-organized tri-fold to catch everyone’s attention.
As I passed by she inquired whether or not I would like to participate by asking a couple of questions for a recorded interview, or finish a sentence on a white board ” Gender norms are harmful because…”. I chose the interview and she asked me why I thought gender norms were harmful and how I tried to combat them in my daily life. Two awesome questions that got straight to the point! Her mission is to create a video of the compiled interviews from that day.
Her advocacy event was well advertised, easily accessible, and highly informative! I’m looking forward to seeing her finished video!