Reflections on Gender Roles & Equality


Hey guys, long time no post.. ^^ So I was writing a short reflection for my psychology class just now on gender roles, and something just stirred up inside me ( I’ve grown up in a pretty traditional family.. =.= ) So here is just another babbling of mine.. :3 Just P.S., this is more focused on the role of women in society. I spent like 20-30 minutes (with YouTube music in the background) to write this up, so yea.. try not to harshly criticize any grammar mistakes.. ^^

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“A woman’s place is in the home.”

“Sugar and spice and everything nice—that’s what little girls are made of.”

“You’re a tomboy if you climb trees and play sports.”

“Someday you’ll meet Prince Charming (or Mr. Right).”

“Girls can’t do math.”

“That’s too big (or too dangerous) for you to handle.”

“You need to learn how to cook and clean so you can be a good wife.”

“Boys don’t like smart girls.”

“Girls grow up to be mommies, nurses, and teachers.”

“If you work too hard, you’ll end up as an old maid.”

“Women bosses are worse than men.”

“Nice girls know how to keep their mouths shut.”

“Girls are cry-babies.”

Out of the statements listed above, I remember hearing eight of them while growing up. Actually, I am not really surprised at this number because considering that I’ve grown up in an Asian culture with major division between male and female roles in society, even when my parents are not as traditional, there are still many stereotypes and limitations to how a girl should be raised and live their life. Growing up, I personally hated the way my parents made me stay home almost every weekend instead of hanging out with friends just because “girls shouldn’t go out too much”.

Most of the adults in my life supported women having their careers and job; however, they can be bias toward what kind of careers are suited for women. The media often show women with jobs that are more tender and feminine such as teacher, nurse, or simply a housewife. In pursuing my career, coming to study abroad for higher education was a major stepping stone. Even when my parents fully supported and pushed forward my decision, there were still a few “adults” in my life who were not too happy because “a young girl should not be too far away from home” or in one instance, I got that typical “if you study too much and get higher degrees, it will be hard to find a husband.”

If I could change some of the messages I received as a child, I would change the idea that a girl cannot hang out much outside the house just because that is not what a lady should do. There was no real legit reason behind it beside it makes the family looks bad, which also does not hold a legit reason. I would substitute it with girls can hang out and be outside their house as much as guys can as long as they stay responsible with their actions and would not do anything that bring down their personal dignity.

My career plan right now is finance in the business field, which I would say is traditionally considered as “masculine” because it involves with a lot of communications between different people. Traditionally, women are supposed to stay home and take care of their family; business is more for the men as they take care of the money and interactions with others. Careers should not be classified this way because there should be gender equality in what each person wants to do in picking their own career. Women can pick any careers they want to as long as they are willing to do it. It depends on each individual wants to do and their preferences, and not on what society tells them what they should be doing. There should not be discriminations in choosing careers just because they are not the “right” gender in doing it.

Out of all the listed statement, I think I would still tell my daughter that she will grow up to a mommy because it is just the way it is biologically unless she wants to grow up to not raise any kids, which would be her choice too. I would tell my son similarly in a sense that he will have to contribute to raising a kid when he has his own family.

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