Feminism | Posted by Aiyana R on 01/2/2013
It Starts In Childhood
This is the 21st century and women are somehow still being undermined all over the world. Incredible, isn’t it? But what is the problem? What is making this cycle continue through all the years of fighting for women’s rights and increasing respect for women? Well, I have a theory.
The other day I was playfully fighting with my little brother. I had him locked down and told him he should give up. He told me he couldn’t because it was humiliating to lose to a girl. Of course, this is cliche and we hear it often. However, he also said that I couldn’t win because I was supposed to be weak. Then something clicked in my head. He’s just a child. He couldn’t have just imagined up this idea that women are weaker than men. He had to have been taught this.
When little boys want to fight and play rough with girls, what do adults say? They say, “You can’t hit a girl!” The explanations may vary, but the idea is the same. I never understood this because I always wanted to play rough, too. By no means am I saying that we should tell boys to go and beat up the next girl they see, but I’m suggesting that maybe if we’re going to let boys play rough then it isn’t a horrible thing for girls to play rough, too. Or maybe, if parents don’t want their kids to play rough, they should think of a different way to convey that than to enforce gender stereotypes and double standard.
This isn’t the only example, either. In this society, small comments such as, “Cool story, babe. Now go make me a sandwich,” and the more classic, “You throw like a girl,” are not helping the feminist cause. When small children hear these things, they start to think that it’s true, even if it’s a joke. Maybe if they were somehow raised to see boys and girls as perfect equals, things might be different. Women might then make the same salary as men in the future. Just think about what goes into the heads of kids. Something as seemingly small as telling girls they can’t win a fight sticks with them. That, combined with all the other “little” sexist comments and treatment all add up, holding women back later in life in much bigger ways.
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