Avanija Menon, IIK Young Reporter
Sunday, December 4, 2016
Since day one, when we step into the world, we are classified in a variety of ways that are not noticed commonly. Painting a baby’s room either pink or blue according to his/her gender. We were given dolls or cars according to who we are, and we were expected to join dance or sports according to who we should be. All these actions, either we do it knowingly or unknowingly, are parts of gender inequality.
All over the world, in different sectors such as family, friends, workplace, media, etc, a huge difference between males and females still exist that would make us question human rights as a whole. One of the most major sectors is the workplace itself. Men and women are treated in completely different ways here. There are a lot of examples to prove this statement. The most common one is unequal pay. Men are paid more than women usually. A person’s gender has no influence whatsoever on his/her performance, experience and eligibility, and still women are paid lower. Interview questions also differ according to your gender. Women usually are asked if they have children or if they are planning to have children. These kinds of questions are considered illegal and still they are asked in almost every interview even though they might be totally irrelevant to the position the person is applying for.
The second sector is education. Even though we sit in the same classroom, listen to the same teachers and have the same tests, boys and girls are taught to behave in different ways. There is a very common, meaningless stereotype that goes – ‘Boys will be boys’. Most teachers function according to this, leaving boys to do whatever they want and not giving further explanation or reason for their behavior. The compliments given to students also vary according to their gender. Girls are praised for being neat, quiet and calm while boys are appreciated for being independent and strong. Most of the schools around the world actually follow this subtle mistake that is thought to be gender bias.
Last but not least, yet the most effective sector is our family itself. Our parents always give us chores based on our gender. For girls, it is mostly helping to cook food and for boys, it is mostly washing the car. We are also encouraged to pursue different activities. Girls - dance or music and boys – sports. All of us also follow the stereotype that boys should like the color blue and girls – pink. As I said before, we are given different compliments according to our gender. Girls are encouraged to be attractive and polite while boys are taught to be adventurous, brave and strong. Boys are often taught not to cry; as per popular stereotype, only girls cry. Adhering to my opinion, I think your gender has no link with you expressing your emotions. Boys are taught not to cry because that is something what girls do and that supposedly makes guys more girly. No, it doesn’t. Crying does not decrease one’s masculinity. Your gender never matters on how shy, confident, emotional or angry you are. It all depends on your personality and the circumstances in which you were brought up. Certainly, emotions do not evaporate, and you have to let them out in one way or another, and that has nothing to do with your gender. You should express what you feel, that is healthy human nature. Hiding your emotions for the sake of your ‘masculinity’ never helps as it is just a stereotype and there exists over a million stereotypes that never make any sense. We should try our best to get rid of all gender stereotypes by treating everyone equally and disregarding stereotypes for a much more effective environment. Hence for this, we should not look up to a person or look down at a person just due to their gender and be willing to lend a hand out to anyone and be open-minded.
As we can see, modern gender bias is a result of stereotypes that started hundreds of years ago. Most of us are part of it. This essay is just a sum up of my point of view towards the gender bias and how we are all part of it. It is never meant to be intended towards particular families, teachers or schools in any way. It contains actions that we all commit and are part of, and hence this essay is not meant to offend anyone.
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