Have you ever paid heed to the smooth functioning of the monster of gender stereotyping that has already snatched and gulped down the essence of being human from so many boys and girls? Gender stereotypes are generalizations about the gender qualities, differences, and roles of individuals on the basis of their genders. In other words, gender stereotypes embedded in the minds of people work like instruction booklet for both males and females in order to ensure proper functioning of society.
“Be a man” is a phrase that you often hear as a piece of advice on showing weakness or lack of courage as society expects rather demands strong will and determination from man. Unfortunately, if a man fails to exhibit these ascribed character of strength than he is tagged as failure. No matter how vulnerable man feels himself at times, it is always expected from a man to appear strong. On the other hand girls are tamed to behave as weak creature by making her doubt her very own decision power. The mere competitive nature of a girl is more than enough to declare her unfeminine while competitive nature of a boy is his visa to the territory of masculinity.
Bell Hooks has addressed this issue in the following words:
“The wounded child inside many males is a boy who, when he first spoke his truths, was silenced by paternal sadism, by a patriarchal world that did not want him to claim his true feelings. The wounded child inside many females is a girl who was taught from early childhood that she must become something other than herself, deny her true feelings, in order to attract and please others. When men and women punish each other for truth telling, we reinforce the notion that lies are better.”
The role of media and advertising agencies in shaping and strengthening new and pre -existing gender stereotypes cannot be rule out. Every other girl is facing the ad industry’s attacks on her self-esteem. According to the ads usually shown on TV it is customary for a girl to have white complexion and slim body otherwise she is not going to get married as in our society girls are only born to get married. Similarly boys are being dictated by media when it comes to the definition of being girl’s knight in shining armor. High standards are set in front of boys to acclaim themselves successful.
It is not easy to come out of the trance of the magical spell of these gender stereotypes as these expectations from both genders have become common sense values. You wage a war against society the moment you deviate from them but this war is worth fighting in order to have a society free of gender stereotyping!!!!! To read an exciting article about Honor Killing, click Here
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