Gender stereotypes are an influence from the day one is born. One’s gender is the deciding factor of a name, “girls” names versus “boys” names. Also, gender is what parents usually use when deciding what color to paint a nursery, pink for a girl or blue for a boy. Gender determines what toys they will purchase, dolls if they are expecting a girl and trucks for boys. The list goes on and these stereotypes follow us through the years and in a way shape our lives. I can think of several gender stereotypes operating in my personal life at home, at work and in relationships.
As a child growing up with 2 brothers and 3 sisters I can remember the chores that were assigned to us and that are still asked of us are very stereotypical. My brothers and I are asked to do yard work. We were asked to rake leaves in the fall, shovel snow in the winter, and help open the pool in the summer, wash the cars, clean the garage, and take the trash out. My sisters, on the other hand, were asked to help do laundry, clean house and help prepare meals.
I have a five year old son, Quincy and I see myself using gender stereotypes with him all the time. I buy him toys like trucks, action figures and also sports apparel. My son and I watch football together every Sunday, we go to car shows once in awhile, we watch racing cars every Saturday, when it is baseball season he would call me to remind me about baseball. The movies I suggest he watches are Shrek, Robot, Cars, Lion King, Ice Age rather than Beauty and the Beast, and 4 Little Girls. The clothing I purchase for him as far as colors are typical boy colors like black or blue rather than pink or purple.
Relationships may see the most gender stereotyping. I can see in my current relationship several stereotypes. First off, the laundry is usually done by my girlfriend and this is not because I will not help, but it is just something she chose to do. Also, the cleaning and cooking has become her household tasks....
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