“Much more must be done to combat discriminatory gender norms. In developed and developing countries alike, inegalitarian practices and beliefs expose women and girls to physical, sexual, and emotional violence while simultaneously stunting their own and their societies’ economic potential.” –Jordan Bernhardt. Throughout the history gender is one of the most crucial features that distinguish human beings, and Inequality between genders has been a part facing society since birth.
Gender among other aspects of social life is identify differences between societies, each society has a different view on the rights and wrongs in their daily lives. The term gender is what identifies us throughout society, and gender roles is what the society expect from us. Gender expectations are all around us today, and they continue to affect the way men and women are treated. However, while many argue that gender couldn’t determine the way they live their lives because Men and women shouldn’t let their gender define themselves and it should not influence them to live up to a certain level created by society.
Firstly, gender expectation has a huge impact on our lives is through family as most parents tend to teach their kid the rules for specific gender, for example, on how men/women should behave like. As Lisa Wade and Myra Marx Ferree In their articles How to do gender they point out that “Most children know what sex they are and are “reaching out to social norms”; they are trying to learn the rules and their brains are built to absorb everything around them” (P.483-484).
They claim that majority of children could identify their gender because their brain easily absorbs the knowledges and behavior around them. Ever since we grew up as a kid by consciously knowing the differences how male and female might act like due to our social construct; society has influenced the way people live today. Boys are taught to play tank while girls are taught to play with bear or doll. Therefore, male and female determine since birth and what categories should we fit in; gender have been shaped through socialization.
Furthermore, according to social role theory, “Gender stereotypes derive from the discrepant distribution of men and women into social roles both in the home and at work” ( Eagly, 1987, 1997; Koenig and Eagly, 2014). They argue that the roles of men and women were assign by our society that men are the breadwinners, protector, the ones that needs to provide for their family. women are the one who do all the housework and stays at home to raise the children.
In Peterson and Runyan (1999) article Global gender issues they point out that “gender is not biological, but socially constructed as a way to establish our status as real men and women”. By contrast, the author in those two quotes emphasize that gender refers to social behaviors and expectations towards male and female, so we could say that our society is gendered, and gender imbalances are expressed and hidden in our every day’s life.
As pointed out before, many people behave due to the way that society expect them to be according to their gender. After all, rather than gender roles there’s still a gap between gender inequality which men hold the power and exclude women status. In “Patriarchy”, Allan G. Johnson state that “Male dominance creates power differences between men and women”, Johnson thinks living in the patriarchy society men are the one who prenominates the in the roles of political leadership, economic, educational and control of property.
As he has indicated that men can claim larger shares of income and wealth particularly in workplace, at the same time, In the workplace all around majority of employed female are turned down for positions because they are women why? This is because employers see women as weak and too emotional. Women are also denied work because of their ability to have children. Employers believe a pregnant woman is too difficult to handle and that the woman will not do her job. Thus, this creates gender inequality.
In addition, as we live in a patriarchy world sexual violence still going to cause a lot of death to many women these days a sociologist by the name Rebecca Solnit said in her article, The longest war, “Women worldwide ages 15 through 44 are more likely to die or be maimed because of male violence than because of cancer, malaria, war and traffic accident combined,”(P.576). The author claims that majority of women around the world tend to be killed by male brutal such as stranger rape, blitz sexual assault, home invasion sexual invasion and many more. Obviously, males and females are biologically different in term of strength and emotion which leads the way the male would likely to cause sexual violence against women.
As a result, we all raised by our communities and societies, then surrounded by different kind of stereotypes from the day we are born. The way we behave, and act are classify based on genders are then passed on generation-to-generation and society-to-society, to solve gender inequality and sexual violence such as stranger rape, blitz sexual assault, home invasion sexual invasion. As many women lose their health, husbands, families and support networks as a result of rape.
On the end of this chain to achieve the society’s goal and inequality laws need to be introduced to ensure that employers hire an equal number of females to males in the workplace, we must end gender identification and categorization. We all must learn and educate the importance of characteristics, altitude and behaviors. Also, we should educate ourselves to stay awake and many more needed to be done to tighten the space between males and females society. So, gender stereotypes long with gender norms should be put to rest, so a society accomplish gender equality.