Michael Jackson, Marilyn Monroe, Nelson Mandela, Rosa Parks, and Frida Kahlo. What is it that all these people have in common? The answers is not that they are famous leaders and celebrities, it is the basic fact that they are all humans. In our society we claim all humans are equal and every person is entitled to the same rights, yet there are people in our everyday lives that will oppose this idea, stating a man is better that an a woman, or that a woman is better than a man.
If you do not believe that these kind of people exist, look to the the day-to-day working environment people are in. In many places women in the workforce are being judged on what they say and are labeled as blunt, rude, or even bossy, but if a man had said the exact same thing he would be perceived as a confident worker with leadership skills.
It is not just in the workforce as people would think, authors of the article “We’re Bossy And Proud” said, “I have rarely heard anyone describe a little boy as bossy. Boys are assertive and confident, active, rambunctious, aggressive, wild or disruptive. But bossy is a label that parents, babysitters and teachers apply most often to the sugar-and-spice gender.”
People are labeled from childhood––boys are said to be leaders or they are mature in their nature, but girls are labeled as bossy. This will lead many people to not agree with them when they present their idea or opinion later in life. It should not come down to a person being right or wrong because of their gender. It comes down to what ideas work.
Men are also negatively affected by these stereotypes. Men are often criticized for their decision to be stay-at-home fathers. People still believe a woman should be the one to stay home and take care of the kids, but the focus should be the child and the care they’re getting.
Often, men aren’t as supported as many mothers. Author Paul McCaffrey said in “New Perspectives on Fatherhood,” “Dads who are taking care of their kids during the weekday are a minority, gender is an even tougher barrier than other social barriers. Moms meet each other on neighborhood playgrounds and in general, they bond readily. Fathers are more out on their own, and are made to feel like outsiders.”
It is not our place to say who should take care of a child; as long as that child is given the proper care it does not matter if the mother or the father is giving that care.
There is one more place where men and women both share their struggles, is in the victimization criminal standards.If you do not know what this means it is the way people today will blow out of proportion when a man hurts a woman, and the belief that when a violent act has been committed it is always a man to a woman. But in “Woman and the Ideology of Victimization” it is said that “It holds that women are special targets of crime in general and violent crime in particular. Yet the figures show: Most perpetrators of violent crimes are males; most victims of violent crime are males similar in age and race to the perpetrators. The most victimized group is young men.”
It is not that violent acts don’t happen to women, it is just that when it happens it is perceived as more important that any other act of aggression. Violence is not right and it is just as wrong when it is man to man, man to woman, woman to woman, or woman to man -- an act of violence is an act of violence.
These are just a few of the ways that gender roles affect daily life, and to live in a truly equal society it is up to one person, you. You must make your decision each and every day on what is right and what is wrong, and those decisions will one day make our country truly equal and free.