As a society we are all expected to follow a set of “rules” that are set in place based off our birth gender. If we are born female, we must act feminine. If we are born male, we must act masculine. In today’s world talking about gender is beginning to have less of a negative stigma. This is a huge step in our society as this opens the doors for people to find their true identity and pronoun! I think that the world is becoming more accepting with the different genders as people begin to understand them. It is super important that as a collective we stop separating people into two very limited categories; feminine or masculine.
In general women feel the pressure to follow the role of being the “perfect woman”. The perfect woman must: wear makeup, act like a lady, and to only participate in woman’s sports such as dance and cheer. Although there are many girls that enjoy these things, many do not. The small majority of women that go against this expectation see the normative narratives more often because they receive negative comments and often times belittled.
Many of my classmates had to face obstacles and defend their own skills and abilities in sports. If they were to play a sport that was predominately played by males, they were stereotyped and often told “You play like a girl” as if it was an insult. I noticed that many of my classmates told stories about their childhood and their experiences playing sports. In both Cheyanne and Elara’s blog posts they wrote about what it felt like to play sports as a female. I was able to connect with both of them as I faced the exact same obstacles they did, and based my own blog around these obstacles. I think that this is something many women face when they decide they want to register for a sport (or anything for that matter). I think that the assumption that women are less skillful in sports, uncoordinated and weak is something everyone is taught as they grow up. When someone is asking for help they often use the quote “Big strong boys/men” rather than just asking for the job they need help with instead. It is a social norm to discriminate and belittle women, even if it isn’t always obvious. It is pathetic that growing up female means that the individual must face obstacles simply because of their gender.
In Cheyanne’s blog post she tells the reader a story about how she felt as a girl growing up playing hockey. In her blog post “ My Gender is a Blessing” she writes “Not only did I have to prove myself, but I had to became one of the ‘boys’.” (Fishley) and I think that describes exactly how any girl feels when they play a sport. This quote accurately explains how it is ingrained in us to believe to play at a high level you will fit in as one of the “boys”. This sentence resonated with me because I knew exactly what pressure she was constantly feeling because I felt it too. As for Elara’s blog post, you can see how male figures in a women’s life affect how they feel about themselves and the activities they participate in. An example of this is when Elara writes “Chuckling, my dad suggested, ‘you’d better stick to ballet’.” (Trischuk) When her dad talks about how she performed in her soccer game. The problem being addressed prior to her dad’s statement was simply because she didn’t understand the game, it had nothing to do with her gender. Why is this made normal?
Disrupting any sort of normative narrative is something that is often looked down upon. If someone does anything that goes against what society has laid out for us, they are an outcast or an embarrassment. I admire the classmates that proudly wrote about how they went against their gender role. Since many of my classmates are female, a lot of the blogs are about how they want people to realize that they can be as good as men. One blog that stood out to me was Noah’s. In Noah’s blog we see the perspective of a male in our society, and how difficult it is for a male to go against the norm.
Noah’s blog post titled “Barbie Boy” is his story about how he had disrupted the normative narrative at such a young age. I think that his post exposes how young we are when we learn about what we are supposed to like, wear and feel based off our gender. Noah writes “My grandpa began trying to convince me to stop having my fit by showing me a yellow dump truck and also a G.I Joe doll” which proves that it is difficult to want something that isn’t typically masculine. His grandpa unknowingly tries to change Noah’s perspective on what is for girls and what is for boys. This particular story is different simply because Noah is looked at as if it is embarrassing for him wanting something. Whereas the women I mentioned above were looked at as if they are lesser than.
I think chapter 7 in the book Is Everyone Really Equal? And the video Oppressed Majority exposes what kind of society we live in. I think that these two pieces of text helps show how deeply ingrained gender and gender roles are in our society. In Noah’s blog the reader might’ve thought it was silly that he wanted a Barbie, watching the video the viewer probably thought it was funny seeing a man in those situations. In chapter 7, we are able to see where all of the perceptions stem from, and continue to be spread throughout our world and made normal. The entire chapter’s theme is how unnoticed and immune we are to sexism because we see it every single day. Disrupting any narrative is proven to be difficult because often times we observe it every day and even before we are born the “norms” are instilled and expected from us.
Billy, Allison. “I’d Rather be Wearing Cleats” WordPress, 23, Oct. 2018 https://allisonsadventure.business.blog/
Fishley, Cheyanne “My Gender is a Blessing” WordPress, 23,Oct. 2018 https://cheyannefishley.food.blog/
Trischuk, Elara. “Self- Story #3- You Play Like a Girl” WordPress, 23, Oct. 2018 https://elaratheeducator.wordpress.com/
Sensoy, Ozlem, and Robin J. DiAngelo. Is Everyone Really Equal?: an Introduction to Key Concepts in Social Justice Education. 2nd ed., Teachers College Press, 2017.
Suchorab, Noah. “Barbie Boy” WordPress, 23, Oct. 2018 https://nsuchorab.wordpress.com/