Look, that guy has no emotions! What’s new? Boys are expected to be insensitive and must have no emotions. Right? See that girl, and she has so many bags! Seriously yaar! Girls love nothing more than shopping. You must be familiar with or can easily recognize this irrational nonsense.
But have you ever pondered over the idea or tried to fathom why this is happening? Why are such stereotypes so dominant in our society? Why do people follow and accept such characterizations?
Men are insensitive, women love shopping and gossiping, boys prefer blue, girls go for pink, women should be passive and submissive, men should be more active and confident, and of course, many more. These all are gender stereotypes, and we must not let them define us.
Gender stereotype is the generalization of a group or community of people by their gender. But the question still stands, who has made it? Was it nature or God? Or as it some other power?
The answers lie in ourselves because we, the society, have made such stereotypes. Gender is not biologically determined; it is socially constructed. We have created such stereotypes for ourselves and always try to abide by them. If someone tries to break free out of their shackles, they are seen as abnormal or indifferent by society.
Do you remember how from our childhood years, we have been trained to behave, dress, talk, and even walk in a particular style or manner to help us act differently than the other sex. Girls play with toys, and boys don’t cry. Women remain at home and look after their children and household work; men go out for work and earn money for the house. This is what we have been taught!
From the very start, we have been shielded by the rules and limits built by society to grow as a person who is acceptable, desirable, and appropriate in the vision of the community. We learn from our surroundings and behave accordingly. We have all been brought up on the canvas of sound characteristics, cultural expectations, and accepted behavioral patterns such that even if we can see the individuality and singularity of a person, we don’t cease to assume or judge them by gender.
These stereotypes make males and females differ in their outlook and behavior and narrow their mentality, limit their choices and roles, suppress their voice and personality, and restrict their potential and talent.
As a progressing and developing society, we should take action and work on eradicating these prevalent norms and conventions of our community. Each one of us has individual desires, choices, thoughts, feelings, and emotions irrespective of what gender we belong to.
We are so much more than what society tells us we are. So, people, stop assuming and judging each other based on gender. Go and look for more meaningful and logical identification. Search for individuality and uniqueness rather than grouping people on one basis or the other.
Pursuing English honours (2014-2017) at Ramjas College, Delhi University. Self motivated, prolific, passionate, dreamer, writer, fun loving. Love to create, and fall for artists.