Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Societal expectations of gender roles

The gender roles that each male and female assumes is based on what a society defines their role should be. But no matter where you are from and what culture and religion you are from, there is a standard expectation that every male and female right from the time they are born. Parents which are part of society also make sure that their kids conform to a certain type of gender rules and play with stuff and wear clothes which appropriately reflect their gender. For example, you would rarely see boys playing with dolls and girls with fire engines and violent toys (although it is changing a bit). But you would not see boys wearing girls’ cloths and girls wearing boys’ clothes.

Even when you go into a toy store or kids clothing store you would not see gender neutral clothes. It is also done in the case of babies, where parents make sure that their boys and girls wear gender specific clothes and colors. Even when sometimes kids want to act the opposite sex, they are strictly or ridiculously admonished not to act like one. Same thing happens with games, when the girls team don’t want to invite their little brothers or the boys team does not want their little sisters to come and play with them. Then your relatives and even strangers define what is appropriate for your gender and it keeps on reinforcing when you join day care or kindergarten.

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