Gender and Role Play in Kids

Colorful graphic of androgynous figures illustrating different genders
Graphic illustrating different genders

By Beatrice Santiago 

Do you remember when you were 9 years old?

I vaguely remember what I was doing at that age. And I remember experiences in which I felt inferior to men, thinking as a young girl that I was not capable of certain tasks just because I was a girl. Society’s ideals can be cruel. Especially when you are told that if you do something a man does, you are not “acting like a lady.”

I recently read an article, “I AM 9 YEARS OLD: Children Across the World Tell Us How Gender Affects Their Lives.”  As the title implies, children were asked questions like:

“What is the best thing about being a girl?”

“What is the worst thing about being a girl?”

“How might your life be different if you were a boy (or a boy instead of a girl)?”

Their responses were shocking. However, they were answers I was expecting. Although many were positive, some were really sad to read. These children were interviewed from all different parts of the world by National Geographic.

Continue reading “Gender and Role Play in Kids”

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Sexual Assualt

 

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Screenshot of SOS on iPhone

By Beatrice Santiago 

 

Sexual Assault is real, people, and unfortunately, it happens everywhere. Including here.

As a college student, I walk to campus all the time. (Even at times where it can be very scary.) I can’t even tell you the times I have checked my surroundings, over and over again while going home, after a late night at the library. From wanting to listen to my music as I walk, but having to put only one headphone in, just in case. From taking classes to learn how to defend myself, because women, unfortunately, get put in danger more than men do. I must take an extra step and extra precautions, just because I am a woman. I always try to look for resources that can help me if a predator decided to attack me by surprise.

Not long ago, my sister told me a capability I was not aware of. On Iphones, you click the power button five times in a row and the image above will pop up. By sliding the SOS button on your IPhone, this will send your location to the nearest police station. I also have learned how to carry my keys between my thumbs. I even learned about a bra with a sensor in it that can alert the police if your heart rate is too high over a long period of time. (Signaling the police.) I must do this and many more things to feel safe. Even the way I act and dress. I always have to have an extra layer of protection before I can go outside because I am not sure what could happen. I should not have to live like this!! All women should have the ability to do whatever they desire.

My question is: Why do I find myself needing to do this? (Right, because I am a woman and because men don’t have to worry about these things. Right.) Also, in order to not get assaulted or raped I need to dress a certain way. I should not provoke him. Because, then it’s my fault. HELL NO! I shouldn’t have to do these things, to feel safe at night. A societal stereotype says, “It’s the victim’s fault for getting drunk and getting raped!” Why? Just why do I have to do this and not men? I don’t think this is fair to me and my peers.

Women should especially not have to conform or give up certain ways of dressing, or acting, to feel like we will not be raped or assaulted. It gets me angry that almost all of men don’t have to do this to feel safe. They do what they want. They act how they want. Because, society says that they are the dominant gender.

Continue reading “Sexual Assualt”

Feminism

Image result for feminism
“We all can do it!” Poster

By Beatrice Santiago 

 

Feminism? What is the significance or meaning of that word?

When searching different sites, I found many definitions.

Google Search

  1. “the advocacy of women’s rights on the basis of the equality of the sexes.”

 Urban Dictionary

  1. Feminism used to be about women getting the same rights as men, such as the right to vote and equal pay at work. Now feminism is a movement full of women who seem to think that their ability to push a baby out of their v***** titles them to bigger and better everything.”

 Merriam-Webster

  1. “the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes and organized activity on behalf of women’s rights and interests”

Vocabulary

  1. “A feminist is someone who supports equal rights for women. If your brother objects strongly to women being paid less than men for doing the same job, he’s probably a feminist.”

A word that holds a lot of controversy. Wow. No wonder many people can either be in favor or against feminism based on these definitions. When I asked myself, “How do I define feminism?” I tried to find the right response that makes sense to me. I put a lot of thought into it and here is my response. A while back I saw a picture on Facebook about fairness. Link here

Equity vs. Equality!

There is a huge difference. For example, Equality is about everyone being fair and being treated fairly. While Equity is about equipping people with the same resources to have the same shot at something. If everyone were treated the same (for example, in this picture boy number three would not be able to see the game. While in the second picture, boy number two and three were given the resources to be able to see the game like the first boy.) Applying it to Feminism, it’s not about being treated better it’s being giving the same resources to be able to succeed in life, workforce, education. When women do succeed it’s not celebrated. Most treat it as if it were not possible.

I asked a few of my friends what their definitions of feminism are. These were their responses:

“I define Feminism as equal pay in the workforce, no matter the gender.”

“Much more than women getting paid equal it’s also about bringing up everything that is wrong with society. Talking about issues that people feel uncomfortable talking about and taking a broader aspect.”

“Having equality and equity between all genders. Not just men having power but respecting and realizing that women can too.”

“Feminism is asking for equity in human rights. Nothing more. Men can be allies to the movement, so in a way, men can be Feminists.”

“Feminism is women being able to make decisions over issues that affect women and be treated socially equal to men.”

Continue reading “Feminism”

In Her Shoes

By: Madelyn Starritt

Women’s issues are constantly battled for and against. There are fights to improve policies and situations and, often these issues are not taken seriously and pushed to the side. Things like the wage gap, the focus on a woman’s appearance instead of her knowledge, not including women in decisions and legislation about abortion rights, blaming rape victims, and so much more. These women are considered to just be whining and aren’t taken seriously. That is, until a man brings up the same issues and expresses concern. These things aren’t real or serious when a woman experiences it but once a man finds himself in these similar situations they become important. I can’t even count how many times I have said “I just said that,” because it was ignored when I brought it up but taken seriously when the words came out of a man’s mouth.

This is a problem. Not everyone feels the same way or has the same experiences. There are many people that are more and less fortunate than others. This does not mean we have the right to dismiss others problems and concerns just because we have not experienced them. That is the problem with this situation. Most men don’t experience the belittling, the misogyny, the disrespect that women do, so they don’t think women experience these things. We live in the same world so our experiences should be similar, right? No. This idea is absurd. Every person is different and has different experiences including men and women.

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Why do we encourage women to become engineers but we don’t encourage men to become teachers?

By: Kate Ringer

Let’s set something straight: I have wanted to be a teacher for a long time, longer than I can remember. At first I thought I’d want to teach elementary, but once I made it to high school I knew that I had found my home in my English classrooms. Plus, I’ve always loved school, as school is where I could succeed.

This is important. Continue reading “Why do we encourage women to become engineers but we don’t encourage men to become teachers?”

Madonna and Drake: The Bigger Problem

By Morgan Fisher16537054883_59572693b8_z

This past weekend, the Internet was in an uproar over Drake and Madonna’s Coachella make-out session.

The reason behind the uproar was, ostensibly, Drake’s surprised reaction to the kiss—he made a disgusted face and asked the audience, “What the f—k just happened?” Twitter instantly blew up after the incident, casting aspersions about Madonna’s age, and reprimanding her for kissing a man half her age.

Continue reading “Madonna and Drake: The Bigger Problem”

The Rules of Men and Women

The codes of conduct for relations between the sexes can be paradoxical.  Depending on the perspective, they can appear as either insightful, healthy guidelines meant to assist and protect those who follow them, or arbitrary stipulations devised to benefit those advantaged by them.

Such confusion is deeply rooted.  Scientists and wordsmiths have told us that men and women have been fighting to get along since their spaceships crashed into each other en route to Earth from their respective planets.  Fortunately, Internet technology has helped solidify our ideas about sex and gender relations with commonly accepted lists of good behaviors and attitudes.  Whether written, spoken or understood, these have proven an effective way to keep people from throwing pink and blue space loofahs at one another.

Here are samples from two such online guides.  The first batch is from a list written by men, for women; the second batch is by women, for men.  Utilize these and other behaviors to construct a common framework of understanding, a helpful set of boxes in which to neatly fit all the confusing concepts in your dealings with one another.

Men’s Rules for Women

(See the full list.)

 1. “‘Yes’ and ‘No’ are perfectly acceptable answers to almost every question.”

Men generally prefer to be more direct, efficient and time-conscious than women.  They also aren’t usually practiced at either subtlety, or deception.  Women would do well to understand this communicative difference and learn to work within men’s limited conversational tendencies.

2. “Anything we said 6 months ago is inadmissible in an argument.  In fact, all comments become null and void after 7 days.”

When a relational conflict arises, it is best to bypass the convoluted and distracting emotional, psychological and personal issues to address the circumstantial facts directly and at face value.  As we all know, memory is faulty and shaped by the aforementioned distracting elements.  Men’s minds are best fitted for focused, immediate problem-solving, and it is unhelpful to demand of them accountability for secondary details their biology predisposes them to forget.  You will more readily, and happily, resolve the matter if only the most important factors are considered.

3. “If we ask what is wrong and you say ‘Nothing,’ we will act like nothing’s wrong.  We know you are lying, but it is just not worth the hassle.”

Though men are ill practiced at subtlety, they can sense it from others, as a dog can smell a turkey cooking in the oven without being able to cook.  As a dog will wisely wait to nibble until the door is opened and its master extends a bit of meat clearly visible in her hand, so a wise man will wait to dialogue with a troubled woman until she invites him to do so with a clear explanation of her trouble.  Dogs lack the capacity to open doors, after all, and nobody likes to get burned sticking his nose where it doesn’t belong.

Women’s Rules for Men

(See the full list.)

 1. “My body is a temple, now get on your knees and pray.”

Women typically achieve a heightened sense of personal validation when they – and their bodies, particularly – are praised and emphasized by men to the exclusion of other priorities, and beyond what may seem reasonable proportions.  Some of the most influential literature and popular media bear this out (e.g. Greek mythology’s Aphrodite, “Cosmopolitan” magazine, reality television).  The higher the pedestal, the more value a woman ascribes to herself.  It behooves men to understand this principle and apply themselves to it with rigor, never distinguishing a woman’s self-worth from the attention and affection lavished upon her.

2. “51% love goddess 49% bitch.”

As Greek mythology has Aphrodite, so it has Athena.  Love and war are simply two faces of the same deity.  Men should never assume that a woman’s apparently unsavory or disagreeable behavior is anything out of the ordinary.  Under no circumstances are women to be directly confronted for such perceived negativity, or be expected to change or amend such, even as a frenzied lioness would never be stopped from tearing out a zebra’s throat.  The wise man doesn’t fight nature; he goes with the flow.

3. “Men are like hardwood floors, lay them right the first time and you can walk all over them forever.”

It is important to remember that relationships require two people to come together and fulfill one another’s needs.  An overemphasis on individual rights and selfish desires can undermine the give-and-take, the mutual trust so vital to success.  Women generally understand men’s needs better (at least, more readily) than men understand their own, so it is appropriate for men to allow women to shirk traditional gender expectations and take some initiative.  Once a man’s physical needs are met, his singular, problem-solving mind will be free of distraction to fulfill a woman’s relational needs.  A healthy couple is the same in romance as it is on the dance floor: there is a lead, there is a follow, and both parties know the necessary moves.

As women and men continue the battle for one another, codes and guidelines like the ones above can be a hand-up for higher ground.  And let us take heart from history (and her-story).  The fact that we’re still fighting shows that we’re not willing to surrender.  So press on, loofah lovers, and don’t fight dirty.