Self worth and gender stereotypes…

Sigh… this is a rant that has building up for a long time. And I don’t apologise for it.

I am so so so sick of gender stereo types. I have no clue how a child in this day and age is meant to grow up with secure feelings of self worth.

Why do we ask someone to be courageous or face a fear by stating ‘man up’ or ‘grow some balls’? This totally says men cannot have feelings and/or women can never do this and so will always be weaker. It really is pervasive, subtle, soft digs that undermine the whole fabric of equality and allow women to be seen as second class (and put so much pressure on boys). This is truly fruked up.

The tipping point for this rant – hearing about a ban on certain types of computer games for a female child described as ‘boy games’. Why is it terrible to encourage girls to be competitive, aggressive, strong…? Throw down your paintball gun along with your enjoyment and successes Amanda ! And obviously girls don’t have enough imagination for lego – thanks for ruining that one Claire! And god forbid a boy plays with dolls… cos we’d hate him to grow up and be a good parent. You wanna dress all your online WWF wrestlers in pink and purple – good on you!

I’m not one to follow the news, I cocoon myself from as much negativity as I can, however the recent outpouring from people I actually know (not friends of friends, or 27 degrees of separation but y’know people who would actually acknowledge my existence if we passed on the street) regarding treatment as a sexual object purely based on gender is horrifying. No one has the right to make assumptions about you based on your gender and appearance – be they friend, family or stranger – no one. And why do we only compliment girls on their appearance? (And I’m not saying my friends were complimented, they were not! however the question is only a little tangential so decided not to go with the new paragraph). So why do we only compliment girls on their appearance? Surely healthy is more important? A friend recently told me their young niece has already started altering her behaviour in anticipation of compliments on her looks. Again I’m horrified. (and I acknowledge that body image issues are no longer the sole realm of teenage girls and continue to affect all genders and ages more and more, just highlighting how the people around us impact us so early using a female example).

And the bit that bugs/hurts/scares me the most is I am an active participant. I like to think I am not gender biased and that it’s your personality/believes/values/morals etc that makes you ace or an idiot irrespective of sex or gender or anything else really.. but I recently nick-named my dog ‘Princess Chunky’ because a) he had put on weight and b) he is too scared to push a slightly open door any further to get himself through.

*bangs head against desk and gives up on self and humanity whilst vowing to be more vigilant going forward*

¬†originally posted on Facebook, May 5 2015. ¬†Too important to leave it that far down the timeline…