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Gender Stereotypes: We Want to Do What We Want to Do

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In society, we tend to labeling the role of certain gender such as this activity should done by women, that kind of activity have to be done by men, and others. The wrong perspective happens mostly in every aspect of our life. It can be occur in the middle of society and work-place. Mostly, think of way of thinking happens in the circle of most groups who lived in the developed areas.The term gender stereotypes is automatically lead us to the perspective that women should do woman-thing and men should do men-things. Even though in recent years there are several movements that lead to the equality and freedom, the gender stereotypes still occur in our life.

Gender Stereotype in Society

The state of gender happened from a very long ago. Even when in the Greek Era, United Kingdom, and in other background of culture and social. Then, they create unconsciously the gender stereotypes between men and women. This is the social norm between men and women. For those people who do not know what is the meaning of gender stereotype and why it is crucial in our life, Blackstone (2003: 5) said that gender stereotype was the beliefs or knowledge associated with gender categories which are men and women. He added that gender stereotyping was based on the judgments, perceptions, and attributions that closely linked with stereotype beliefs of genders. Gender stereotypes occur in our everyday life, it refers to the which one is right and wrong according to the activity done by certain gender. What the boy or girl should be and how the boy or girl should act in society.

The Perspective

As a grown up girl in the middle of family and environment that carrying out the importance of gender, it does not feel strange and odd when some adults said or judge my activity, how I behave, and how I look. The girl should not play football, playing in the mud, flying a kite, and others. The girl should act like a girl. They have to always show their emotion thought gestures, tone of voice and expression, passive and follow the men, submissive, dependent, affectionate, patience, caring, and so on. The perspective of women do men-work is inappropriate. Even though the stereotypes cannot be fully accepted or denied because it cannot be measured, but it clearly established in adult’s mind. There are still many people things that cooking, sweeping, making up, dressing up are women-things. While, the women is seeing as tough women when they do wrestling, lifting up big boxes, fixing their lamp by themselves, and many more.

In the recent years, attitudes have shifted regarding the strengths and weakness of men and women. Many people already made up their mind that women also can be more competent than men, there are still a slightly perspective of men are better than women. The women might be more competence, emphatic and sensitive than men, but men still considered as more ambitious, aggressive and decisive than women. The lack of women put them at a clear disadvantages in workplace and other community.

Freedom? Not Yet

Same with the girl images, the parents who have a son will said that a boy should not be crying, they have to be a strong and reliable, avoid play such as with doll, and other girlish-things. Then, when they grown up to the man, they will stronger they thought about how they should look, and how they act. The man should be success, they should be responsible and take a charge of everything, have to able to control everything, always act cool, logical, aggressive, independent, competitive, strong, and so on. They also usually strict in their emotion. They thought that crying, intimate, and moody are their weakness, so they did not want to show it.

In the family life, the wife have to do household like washing, ironing, cooking, and many other things, and the husband have to just make a money. Even from now on, sometimes in Indonesia the view of the carrier woman is quite negative. They being labeled as egoistic woman because just find their own satisfaction to make money while their babies in the home with their parents or baby sitter. Many people still cannot tolerate the same activities done by woman and man. From research doing by the conversation.com, between 2005 and 2010, one out of ten married couples in Indonesia got divorced and 70% of the cases, the wife initiated the divorce. The reason assumed that it was because of the gender equality and stereotypes. For the children, they cannot really expressed their “want to be” because their parents will say “no, a girl/a boy should not do that”.

Even in the work-place there is still the difference between women and men in roles. Some people might think that the occupation such as nurse and teacher are for women, while pilot, accountant, and driver are for men. In many any cases in the company or other institutions said that the women have less opportunity to reach a higher degree in the work-place. Different with women, men have more widely chance to try anything in the work-place. The common case of discrimination between women and men for the example is that when there is a competition between workers to become the leader of the team, even the qualification of the woman is better than the man, she will still lose due to the perception of being a leader is for men. It supported by the view that man is the head of the family, the strongest one, the wise one, dominant, and others masculinity. Men are also linked with belief and assumption of leadership role.

Slowly Changes

In the recent years, the stereotypes become shearer. It also supported by the feminist movement where women demanded the same right and freedom as the men and other movement that strive for the equality. So, not in reality, there are some people who think that men-things and women-things is equal. Men can wear pink jacket, they can freely express their thought, and women can have a fashion style that suit the men or cut their hair to short hair. Even though not all people have the same way of thinking, it do help mostly women to do something without thinking about society’s perspective and it will make them bloom beautifully on their own. Many people already thought that even they have a different gender, they still can behave freely as they want. And this is what we really want.

© 2021 Ambarul Fatima Setiawati

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