Effects of Stereotypes
Although there are some positives to stereotypes, such as their use in economics, statistics, and other fields that require sweeping generalizations, stereotypes have a negative impact on both men and women. Since I am a man it is much easier for me to focus on the stereotypes that surround me because I have grown up with them my whole life. For men, violence and domination are linked with respect, you’re told to be a man, toughen up, and not to be gay. To be a man is to not be a woman and to not be effeminate. This creates the culture that men and boys are not allowed to show their feeling outwardly in the same way that women do, and men who don’t know how to deal with their feelings bottle them up inside. This has proven negative psychological effects because you will never let go of those feelings if they are never dealt with and they only build on each other.
A required lack of effeminate traits is how stereotypes about men and boys creates friction with women and girls. How many times have you heard the phrase “throw like a girl”? It is usually said with malice between boys and is repeated so often that it just seems normal. Usually when something is done enough it seems to lose the meaning and the connect to actual girls is lost. Young girls who have not had the time to adjust to the repetition of the phrase yet can still tell that the words have negative connotations but they do not know why and it is hurtful to them.
As the parent that I might be one day I realize that I will be the lead decision maker for my children for quite some time, and this is important because what a parent chooses to do can profoundly impact a child’s life. Will I choose gendered toys for my children to play with? Maybe I cannot be sure yet. What I will do though is allow both of my children equal time to do things they want to do. I won’t let my son push my daughter off the computer only because computers are a “more boy thing to do.” Consumption of media also needs to be looked at, because the messages TV shows have on children is astonishing.
Here is a link that I used as an example:
Here are two well put together “documentaries” about gender stereotypes and the impact they have:
Men (Entirety on Netflix): The Mask You Live In
Women (Entirety on Netflix): Miss Representation