How to challenge gender stereotypes
Have you ever been in a situation whereby you’re expected to do something because of your gender? Like washing dishes because you’re a girl or taking out the trash because you’re a boy? That’s what we call gender stereotypes.
Gender roles are instilled in all of us from a very young age, and they affect how we behave, because we believe that’s how things are meant to be. Here’s how you can challenge gender stereotypes.
Don’t be silenced
Many young girls are not confident enough to speak up and share their views and opinions because they believe that their voice doesn’t matter - especially if there are boys around (like at school). The truth is, you have a voice and you shouldn’t let anyone silence you or make you feel small when you want to express yourself.
Be confident in male-dominated spaces
It’s easy to doubt yourself in spaces that seem like they are made “for males”. For example, if you want to join a female soccer team or pursue a career in Construction, then you should totally go for it because regardless of your gender, you can also do well in male-dominated spaces.
Household chores are not defined by gender
Gone are the days where women were expected to do all chores by themselves. Learning how to cook, clean or do your own laundry is a basic skill that men should have too because it means that you will be able to take care of yourself in the future.
It’s okay to show emotion as a man
From a young age, boys are taught that they’re not supposed to cry because people will laugh at them. Being vulnerable and showing emotions is not a sign of weakness, as a matter of fact, knowing that you need help and asking for it is a sign of strength.
Gender stereotyping is problematic because it limits the abilities and talents of both genders and it doesn’t have to be that way. If there’s something you really like or would like to do, don’t let anybody tell you that you can’t.
Remember that you’re responsible for your own happiness and if you let society dictate what you’re capable of doing, then you’ll never be truly happy.
If you or a friend need help or advice, you can contact me here on Ask Choma, send me a Facebook Message, a Twitter DM, or a WhatsApp Message (071 172 3657).
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