While it is true that we have come a long way with equal rights and such, there is absolutely no denying the fact that gender stereotypes still exist today. I see stereotypes of all kinds every day, but I think, as a woman, where I fall victim the most is gender stereotyping. This can be represented in a variety of ways. It isn’t always the typical “women belong in the kitchen” or “men are doctors; women are secretaries”. The majority of women experience gender stereotyping through sexism every day. I watched a Ted Talks by a woman named Laura Bates from the UK. She threw out a lot of statistics to prove that, in reality, women are not as equal to men as society would have you to believe. So often girls ignore these things because we are told that they are “normal” or that we’re making a bigger deal out of something than it really is. I mean, how many times have you heard the phrase “boys will be boys” or “you ___ like a girl”? We hear these things so much that we start to think certain behaviors are okay when they really aren’t. Laura was no different. She talks about how she didn’t really think anything of the issue until this one incident on the bus. But even after the incident, when she would talk to people about it, they would make it seem like it was her fault or that she was overreacting. She eventually realized that that wasn’t true and that somebody needed to stand up and speak out, so she created a site, which she talked about in the video, where men and women around the world could share their personal experiences.
In my research, I wanted to look at gender stereotyping in relationships. Specifically, why is it so hard for society to believe that a male and female can be just friends? And also how stereotypes affect relationships. In an article by Stephan Labossiere, he wrote, “America is the place for freedom, liberty, and equality…unless we are talking women, sex, and relationships”. I have experienced relationship double standards personally, so I know first hand how it feels. I’ve noticed that most of the time the double standards are not in the woman’s favor, and I’m having a hard time understanding why. Is it because men are immature, and don’t understand when they are being unfair in their assumptions? Are men more self conscious than women? There are many factors that could contribute to said double standards. As I continue my research I plan to look further into how this stereotyping affects relationships.