2016, Uncategorized

Why Gender Stereotypes Are Holding Us Back

“Wear a pretty dress.”
“Grow your hair long.”
“Put some makeup on.”

Or, you know, I could do whatever the hell I want.

Gender stereotypes are more outdated than rotary egg beaters. They’re dumber than Valentine’s chocolates on sale on Boxing Day. They’re worse than wearing pants on a Sunday.

The idea that someone born with female genitalia should be fragile, aesthetically pleasing (what does that even mean?) and sexually reserved is, apart from being astoundingly ridiculous and frankly, offensive, a notion that (shockingly) society doesn’t need to ensure the longevity of the human race.

The expectation for someone born with XY chromosomes to be emotionally colour-blind, physically strong and fearless to the point of recklessness is not only damaging to the psyche of every young boy who doesn’t fit this description, but is also making a princely contribution to the gender hierarchy that’s wreaking havoc on the bras of a few select feminists, and at the very least enraging a few billion less select human beings who believe in equality.

In simpler terms, gender stereotypes are stupid and we don’t need them.

My gender doesn’t affect my ability to smile at people when I’m walking down the street. It doesn’t change how many friends I have and love. It doesn’t impact how I word a sentence or blow bubbles, both of which I like to think I’m good at.

I play bass guitar. I play soccer with the guys. I’m pretty good at the parallel bars, a solely male sport. I’m fond of button-down shirts. I like feeling dapper. I am currently sporting a mad undercut with accompanying man-bun, but I’m not a man.

I spend too much money on tea dresses. I have a soft spot for Elmo. I feel most confident when I’m wearing fierce eye makeup. I love to sing. I like wearing earrings. I’m short and slight. I played with Barbies as a kid. I still take my teddy bear on every school camp. I adore John Green books.

It looks like I’ve separated these traits into ‘boy-traits’ and ‘girl traits’ – but the truth is, these are all just parts of my identity. None of these attributes make me more or less myself.

Stop using the words ‘girly’ and ‘manly.’ Stop telling people, especially kids and adolescents, to toughen up or act more ladylike. Everyone on the planet is made up of a billion different traits, all of which are intrinsically their own whether we choose to assign a gender to them or not. The only difference is a bit more self-esteem, a bit more confidence. A bit less bullying, a bit less unhappiness.

A bit more equality.


Happy Women’s Day, and the Word ‘Feminism’


So, today is International Women’s Day, and I felt I should write a lil’ somethin’ about women, and a topic that has been coming up more and more lately; feminism.

When I looked up ‘define feminism’, this is what I got:
‘the advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes.’
And that’s good, I think, because that’s what I probably would’ve said if you’d asked me. Then, I typed ‘define feminist’;
‘a person who supports feminism.’ Notice that nowhere here does it say that women are better than men, that textbook feminists hate men, or that feminism includes hate at all.

I have an opinion on the whole ‘feminism’ thing. I think, yes. Yes this is a good thing. Yes women should have equal rights. Yes we should be allowed to be paid the same, marry who we’d like, choose whether or not to have kids and careers or both or neither. And I guess, in this way, I am a feminist. 

But. I also believe in men having equal rights. I believe men should be allowed to wear what they’d like. I believe a man should be allowed to hold open a door or compliment a lady without being called sexist. I believe men should be allowed to marry whomever they’d like, and choose whether or not they have kids or a career or both or neither. I looked it up, and I couldn’t find an appropriate word for this, so I’d like to just float it all under one banner; equality.

Let’s start practicing what the dictionary says feminism is; equal rights. Let’s acknowledge that calling a man ‘gay’ or ‘wussy’ or ‘chicken’ is just as emotionally damaging as calling a girl ‘fat’, ‘slut’ or ‘butch.’ This Women’s Day, I’d like to think that we can work together as human beings to support women, while we are also supporting men.

I think men can stop and take a moment to thank a woman in their life, and a woman can thank a woman, and a man can thank a man, and a woman can thank a man, and if you don’t fit under those banners, thank someone anyway, and if you know someone who doesn’t fit under those banners, thank them too. Say ‘thanks for doing my washing’ or ‘thanks for being an advocate for women’s rights’, because yes, women have been oppressed in the past. That’s why Women’s Day is important; to think about how we can help women free themselves from any prejudice they still face. But I think that soon, we can start seeing the world as a place for everybody, where everyone practices equality and sees that people are all valuable.

So! On that note, I’d like to do my thanking for today by introducing eight great blogger women who I like and follow. Thanks for being gals, gals.
Give them a look!







Women at Work: Leaning In


So yes. Thank a someone today. I’d love to offer my big thanks to my wonderful mum :)

Xx Loony