Cinderella-Ballerina-Rapunzel or Spiderman-Batman-Superman?

A brief history of the International Women's Day
International women’s day is celebrated on March 8th each year. The earliest recorded woman’s day was held on February 28, 1909. In the early stage, this celebration or movement was organized by Socialist Parties in the USA and some other countries. In the following decades the event became a globalized movement. The United Nations started to celebrate the International Women’s Day from mid-70’s. The official United Nations theme for the International Women’s Day in 2017 is — Women in the Changing World of Work: Planet 50-50 by 2030.

I, Dear Mom or Dear Wife of Settle in El Paso team, attended a workshop on the International Women’s Day that discussed interesting points about gender stereotypes. I would like to share some of those items.

Interpretation of the word ‘No’


When told ‘No’, men and women have different ways of interpreting the word. Women usually interpret it as ‘No, you are not worth it’, ‘No, you are a failure’. Men, on the other hand, interpret it as, ‘No, not now’. As a result, men are usually more persistent. They keep trying.

Gender stereotypes

Scientist Barbie and Engineer Barbie.

The games children play help build their personalities. Boys tend to play games that have challenging roles — batman, superman, police, and firemen. Girls on the other hand tend to play games that favor being nice or pretty, like princesses Cinderella, Rapunzel, Jasmine, and Anna. Down the road, as a natural way of communications, boys tend to challenge, or be vocal about their opinion. A girl tends to take such a challenge as an indication of her failure to fit in or her failure to be nice.

The society has associated colors with gender. We have toy types (Lego, play house, doll, etc.) associated with gender. We have unrealistic sized Barbie dolls that until very recently did not have any dolls for career-figures like doctors, teachers, and scientists. In last few years, Superman’s cousin — Supergirl — appeared as a strong character in the fiction world.

Implicit bias


Many of us tend to unconsciously connect some traits (physical appearance, ability to perform certain tasks like driving or parking) with certain assumptions. Implicit biases are automatic, happen very quickly, and strongly impact what we think or how we act. Implicit bias can include gender stereotypes such as girls cannot be good scientist and boys cannot be good caregivers. Implicit bias can also be based on race, religion, ethnicity, language, and lifestyle.

Concluding remarks: There were many other interesting points addressed in this workshop. These are some of the ones that stood out to me. I left with the feeling that, women’s day is about women’s right, and women’s right is about human right. I wish both men and women are able to reach their full potential supported by a nurturing environment that is free of bias, stereotypes, and boundaries. Have a wonderful week.

Settle in El Paso team






Comments

31 thoughts on “Cinderella-Ballerina-Rapunzel or Spiderman-Batman-Superman?

  1. I like the point about boys being caregivers. I, myself, was raised by a stay-at-home dad…wouldn’t change that for anything. 🙂 thanks for sharing
    1. Thank you for reading and commenting. Definitely, anyone can be a caregiver; anyone can be an engineer. You grew up in a loving family; It required some luck to receive care from a Dad even a few decades ago because a Dad used to be the only earning member of the family. I am glad that this year’s theme is : Women in the Changing World of Work. Thanks once again for stopping by. Have a wonderful weekend ahead.
  2. Just want to contribute my two cents here: I’m so glad I didn’t grow up with more than a couple of toys, games, and the occasional tv show/ movie. We always made up our own. On the other hand, my kids have and It’s taken some effort to keep our minds relatively stereotype free.
    1. That is so great. This is absolutely a necessity of modern days that we allow our children to flourish stereotype-free. I also grew up with only a few toys. We also try to keep the toys of Dear Son less biased by gender. Dear Son is four years old and not yet familiar with superheroes.

      Thank you for your beautiful comment. Have a wonderful weekend.

  3. I especially like the point in implicit bias. Women are bad bosses and drivers I hear often enough where I stay. But even the whole post is very accurate in their description of gender stereotypes. Thanks for sharing this 🙂
    1. Thank you for reading the post and commenting. Yes, I agree that there are too many implicit biases in our society. It is changing. I am sure that there will be positive changes around the globe. I hope that our children will live in a society where there will be no bias based on gender or orientation. Best regards.
  4. Great article on gender bias and careers. I do think that there is a bias and unfortunately, this can bleed into hiring practices as well. I’m in a male dominated field (videography, video editing, essentially entertainment) and I’ve noticed it. But, more and more women are breaking down barriers and shattering ceilings! 🙂
    1. Thank you for sharing your experience. I am with you; I also feel that there is a bias. Sometimes even female bosses treat female and male employees differently. I appreciate your visit and comment. Have a wonderful evening.
      1. I definitely agree. I’ve had women give me a much harder time during interviews and also bosses. This isn’t always the case though, today I had a pleasant experience during an interview with a female recruiter. But, I had one a while back that was the “creative director” and she was really condescending and rude. Needless to say, I didn’t feel it was the right fit. 🙂
        1. I am glad to hear that you had a pleasant experience today. Things are getting better but we still have miles to go. Thanks for sharing your insight and have a wonderful evening.
  5. As a transgender woman I have learned that people do find it almost too natural to allocate certain actions and lifestyles to certain genders. This can be kind of weird if your a woman at heart and naturally people tend to place you in male roles. but I think I have learned that people seem to do so without really meaning anything by it and find it just natural to feel some roles are better suited for males and other for roles for females, especially with the older generation as the younger generation seem to find much more flexibility in these roles and see that gender has nothing to do with it.

    Great post!

    1. I am so glad to hear that you liked this post. Yes, there is so much gender bias in the society that it has become natural to feel that tasks and jobs have something to do with gender. Definitely, new generations always think differently and flexibly.

      Thank you for visiting and writing a very thoughtful comment. Have a wonderful weekend.

  6. Great blog as usual. This thing about girls and boys liking certain stereotype toys or could it be parents assume what a girl would play with and likewise a boy would? It would be an interesting experiment for a mother to just place mixed toys and see what the child would choose.
    1. Agreed, that will be interesting. I have seen toddler boys liking pink colors and girls liking blu color. I think, these things are stereotypically made by grownups. Thank you for visiting and writing great comments. Have a wonderful day.
  7. I think society does a lot to nudge girls toward certain activities and colors from a young age, and boys toward others. Parents may not even realize they are doing so! It’s an important topic you discuss here.
    1. I totally agree with you. We attend a lot of birthday parties with gender-specific themes. Birthday parties of little girls have Frozen theme. Little boys have birthdays with Transformer theme.

      Thank you for visiting and commenting. Have a wonderful rest of the day.

  8. I agree with you people these days associate gender with color, but sometimes this is not what happens in the real world. Let me tell you something about my son, as you say in your post it would be a natural like him to imagine being Batman, Spiderman, etc, but my son when he was small he wanted to be a dad….yup, to have a doll carriage. We laughed at that time, but he cried so much that we had to buy him one!
    1. Your son is so cute! That is absolutely fantastic — Your son observed how great his parents were in raising a baby. This is why he wanted to be a dad. So adorable! My son liked pink color when he was younger. We managed a few toys of pink color because he liked the color. Thank you so much for sharing the beautiful story of your son. Have a wonderful day.
  9. I think that gender sterotype it is such an important topic to talk about with our kids. Nowadays is becoming more important than ever to break gender stereotypes and I think that doing it with the example is the best way. My husband is on sabatical and now he’s the one taking care of our house!
  10. Interesting topic. I think Gender bias is just in the mind of people who are relatively traditional. I don’t mind my son playing dolls or my daughter playing cars and action figures. It is the example that we parents show that creates an impact to these kids. Not on which color, which toy nor which dress. I don’t mind doing the house hold chores or preparing breakfast for my kids. It is in a matter of thinking and as parents lets give the perfect example.
  11. We should give an opportunity to both the male and the female as well. Gender equality should be taken seriously for us to have a better society in which everyone’s views are needed to move the society forward.
  12. I knew about Cinderella and Rapunzel (don’t know ballerina though) long before I knew about Spiderman, Batman and Superman. I never picked up comics (father did not allow), instead I read story books featuring tales of Aesop, Grimm Brothers, Hans Christian Anderson and Panchatantra. Since I did not read comic books, I did not know Spiderman, Batman and Superman. When I knew these characters, I was already a teenager.
  13. I believe that there is no gender bias when it comes to want a girl wants as to what boy needs. My daughter likes to play dolls but she is more interested in playing toy guns, toy soldiers and toy car. I think its normal for children to play such toys at a younger age and its normal for them to explore and learn.

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