I cannot count the times that my parents have told me I can’t do something because I’m a girl.
I can’t blame them, they’ve been told the exact same things by their parents, over many, many generation.
It’s a given that girls do not participate in STEM subjects in our communities. There is a 16 percent decrease in the amount that girls major in STEM subjects in university than boys. That is because women are discouraged to pursue more “practical” subjects such as Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.
Thirteen year-old actress and gender equality activist Rowan Blanchard spoke about this issue saying “girls in my age group would rather be liked than be leaders.”
Gender roles and norms in our societies have a major effect on both males and females. We are indirectly (sometimes even directly) taught from a young age that everything we do serves males, especially in more deteriorated societies. In many societies, people would wish to give birth to a male than a female child, because boys are “so much better” than girls. When there’s a common feeling in society that one gender is preferred over the other, how does that affect the other, especially in a young child? This is how sexism is built, and is passed down throughout generations.
Women have made amazing strides in history from the first Women’s Rights Convention in 1848 to the Supreme Court prohibition of discrimination based on gender in 2005. However, we are not even close to getting over gender roles in society, diminishing discrimination and reaching equality between the sexes. We need our society to reach a level where both a male and a female have the ability to pursue their dreams without being prevented because it’s a “job for men” or it’s a “job for women”. The reason this topic is more about women is that because they are the bigger victims. Women are known as the ones who cook at home, however, the world’s most popular chefs are males, and they aren’t discriminated for their choices. On the other hand, female scientists such as Marie Curie and Grace Hopper are known for their struggles against sexism, while male scientist do not struggle with sexism. The workplace should be a place where both men and women feel comfortable being in, without being discriminated for their gender, something that shouldn’t matter to anyone.
Throughout the years, women have completely destroyed the stereotypes put against them by men. Women are weak? Meet Jill Mills and Nina Geria, they’re probably stronger than half of the men in this world. Women can’t handle being in power? Meet Angela Merkel, chancellor of Germany, Hillary Clinton, Former United States Secretary of State and Mary Barra, CEO of General Motors, three of the world’s most prominent female leaders. These are the role models that young girls should be looking up to, but instead of telling our daughters they can be leaders and powerful women, we let them settle for being as insignificant as the media teaches them to be as females.
In a world where women have proved that they have strength, can be leaders, and have equal powers to men, why are we still discriminating them?
In a world that has held marriage equality so important, shouldn’t gender equality have been first?