Week Two: Exploring Gender Roles

Peer leaders from Day One have been coming to Groundswell and doing workshops with us. Today we did a gender role workshop. We talked about what it means to be a “woman”, and the roles that are expected of us.  Joy put on a cardboard box shirt and had us write down some words that are usually associated  or boxed in with women, like housewife, cooking, cleaning, feminine, and other things that aren’t necessary true. —Casey Jones, 17

Mom forced me to wear dresses and skirts when I was little.  Not looking like other girls in my class was weird.  I thought I was doing something wrong by wanting to play tag and hangout with boys instead of flirting with them.  I had a hard time making friends because the boys were confused why a girl wanted to be their friend.  I think being a “woman” or “man” is a dumb term, expecially for me, because I see how society defines what being a woman is and I don’t feel that way at all.  Yet when they define what a man is I don’t feel that way either.  A world without gender would look like people being real to themselves and not trying to live up to society’s standards. —Casey

Gender roles have affected me when I was younger because when I was in elementary school boys would judge me and say that I couldn’t play basketball because I was a girl.  Also, boys/men see us women staying home, watching the kids, cooking and cleaning.  I love being a young woman because right now I can get equal opportunities to work just like boys and men.  As a young woman I love being independent and strong and don’t take nothing from no man.   I was interested when we were talking about the concept of a younger girl dating an older guy.  I have experience of dating older guys and I learned a lot about my self and mistakes in my two past relationships.  What interested me was the stereotype of older women dating younger men and how they call these older women “cougars”.  But when it comes to older men dating younger women it’s ok and they don’t get stereotyped like that.  –Jonelle

Little kids think that girls and boys don’t do the same things.  I feel like it’s great being a female.  Females in my eyes are stronger than males because we go through the real pain and struggles – Dominique
Gender stereotypes affected me because people think that men are better than women in certain ways.  A stereotype for women is a stay at home-mom that cooks and cleans all day and take care of the children while the man is at work.  I think this is not true because everybody sees this in their own way.  People might think all women are good at just being a stay at home mother.  Being a women to me means pursuing my dreams and making it to the top withoutbeing called someon that is only good for one thing: staying home.   — Tachina

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