A.K.A. Gender stereotypes and the construction of Self.
WARNING: This is a post where I get all smart and bookish and feministy…continue if you will…
Originally, this post was inspired by Christina Vincent‘s shared link on Facebook, entitled “Gender stereotypes easing more for girls than boys.” by David Crary. Click it. Read it. This is the easy part…
I knew from the get-go that there was a blog post for me in there. So, I braved the allergies, and dug out all my old papers and references from my college Literary Criticism and Theory class, and did a bit of research. Plus, I found a bunch of poetry from 1994, so that alone was worth it?!
English 419 was my favorite class in my four-year stint at UO. In fact, I loved it so much, I took it twice?!
Okay, so I flailed miserably the first time around, and retook the class the following year, receiving a much higher grade. This was the only course I took twice during college. Apparently, taking a split Undergrad/Graduate course as a sophomore is not recommended. I agree. It was too soon the first time around, and I was still in the “Omigod, let’s party!” mode…..such is the life of the undergrad. My professor, Linda Kintz, was my mentor. I learned more from her than anyone else in the whole four years?! I’m positive she has no freaking clue who I am, but still…
I have always found that it’s the teachers who
tormented forced believed in your mental abilities to be the most inspirational. For example, my senior year of high school, I had the most gruesome AP English teacher, whom we all despised. But now I look back at him as an inspiration for what I’ve become. He was a complete jerky-pants, but he made me think, gave me the classical base I’d need to eventually study English in college, and subsequently graduate with a BA in English Lit.
I saw him on the bus a few years ago, and thanked him.
He had no freaking clue who I was…… 😉
Alas, I digress…..
My point, originally, was that this article about gender stereotypes reminded me of a classroom experiment we did in English 419, regarding gender stereotypes in males versus females. There was a brief questionnaire (about 10 questions) in which we were asked generic questions and our answers where then lumped into categories of male or female. For example, one question was whether or not you wear nylons….
And I can’t believe I just gave myself allergies again, and can’t find the damn questions?!
However, I did find a questionnaire about heterosexual stereotypes, but that’s another post altogether. 😉
Have I mentioned that I minored in Women’s Studies, as well as Creative Writing? Unfortunately, there were no minors actually given at the time I went to college, so I guess more of an emphasis than a minor….
I answered all the questions with the stereotypical male answers…
Dudes…I’m a chick.
But apparently not a girlie-girl. Or perhaps I just hate nylons? I’m okay with that. In fact, I’m more than okay. I embrace it.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not all feminist-head-bashing-assholey about it. I just believe that EVERYONE, no matter what sex you are conceived as, has a right to make their own choices about life, love, and pretty much anything. Except killing people.
Apparently, they haven’t legalized that yet. 😉
But here’s the odd part: everyone in the class fell on both sides of the gender spectrum, regardless of their physical sex.
I thought the jocks were gonna shit themselves. Which made me wonder just what the hell they were doing in that class?!
So to say that gender is somehow ingrained in our collective psyche seems ridiculous. Of course gender is constructed?! It’s the old Nature versus Nurture question.
I always said that if I ever had kids (not gonna happen), or more appropriately, sons, that they’d probably end up gay. Because I don’t care. I’ll let them play with dolls, wear nail polish, and just generally do whatever they want. They’re kids?! At that stage of development, society does NOT need to be making judgements or attempting to rationalize…simply leave them be to grow up however they would like. Easier said than done.
Personally, I always wanted Legos. I got Barbie.
The world is full of stereotypes. I’m just happy that I live in a country where it is permitted for me to express my thoughts, without risking a lot.
I’m a feminist. And no, not a head-bashing feminist. An educated one.
- I hate nylons.
- I enjoy porn.
- I’d rather shoot the shit with the guys and chug beer than go shopping with the girls.
- Sometimes, I like to dress up and feel pretty.
- I wear make-up. Not that I wouldn’t leave the house without it…
- I walk into bars and drink by myself.
Speaking of……the alone-drinking-thing…
Years ago, I had a male friend (Chad) tell me that because I readily walked into bars solo and engaged people in conversations, that I was basically “asking for it”.
Um yeah…….I didn’t speak to him for months. And even later, never truly respected the man again. But honestly, this gender-based construct is everywhere?! Granted, the bias is more reticent with an older generation of males, but it’s still there, even in the younger crowd.
I know…they hit on me.
They don’t get very far…
And if they’re lucky, I don’t punch them in the nose…
Ugh…seriously. That shit pisses me the fuck off. What gives some jackass-douchebag the right to ask me why I would sit at a bar alone drinking, when they are doing the same thing themselves?!
Talk about stereotypes?!
And on that note, I will leave you with a video of kick-ass girl proportions and short shorts. Cuz I can.
Blainey, this is your ringtone. Cuz you’re my fist-bumping chick friend. 🙂
So go ye forth and purchase Legos and Barbies. Just give them to the opposite child. See what happens…