Stop gender norms, men and women share the same interest

Have you ever caught yourself saying, “That’s so girly” or “man up”? If you have, then maybe you could give some input on my question for this week. Why do we feel the need to give everything in the world a gender? For many of us, we don’t even notice that we are doing. That’s just because we are so used to saying it nowadays. Also, when we use it, why is it that it’s always directly attached with a negative connotation? One of the most infamous of all the examples of gender association would be “Oh, you run like a girl.” This is probably one of the most offensive phrases in the English language, in my opinion.

  Always actually had a campaign up against phrases such as ‘that’s so girly” or “like a girl.” Basically, the brand is saying let’s try to put an end to those phrases all together. They have teen girls doing stuff “like a girl” would. Most of the girls did things the way you would expect them to, probably because we are just accustomed to believing that girls perform these said acts some particular way. 

Later on in the ad they have these little girls come out, who haven’t been exposed to the idea of gender association. They were asked to do the same task as the older girls, but they did them the way you would expect someone to run or throw a ball. This made me think, why our society would basically brainwash us into believing that “like a girl” is a bad thing? But it’s not only girls that seem to go through a lot trauma from these two sayings. Guys also hate having people saying that they are acting like a girl, especially if that guy is emotional. A common phrase that I hear girls say to guys a lot would be to “man up.” What does that even mean? I mean, should I go out into the wilderness and hunt for my food? Would that be considered manning up?

 It’s a pink cake; this must mean that you are having a baby girl. Every girl in my family actually hates the color pink. Why do you automatically associate girls with the color pink and guys with the color blue? You know before the 1900s all children were dressed the color white, because color didn’t matter back then. Which, of course, I completely agree with. There is a book all about the color and gender norms and how it came along.  A professor at the University of Maryland researched for at least a decade before publishing her work. She interviewed over 3,000 men and women asking them “what was their favorite color?” the results came out to be the both men and women agreed their favorite color was blue. Remember now, the color blue was designated for all the baby boys in the world. I know that this statistic isn’t large enough to support the entire population of the world, but it still has the basics of what I’m thinking, which is that colors shouldn’t be assigned to certain gender. 

A lot of people like to go outside of the norms. But they are becoming more and more afraid of this in the society that we live in today. Maybe we should take to two steps back and actually think about what we are doing as a human race at the moment. Will we ever be able just to accept everyone the way they are?

KySean is majoring in speech education. He can be reached at [email protected]