What are gender norms?
Gender norm: a set of ideas on how women and men “should” act and behave usually determined by society and/or their culture.
Gender norms cause children to grow up with a certain idea of how they should act and express themselves. For example, women are expected to be slim, dress “girly”, and do housework. On the other hand, men are expected to work and be head of the household. When people decide to be different and stray out of the norm, they get judged. This usually causes bullying, harassment, and self-esteem issues. Girls grow up thinking they must have a perfect slim body in order for men to be interested, this causes a large amount of girls to develop eating disorders/low self-esteem. Men also are expected “to be a man”, which means they should hide their emotions and deal with their problems themselves. Men are praised for sleeping with numerous of women, but women are looked down at when they sleep with men. Men are never in the wrong. The differences go on forever. Society makes these stereotypical images, which harm everyone, and that need to stop. Society doesn’t see the harm it does to people. Parents, guardians, and families always tell us to “be ourselves,” but society finds ways to make one feel that being themselves is not enough. Gender norms need to change because everyone has the right to do whatever they’d like with their body and behave however they’d like (unless it’s illegal). It’s okay to be different; if everyone was the same, this world would be plain and boring. We should all enjoy life instead of listening to what others think of us. Life is too short to ruin it by living it a specific way. As long as you’re happy, that’s all that matters.
Stereotypes Affect Teens
Have you ever applied at a job and wonder why they never call back? It’s probably because society thinks you are some teenage delinquent who loves to disobey the law. Stereotyping has reached the point where teenagers can’t get a job because they are exposed to lies that people think of them. Stereotyping happens because people like to classify, define, list, or even categorize people because it gives us some measure of control. We look at the individual, spot something that we recognize, and categorize them according to how this characteristic corresponds to something familiar to us: short or tall, man or woman, loud or quiet, hair color, build, language spoken etc. Or we meet someone, discover what they do for a living, and immediately scan through the information we have about this job to get a handle on what this person may be like, according to our experience and knowledge.
With this train of thought, we cause a lot of problems by placing people in restricted areas in our brain that make them look bad in our perspective. This has caused teenagers to lose job opportunities and have a slow start in life. Almost nine out of 10 young people feel bad stereotypes [about teenagers] are impacting on their employability. Store owners think that teenagers lack work skills and don’t deserve to have jobs. The thing is that if us teenagers don’t start learning job skills now we will probably not learn them in the future. Experts believe that reality television shows depicting teenagers going wild give the impression that this is an irresponsible generation obsessed with binge drinking. Yet the latest evidence suggests teenagers are drinking less and doing fewer drugs. The percentage of 11 to 15-year-olds who report having had an alcoholic drink in the past week went from one in four in 2003 to one in 10 in 2012, according to NatCen Social Research.
This leads to the conclusion that not all teenagers are bad people. Just because you saw one teenager drinking and breaking the law does not mean that they are all the same. If a teenager went for an interview and was up against an adult, they’d choose the adult whether they had a better CV or not, most likely because of the stereotypes that teenagers are portrayed as bad people. This is why we should put an end to stereotyping and we should accept everyone, not criticize them because of their race, age, sex, but by their personality and how they respond to situations.
Gender Norms in Sports
Sports has a huge role in stereotypes when it comes to men and women; people seem to view athletes differently based on their gender. Men seem to get more of the attention when it comes to media because they are said to have better skills, and the games are more intense and aggressive. If a woman athlete is very famous or has a good physical appearance, people are more likely to tune in and watch them on television. Also the media seems to have inconsistency in women’s coverage on sports, the majority of sports in the media are of men. Gender should not be a big deal in sports, both men and women should get the same attention even if the sport is more one side of the gender.
Society should not view or judge women based on their appearance, but the player’s ability, or if the game is interesting, or the team’s ability. Men do get the more credit in the media whether it’s on the internet or on television. Of course men seem more entertaining to watch because they’re mostly covered in sports television. Therefore women do not really get any attention so their salaries on advertising doesn’t really help them because media does not focus on women the same as men.
All in all, media should treat men and women equally in sports television because women are unjustly not getting the credit they deserve. Sports are viewed and played all around the world, so it’s wrong to focus on men who are playing and not so much women. Physical appearance of women should not be a reason for why they do not get as much coverage in the sports media.