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Downtown Magnets High School

Opinion: Traditional gender norms should be changed

Growing up, did you ever experience gender stereotypes? As a girl, were you told not to play with toy trucks? As a boy, were you told not to play with dolls?

It is not a surprise that there are gender stereotypes in society. These stereotypes have been going on and on ever since centuries back; in fact, they have already been deemed to be “common knowledge.”

These stereotypes have been used to “dictate” what a boy and a girl should become when they are already a man and a woman. It always starts in the household and unfortunately, women have been the long-term target of these gender stereotypes.

Traditionalist parents should change the gender norms in their traditional households because more women work outside of the home, balancing work and household during a pandemic is more difficult than ever, and women are gaining greater equality in the world and it’s time the gender norms reflect that.

As the years go by, more women have been entering the labor workforce. From 1950 to 2000, the number of women in the labor force skyrocketed from 18 million to 66 million. This shows that more women have been outside their homes working to provide for their families.

The percentage of women in the labor force also grew from 30% in 1950 to almost 47% in 2000. The increase conveys that as years go by, more women have been educated, as some jobs do require higher education.

There are many recurrences, especially in the past, that women were being discouraged from receiving the education they deserve. For example, it has always been perceived that women should be stay-at-home mothers taking care of their children and serving their husbands. The increase in the percentage of women in the workforce proves that women can be more than just being housewives; they can also excel in life in terms of their education and careers. Even so, being a housewife still requires a lot of work especially during this pandemic.

Women have no choice but to balance work and household responsibilities during the COVID-19 pandemic. It has been reported that in September 2020, 865,000 women left the labor force, which is more than four times the number of men who left the labor force.

The coronavirus has hugely affected everyone around the world, especially mothers.

Due to online schooling, mothers have no choice but to stay at home to look over their children and even guide them, especially the little ones, through school. Women of school-aged children were 20% more likely to take a temporary leave. This proves that the pandemic really impacted women, in terms of putting more responsibilities on their hands on top of the other responsibilities that they already have. They are currently struggling between taking care of their children and the fact that they had to leave their job to do so.

Therefore, women, particularly mothers, should be heavily credited for their hard work; having to juggle between taking care of their kids, guiding them through their studies and worrying about their income is definitely a very hard thing to deal with.

Unfortunately, these are not the only things that women have been discredited on. They have also been discredited for their power to lead.

Throughout the years, women have been gaining greater equality in the world.

In 2020, from New Zealand to the US, there are women who were elected in government positions like US Vice President Kamala Harris. This is proof that women can be more than what they’re told to be. There are a lot of things that women were told that they weren’t allowed to participate in, like in politics. In the past, they had to fight for their right to vote.

Also, there weren’t a lot of women government officials. Vice President Harris, as well as other female politicians, are proof that they can be more than what women are perceived to be, which is most commonly as housewives.

Although some people may think that women are more than their household responsibilities, what they don’t consider is the fact that children tend to cling to and listen to their mothers more. Moms have always been given a more nurturing label. It has always been natural for women to take care of their children, as it is already in their nature.

This makes women the number one choice on who should be looking after their children at home. However, they may not always be the number one choice, as not all children have mothers.

Unfortunately, not all kids have mothers to take care of them. In 2019, 3.23 million children were reported to be living with their single fathers. The expression, “one foot in the grave,” has always been used to describe women who are pregnant. Not all women make it safely after giving birth to their child, which leads to men being single fathers. Be that as it may, not only men can be single parents; there are also lots of single mothers around the world. However, things may be harder for single mothers financially.

Single dads tend to have a higher income ($57,778) compared to single mothers ($40,165), according to CompareCamp. Salaries between a man and a woman have always been comparable. Women tend to earn less money and have a more difficult time getting a job compared to men. This is all because of the gender stereotypes that have been naturally implemented on women.

There is no doubt that gender stereotypes against women are still being upheld up to this day. However, it is time for gender norms to reflect that because more women are in the workforce, struggling to balance work and household responsibilities during a pandemic and women are gaining greater equality in the world.

Women have always faced inequality from the world. Even so, regardless of constantly being told what to do and what not to do, women are still able to prove that they are more than what the stereotypes say they are.

Throughout the years, women are slowly working themselves up by sharing a huge percentage in the labor workforce. They were also able to enter politics; it is one of the things that women weren’t able to participate in in the past.

Also, in spite of the difficulties that the coronavirus has brought, women are still able to manage to juggle their responsibilities as a mother, a wife and a worker. As long as the human race continues to exist, gender stereotypes cannot be avoided; they’re inevitable.

Women have been a greater target of these stereotypes compared to men but even so, they are managing to prove themselves worthy of removing the labels that society has naturally painted on them, and for this, women deserve to be credited.