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Stomping Out the Stereotypes

May 10, 2016 • • No Comments

As does anyone who is not a white heterosexual male, women face stigmas and stereotypes in our society. Those stereotypes can manifest themselves through various ethnic, social, sex, gender, and class issues. Socially ingrained presumptions affect all aspects of women’s lives, from the workplace to the familial and romantic relationships.

Questions like, “Do you care if you make more than him?” and “Are you sure you want to stay at home with the children?” are only an issue because society deems them to be controversial. Some women have even been brainwashed into believing that they should never make more than their spouse and that it is ok to judge someone on how they raise their own children. Last Tuesday, the Campus Y co-hosted an event in the Pit designed to help people rid the world of these ridiculous presumptions.

People were asked to write down a stereotype about women. My notecard had ‘unprofessional’ scribbled across it in pink highlighter and as I peaked at the notecards around me, people were writing similar things. The words ‘bossy,’ ‘emotional,’ and ‘irrational’ were written by my close friends. After we each took a picture of ourselves ripping that notecard in half, we had a quick discussion on why we wrote down those adjectives. We realized that all of our descriptors came from stereotypes of women in charge. Even in college, where students are taught to open their minds and dream big, women readily recognize and perceive stigmas they will face upon graduation. The Stomping Out the Stereotypes event allowed us to metaphorically break down the barriers but what’s next? We know that we will make less than our male counterparts for the same work. We realize that having power as a woman is an American taboo. But how can we change that? The next step after recognizing the issues is to overcome them. Now that people know the stereotypes and problems women face on a daily basis, we have to get them to care. And we have to care enough ourselves to do something about it. This is not just a woman’s issue, it’s a societal issue that only stops us from progressing.

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