Reading Response #3 – Gender

Some people don’t see gender specific roles as something that comes up in today’s society.  Sadly it still plays a major role in our lives.  Working in childcare I can already see gender roles emerging with things as simple as “boy colours and girl colours”.  As simple as this seems it sets a stage for future learning and categorizing genders into specific types of roles, in turn making children afraid to challenge these concepts for they could be seen as different or as an outsider.  Gender norms teach us how we should act, what careers we have to choose from, right down to how we should style our hair and dress.  “Toys amplify rigid gender roles, socializing girls into femininity (nurturing, caring, beauty play) and boys into masculinity (aggressive, violent, physical play).” quoted from the textbook Is everyone really equal? (Sensoy & DiAngelo. p 106) states one of the many ways children are exposed to gender roles at such young ages.  The book also talks about the medias influence and advertising, “virtually everything in advertising is gendered, furthering the strict division between men and women and their roles in society,” (Sensoy & DiAngelo. p 110)

So how do we as educators help shape young minds in the direction of freedom from these gender myths so they are able to achieve their dreams and not be tied down by societal views on gender roles?  One of the biggest things we can do is take off the blinders and accept that these false statements of gender do exist and help to give children the tools and confidence to challenge them.  By providing a positive roll model in ourselves and exposing children to non gender specific material we can help guide them to make decisions for themselves rather than what the media says they should choose.

Work Cited:

Sensoy, Ö, & DiAngelo, R. J. (2017). Is everyone really equal?: SECOND EDITION. An Introduction to Key Concepts in Social Justice Education. New York: Teachers College Press
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2 thoughts on “Reading Response #3 – Gender

  1. Thank you Amber for your blog regarding gender. You mentioned a few normative narratives in your blog that I would like to point out. One is there are gender roles in such things as boy and girl colours as well as toys, and another is that anyone challenging these roles may be seen as different or an outsider. Why do you think we care so much about fitting in and being the same as everyone else?
    You have a lot of quotes from the textbook regarding the media. I agree that media plays a major role in society and it makes we wonder what the “benefit” is to have things go a certain way. I know the biggest thing that bothers me about the media is that everything seems to be sexualized, even in products that are seemingly for children. I understand that “sex sells” and that I suppose essentially everything about the media is about money in one way or another. Perhaps this is why the media seems to have an agenda when it comes to gender roles. Maybe they’re really trying to target a certain audience and focusing on what people want to see. Reading your blog made me ask questions even though I didn’t necessarily come to a solid conclusion, which is ok. This is all part of having courageous conversations, so thank you for sharing.

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    1. Thank you for taking the time to read my post. I believe that people care so much about fitting in because that is what is portrayed to us in the media. Finding an identity that fits within the “norms” of society. Also growing up and having kids make fun of you for anything that is seen as different definitely has an impact on ones thoughts of themselves.
      I very much agree with you about the media being “sexualized”, whether it’s how they sell the product or the product itself, including children’s merchandise as you mentioned it seems that “sex sells” is what they use for everything no matter the age group or appropriateness.

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