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.