Bending The Rules: breaking gender stereotypes

Everyone talks about how progressive millennials are. They talk about how much change, influence and acceptance (in terms of gender equality) have occurred with our generation. Long gone are the days when women had limited legal rights to much of anything compared to men. Not many believe that one gender is inferior to the other. More and more, gender stereotypes are being thrown out the window. Yet, there still exist stereotypes that come with the domain of being male or female. To all of them, I say, there is always a way to bend the rules. 

Two big problems that come with gender stereotypes are hyperfemininity and hypermasculinity. Hyperfeminity highly exaggerates the qualities our culture has assigned as feminine. That is to say, women are always small, graceful and delicate. They have a passive personality and are naive, soft, flirty, nurturing and accepting. Women never question anything. On the contrary, hypermasculinity overexaggerates traits our culture has assigned as masculine. Men are constantly in competition with other men and are dominate over women by being aggressive, worldly, sexually experienced, hard, physically imposing, ambitious and demanding. 

If a man wants to put off marriage until after he kickstarts his career, this is totally normal. For a long time, if a woman said she didn't want to get married, people would laugh and say she'd change her mind soon enough. Now, however, plenty of women are choosing to marry later in life. More and more men are also either choosing to be stay at home dads or taking up more responsibilities in childcare; a role that was for years assigned to women. In fact, on Oct. 7, 2016 President Obama signed a new law, the Bathrooms Accessible in Every Situation Act, also known as the BABIES Act. This ensures that both men's and women's restrooms have baby changing tables. 

Many women are highly ambitious. Many have a dominate personality and have had experiences a textbook might classify as masculine, but they aren't. The same can be said for men. Not all men are constantly aggressive, demanding and athletic. Some men have attributes that our culture would classify as feminine, and that's okay. Getting rid of stereotypes involves paying less attention to what society says a man or a woman should be and focuses instead on what traits these people have that they excell in. The best way to break gender stereotypes is by bending the rules. Let's face it, rules were meant to be broken and the best way to do this is to ignore all those lame gender stereotypes assigned by the powers.

If a man wants to be a nurse or work in childcare, why shouldn't he? Do with your life what you are good at, not what stereotypes are assigned to you.