AN OVERVIEW OF GENDER ROLES AND STEREOTYPES - AGENTS, EFFECTS AND WAYS TO COMBAT IT.

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GENDER VS. SEX
You announced your sex to the world the minute you were born, if not before through sonogram photos. Your genitals showed whether you were a male or a female. If someone were to do a DNA test when you were born, your genetic code would have also revealed whether you were biologically a male or female. These differences are purely biological.

Gender is something different, though. Gender refers to ways of being male and female within a culture or society. The larger group promotes a certain type of gender roles, responsibilities, and relationships for a male or female. However, these expectations are not set in stone. They can and have been changed as society progresses.

DEFINITION OF GENDER ROLES
 According to Wikipedia - A gender role, also known as a sex role is a social role encompassing a range of behaviours and attitudes that are generally considered acceptable, appropriate, or desirable for people based on their actual or perceived sex Gender roles are usually centred on conceptions of femininity and masculinity, although there are exceptions and variations.
Gender roles are cultural and personal.

 They determine how males and females should think, speak, dress, and interact within the context of society. Learning plays a role in this process of shaping gender roles. These gender roles are deeply embedded cognitive frameworks regarding what defines masculine and feminine.

WHAT IS A STEREOTYPE?
A stereotype is a fixed belief or image of a certain type of person or thing. To deal with many complex things and people in life, people form stereotypes or rely on the stereotypes of their culture. Yet, this simplified image doesn't have the desired effect because it doesn't take into account the differences within that group of people or things.

DEFINITION OF GENDER STEREOTYPE
1. According to Wikipedia Gender stereotypes are widely held beliefs about the characteristics and behaviour of women and men.

2. According to another journal by “Economic Inquiry”, stereotyping is the act of assigning to a member of a particular group a characteristic or trait based solely on the individual’s membership in that group (Grossman, 2013). Gender stereotypes are the thoughts that drive gender roles, roles such as women’s expectations in the home and men’s expectations outside of the home. Although there is always the atypical family who does not adhere to gender stereotypes and roles as a whole stereotypes are generalised in society.

3. Gender stereotypes are fixed and oversimplified beliefs about what is normal and appropriate for people in a certain culture based on their biological sex.

FEMALE GENDER STEREOTYPES
Gender stereotypes begin the second a baby’s gender is found out. As soon as we find out it’s a girl, we immediately begin decorating a pink nursery filled with soft decor and butterflies and flowers. We assume that our daughter will be very “girly” and fill her closet with beautiful dresses and her toy box with tea sets and dolls. What this is essentially doing, even though many parents don’t realise it, is setting our child up to be the “perfect lady,” and teaching her how to be the stereotypical woman. We are teaching her that girls are supposed to wear dresses, serve food, and take care of babies; the biggest and most common stereotype put on women.

Have you ever watched a little girl playing house? Even as young as five or six, she is well aware that she is supposed to stay home with the baby while the husband goes to work, and she has dinner ready when he gets home. Here is another stereotype; women stay at home while men go to work. While there are a million gender stereotypes about females, these are definitely the biggest, and the most debated by feminists of today. Some other stereotypes include:
  • Women are supposed to have “clean jobs” such as secretaries, teachers, and librarians
  • Women are not good at maths
  • Women are nurses, not doctors
  • Women are not as strong as men
  • Women are supposed to make less money than men
  • Women don’t need to go to college
  • Women don’t play sports
  • Women are not politicians
  • Women are quieter than men and not meant to speak out
  • Women are supposed to be submissive and do as they are told
  • Women are supposed to cook and do housework
  • Women are responsible for raising children
  • Women do not have technical skills and are not good at “hands on” projects such as car repairs
  • Women are meant to be the damsel in distress; never the hero
  • Women are supposed to look pretty and be looked at
  • Women love to sing and dance
  • Women do not play video games
  • Women are never in charge
  • Women should be secretaries
  • Women should be "ladylike."

MALE GENDER STEREOTYPES
Stereotyping is no different when it’s found out that a boy is on the way. The nursery is decked out in blue, his closet is filled with tiny jeans, polo shirts, and boots, and the theme is usually something like jungle animals or dinosaurs; something tough. Boys’ toys consist of trucks, dinosaurs, action figures, and video games. From the beginning boys are taught to be tough, to be protective, and to defend themselves. Boys are taught that daddy’s go to work and mommy's  stay at home; from their point of view, boys have fun and girls do all the work.

Are you surprised to hear that most parents admit that they do not teach their sons how to do chores such as washing dishes or folding laundry? Instead, they teach them to take out the trash and mow the lawn; from the get-go boys are made to think that certain household chores are “women’s work.” This is a major stereotype, Men are supposed to do the dirty jobs and anything that requires muscle, they are also supposed to go to work and provide for the family. Little boys see this and the stereotype continues. Other gender stereotypes that describe all men are:

  • All men enjoy working on cars
  • Men are not nurses, they are doctors
  • Men do “dirty jobs” such as construction and mechanics; they are not secretaries, teachers, or cosmetologists
  • Men do not do housework and they are not responsible for taking care of children
  • Men play video games
  • Men play sports
  • Men enjoy outdoor activities such as camping, fishing, and hiking
  • Men are in charge; they are always at the top
  • As husbands, men tell their wives what to do
  • Men are good at mathematics
  • It is always men who work in science, engineering, and other technical fields
  • Men do not cook, sew, or do crafts or cooking
  • Men should be macho.
  • Men shouldn't kindergarten teachers.


WHAT'S WRONG WITH GENDER STEREOTYPES?
Gender stereotypes aren't always wrong in the sense that sometimes people do behave the way society or their culture expects them to behave. However, there is no reason why you should have to conform to the expectations of others based on your biological sex alone.

If you're a woman and want to be the CEO of a major corporation, you won't get far by putting too much stock in gender stereotypes that a man should be in charge. If you're a man and want to be a nurse-midwife, you may have to fight gender stereotypes that say you should be a doctor or stay out of the delivery room. In this way, gender stereotypes deprive society of workers who would otherwise thrive in a non-traditional job and contribute greatly to society.

The idea that women are weaker and must be protected creates a world where women are discouraged from taking on exciting challenges. The belief that true men don't show emotion creates a world where men aren't able to form deep, personal relationships. Thus, gender stereotypes can hold people back from their true potential.

Gender stereotypes also make the bad behaviour more acceptable at times. Consider the old saying, "boys will be boys." This attitude makes it more acceptable for men to be aggressive, violent, or unfaithful to their wives.
The stereotype that women need men to survive may sometimes encourage women to allow men to do all the work for them rather than getting out in the world and doing their share to support the family.

GENDER SOCIALIZATION
Gender socialization is the process through which children learn about the social expectations, attitudes and behaviours typically associated with boys and girls.

SOCIALIZING AGENTS OF GENDER ROLES
There are various socializing agent that underpin the gender roles in the society. There agents include: parents, teachers, peers, media (movies, television, music) books, and religion— they teach and reinforce gender roles throughout the lifespan, parents probably exert the greatest influence, especially on their very young offspring.

  1. Parents
  2. teachers
  3. peers
  4. media- movies and television music
  5. books
  6. religion
1. PARENTS
As mentioned previously, sociologists know that adults perceive and treat female and male infants differently. Parents probably do this in response to their having been recipients of gender expectations as young children. Traditionally, fathers teach boys how to fix and build things; mothers teach girls how to cook, sew, and keep house clean. Children then receive parental approval when they conform to gender expectations and adopt culturally accepted and conventional roles. Gender roles adopted during childhood normally continue into adulthood. At home, people have certain presumptions about decision‐making, child‐rearing practices, financial responsibilities, and so forth. Gender roles are realities in almost everyone life.
Gender roles in the past have been deciding factors in the type of work someone can do. For example most women didn't work and were expected to take care of the family from the home while men farmed or worked in industrial settings.
Society has set a lot of duties for men and women alike and it’s even painful to see that in a children’s textbook, the duties of a wife are “to cook for the family and clean the house.” It’s a huge shame. We need to wake up and stop this nonsense.

Firstly, I will backed it up with 4 QUOTES/ powerful statements made by FEMINIST/WRITER CHIMAMANDA NGOZI ADICHIE in terms of cooking and domestics chores.

FIRST BACK UP
According to a popular literature book """. Dear ijeawele or A feminist manifesto in fifteen suggestions   """
 FEMINIST Adichie Chimanmanda Ngozi she says in her book:

From the third suggestion


""""'' There have been recent Nigerian social media debates about women and cooking, about how wives have to cook for husbands. It is funny, in the way that sad things are funny, that we are still talking about cooking as some kind of marriageability test for women. The knowledge of cooking does not come pre-installed in a vagina. Cooking is learned. Cooking – domestic work in general – is a life skill that both men and women should ideally have. It is also a skill that can elude both men and women   """""""""

SECOND BACKUP
According to a popular literature book "" we should all be feminist """
FEMINIST Adichie Chimanmanda Ngozi she says in her book:


""""""""""    I know a woman who hates domestic work, but she pretends that she likes it, because  she has been taught that to be “good wife material,” she has to be—to use that Nigerian word—homely. And then she got married. And her husband’s family began to complain that she had changed. Actually, she had not changed. She just got tired of pretending to be what she was not. The problem with gender is that it prescribes how we should be rather than recognizing how we are. Imagine how much happier we would be, how much freer to be our true individual selves, if we didn’t have the weight of gender expectations.

 Boys and girls are undeniably different biologically, but socialization exaggerates the differences. And then starts a self-fulfilling process. “””””””””

THIRD BACKUP
According to a popular literature book "" we should all be feminist """
FEMINIST Adichie Chimanmanda Ngozi she says in her book:


"""""""""“Take cooking, for example. Today, women in general are more likely to do housework than men— cooking and cleaning.  But why is that? Is it because women are born with a cooking gene or because over years they have been socialized to see cooking as their role? I was going to say that perhaps women are born with a cooking gene until I remembered that the majority of famous cooks in the world—who are given the fancy title of “chef”—are men. But what matters even more is our attitude, our mind-set. What if, in raising children, we focus on ability instead of gender? What if we focus on interest instead of gender? I know a family who has a son and a daughter, a year apart in age, both brilliant at school. When the boy is hungry, the parents say to the girl, Go and cook Indomie noodles for your brother. The girl doesn’t like to cook Indomie, but she is a girl and she has to. What if the parents, from the beginning, taught both children to cook Indomie? Cooking, by the way, is a useful and practical life skill for a boy to have—I’ve never thought it made much sense to leave such a crucial thing—the ability to nourish oneself —in the hands of others.   """""""''''''''''''''


FOURTH BACK UP
According to a popular literature book "" we should all be feminist ""
FEMINIST Adichie Chimanmanda Ngozi she says in her book:

””””””” The knowledge of cooking does not come pre-installed in a vagina. Cooking is learned.

 Cooking – domestic work in general – is a life skill that both men and women should ideally have. It is also a skill that can elude both men and women. We also need to question the idea of marriage as a prize to women, because that is the basis of these absurd debates. If we stop conditioning women to see marriage as a prize, then we would have fewer debates about a wife needing to cook in order to earn that prize. It is interesting to me how early the world starts to invent gender roles. ””””””””””
FIFTH BACK UP

According to a popular literature book "" we should all be feminist ""
FEMINIST Adichie Chimanmanda Ngozi she says in her book:
“”””””””” Boys and girls are undeniably different biologically, but socialization exaggerates the differences. And then starts a self-fulfilling process. Take cooking, for example. Today, women in general are more likely to do housework than men—cooking and cleaning. But why is that? Is it because women are born with a cooking gene or because over years they have been socialized to see cooking as their role? I was going to say that perhaps women are born with a cooking gene until I remembered that the majority of famous cooks in the world—who are given the fancy title of “chef”—are men.  “””””””””
SIXTH BACK UP

According to a popular literature book """. Dear ijeawele or A feminist manifesto in fifteen suggestions   """
 FEMINIST Adichie Chimanmanda Ngozi she says in her book:

From the first suggestion


“”””””””” I have no interest in the debate about women ‘doing it all’ because it is a debate that assumes that care-giving and domestic work are singularly female domains, an idea that I strongly reject. Domestic work and care-giving should be gender-neutral, and we should be asking not whether a woman can ‘do it all’ but how best to support parents in their dual duties at work and at home. “””””””””

SEVENTH BACK UP

According to a popular literature book ""“Dear ijeawele or A feminist manifesto in fifteen suggestions   """
 FEMINIST Adichie Chimanmanda Ngozi she says in her book:

From the Sixth Suggestion



“”””””””” Teach her to ask questions like: what are the things that women cannot do because they are women? Do these things have cultural prestige? If so, why are only men allowed to do the things that have cultural prestige? It is helpful, I think, to use everyday examples. Remember that television commercial we watched in Lagos, where a man cooks and his claps for him? True progress is when she doesn’t clap for him but just reacts to the food itself – she can either praise the food or not praise the food, just as he can praise hers or not praise hers, but what is sexist is that she is praising the fact that he has undertaken the act of cooking, praise that implies that cooking is an inherently female act. “””””””””


EIGHTH BACK UP
According to a popular literature book ""“Dear ijeawele or A feminist manifesto in fifteen suggestions   """
 FEMINIST Adichie Chimanmanda Ngozi she says in her book:

From the Tenth Suggestion


“”””””””” She can counter ideas about static ‘gender roles’ if she has been empowered by her familiarity with alternatives. If she knows an uncle who cooks well – and does so with indifference – then she can smile and brush off the foolishness of somebody who claims that ‘women must do the cooking. “””””””””



This should give men a little rethink about cooking and house/domestic chores. Which I personally are meant to be shared equally between the two partners. As for me (UNIQUE RESEARCHING) cooking, domestic chores- cleaning sweeping, mopping are supposed to be shared equally. Cooking was never meant for women. Anybody can cook whether male or female.

2. TEACHERS
Teachers are major contexts for socialization agent/ gender socialization because children spend large amounts of time engaged with teachers in such settings.
For nearly all psychological traits on which young boys and girls differ (e.g., reading ability, play preferences) teachers can magnify or diminish gender differences by providing environments that promote within-gender similarity and between-gender differences. Teachers shape children’s gender attitudes and, in turn, their gender differences, gender recognition and gender behaviour.
How do teachers contribute to gender differences?
Many educators endorse cultural gender stereotypes (e.g., maths is easier for boys than girls) and prejudices (show preferences for same-gender individuals). These biases can be explicit (e.g., consciously endorsed) or implicit (unconsciously held), and they influence teachers’ classroom behaviours.
Teachers’ gender stereotypes and prejudices shape their classroom behaviour in at least three ways.
First, teachers often model gender stereotypic behaviour. Female teachers, for example, often exhibit “maths phobic” behaviours.
Second, teachers often exhibit differential expectations for males and females (e.g., creating “dress-up” and “construction” centres and accepting—even facilitating—gender-differentiated use).
Third, teachers facilitate children’s gender biases by marking gender as important by using it to label and organize students.

PROBLEMS OF GENDER ROLES/STEREOTYPING UNDERPINNED BY TEACHERS
Teachers directly influence gender differentiation by providing boys and girls with different learning opportunities and feedback. Teachers and peers are also sources of learning about gender. Teachers present curricular materials that contain gender stereotypic behaviour, and this school children copy and exhibit gender stereotypic attitudes and behaviour towards each other. Children internalize gender stereotypes and prejudices, which in turn guide their own preferences and behaviours.

HOW TO SOLVE GENDER ROLES/STEREOTYPING UNDERPINNED BY TEACHERS
Thus, most teachers create and maintain—rather than counteract—traditional gender stereotypes, biases, and differences. However, educators who adopt a commitment to gender egalitarianism and thus promote cross-gender interaction, expose pupils to counter-stereotypic models, and discuss and teach challenges to gender stereotyping and harassment optimize their pupils’ developmental outcomes.

Firstly, I will backed it up with a powerful statements made by FEMINIST/WRITER CHIMAMANDA NGOZI ADICHIE  about the gender roles in schools which is been underpinned by teachers

 BACK UP
According to a popular literature book "" we should all be feminist """
 FEMINIST Adichie Chimanmanda Ngozi she says in her book:


""""""""""    Now here’s a story from my childhood: When I was in primary school in Nsukka, a university town in southeastern Nigeria, my teacher said at the beginning of term that she would give the class a test and whoever got the highest score would be the class monitor. Class monitor was a big deal. If you were class monitor, you would write down the names of noisemakers each day, which was heady enough power on its own, but my teacher would also give you a cane to hold in your hand while you walked around and patrolled the class for noise makers. Of course you were not allowed to actually use the cane. But it was an exciting prospect for the nine-year-old me. I very much wanted to be class monitor. And I got the highest score on the test.  Then, to my surprise, my teacher said the monitor had to be a boy. She had forgotten to make that clear earlier; she assumed it was obvious. A boy had the second-highest score on the test. And he would be monitor. What was even more interesting is that this boy was a sweet, gentle soul who had no interest in patrolling the class with a stick. While I was full of ambition to do so. But I was female and he was male and he became class monitor. I have never forgotten that incident. If we do something over and over, it becomes normal. If we see the same thing over and over, it becomes normal. If only boys are made class monitor, then at some point we will all think, even if unconsciously, that the class monitor has to be a boy. If we keep seeing only men as heads of corporations, it starts to seem “natural” that only men should be heads of corporations.      “””””””””””””””

CONCLUSIONS
Teacher are important contexts for the socialization of young children’s gender attitudes and behaviour. Unfortunately, teachers receive relatively little training in recognizing and combating gender stereotypes and prejudices—their own and others—and, as a consequence, teachers often model, expect, reinforce, and lay the foundation for gender differentiation among their pupils.

3. PEERS
Peers are also important contexts for the socialization of young children’s gender attitudes and behaviour.

How do peers contribute to gender differences?
Like teachers, peers contribute to the socialization of gender difference via multiple pathways. Upon entering school, children encounter large numbers of peers, many of whom model traditional gender behaviour, producing and reinforcing the content of gender stereotypes/norms.
In addition, schools are characterized by gender segregation. When many peers are available, children tend to select same-sex playmates. Children’s gender segregation, in turn, affects their play experiences, leading them to spend more time in stereotypic play. Furthermore, gender segregation predicts children’s future conformity to gender stereotypes.  Study shows that, as the amount of time that children played with same-sex peers increased, children’s own behaviour became more gender stereotypic.
Peers also contribute to gender differentiation by teaching their classmates stereotypes (e.g., “Short hair is for boys not girls”) and punishing them for failing to conform to stereotypes via verbal harassment and physical aggression.
In addition, more work is needed to identify effective means to prevent and minimize gender biased attitudes and behaviour. In conclusion, many of the socialization processes that lead to gender differentiated outcomes, includes gender segregation.

4. MEDIA
Media has assumed a significant role in the nations of the world in that it not only allows extensive networking but also brings nations closer together by easy dissemination of news and opinions. As with all forms of media, messages perpetrated through media can have good and bad influences on society and youngsters in particular. Given that more women than men use social media, it is but logical to suppose that this has a sizeable impact, both good and bad, on gender matters.

Commercials that appear in social networking sites, as with advertisements in all other forms of media, can be a source of gender stereotyping. Women are more often presented in commercials involving cosmetic and domestic products while adverts for men focus on cars, business products or investments. Another important distinction is that adverts show entire figures of women (objectifying the female body) and close-up shots for men (evoking positive associations).

Another area where media applies is in social networking sites (Instagram, Facebook) which shows a significant gender difference in the way users, especially youngsters, present themselves. Adolescent girls and boys differ in the types of content they post to their profiles; girls reportedly post “cute” pictures, either of themselves or random, while boys were more likely to share pictures and comments that they described as self-promoting and often containing sexual content or references to alcohol. Such behavior promote the cultural gender stereotypes and media portrayals of the woman as a “commodity” and men as the strong and stable person.

Firstly, I will backed it up with a powerful statement made by FEMINIST/WRITER/ CHIMAMANDA NGOZI ADICHIE where she mentioned about the sexualisation of girls on media (marketing strategy )
Here is a backup to that statement of yours from our own popular Nigeria feminist: CHIMAMANDA NGOZI ADICHIE
Here is an interview with her.

For further reading here is the link to convince you.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/qz.com/quartzy/1133732/chimamanda-ngozi-adichie-talks-about-feminism-and-raising-her-daughter-in-a-gendered-world/amp/

Here is the question that was asked her about raising a girl child.
Lauren Alix Brown:  So in terms of teaching people how to be feminists, has raising a girl changed or challenged any of your suggestions for how to raise a feminist?

CHIMAMANDA NGOZI ADICHIE :  It hasn’t challenged anything, it’s just that it’s made me realize how difficult it is. Because I think I felt that. I’m only just realizing that sometimes it feels like the universe is conspiring against me. Because I am trying to push against ideas and norms that are so ingrained that they can start to feel invisible. And it’s little things. I’m just amazed at how everything is gendered—diapers. I mean baby bodies are the same. But now there are diapers where there’s the girl picture. Some months ago we wanted to get the overnight diapers for Baby because she was starting to wake up quite wet. So we wanted to get the diapers marketed as overnight because they absorb more and there’s girls and boys. I remember saying to my husband, who’s a physician, I said, “Do you think maybe the boys’ has a little thing to hold the penis? I mean, why are they different? He had a good laugh and he’s like, “It’s just marketing.” I remember thinking, there has to be a reason for this because it made no sense to me. But there’s no reason for it. Also, I’m just realizing how early the sexualization of girls starts. Four-year-old girls’ dresses. I find many of them disturbing. It’s sort of like four year olds’ now have to be mini women. I’m noticing these things a lot more just because of my child. And children’s books and cartoons. It does sometimes feel that there’s a conspiracy of the universe. But at the same time, I’m utterly undeterred.

It requires pushing back, but I’m going to push back. I want to equip her with the tools. I’m hoping that she grows up to be the girl who sort of mocks these things—who gets it and who mocks them. That’s my hope,  that would be ideal for me.

5. BOOKS
Book is also a major factor that promote gender roles or stereotypes in the society. The last time I check books are made to “expand”, “open” or “broaden” our “minds”, “hearts”, “horizons” or “imaginations”. Sad this days, that many books for children do just the opposite; they peddle stereotypes, close minds to new experiences and offer limited horizons.
Children are individuals. They should feel free to choose their own interests, not feel that they’re supposed to like or reject certain things. And anyone who chooses a gift based only on a child’s gender is making some massive, and quite likely wrong, assumptions about what that child may like.

Firstly, I will backed it up with some QUOTES/ powerful statements made by FEMINIST/WRITER CHIMAMANDA NGOZI ADICHIE in terms of  children interest and ability.

First Backed up
According to a popular literature book "" we should all be feminist """
FEMINIST Adichie Chimanmanda Ngozi she says in her book:


"""" But what matters even more is our attitude, our mind-set. What if, in raising children, we focus on ability instead of gender? What if we focus on interest instead of gender?  """""


Typical themes for boys include robots, dinosaurs, astronauts, vehicles, football and pirates; while girls are allowed princesses, fairies, make-up, flowers, butterflies, fashion and cute animals. There’s nothing wrong with these things, but it is wrong when they are repeatedly presented as only for one gender. Girls can like pirates and adventure, boys can like magic and dressing up. Why tell them otherwise? Why tell them that boys and girls should like different things that their interests never overlap.
Separate cookery books seem particularly ridiculous; the suggestion being that boys eat pizza and burgers, while girls prefer pink iced cupcakes.
In conclusion it’s accepted to practice target products at one segment of the population, but when it comes to children’s books it’s morally questionable to promote gender stereotypes. Children take messages about what’s “for girls” or “for boys” seriously.
Society has set a lot of duties for men and women alike and it’s even painful to see that in a children’s textbook, the duties of a wife are “to cook for the family and clean the house.” It’s a huge shame. We need to wake up and stop this nonsense.

Firstly, I will backed it up with a powerful statement made by FEMINIST/WRITER/ CHIMAMANDA NGOZI ADICHIE where she mentioned about the sexualisation of girls on books and cartoons.

This is just a little excerpt I brought out from her reply based on children books to back up my above statement (Society has set a lot of duties for men and women alike and it’s even painful to see that in a children’s textbook, the duties of a wife are “to cook for the family and clean the house.” It’s a huge shame. We need to wake up and stop this nonsense.)

Here is a backup to that statement of yours from our own popular Nigeria feminist: CHIMAMANDA NGOZI ADICHIE

Here is an interview with her.

For further reading here is the link to convince you.
https://www.google.com/amp/s/qz.com/quartzy/1133732/chimamanda-ngozi-adichie-talks-about-feminism-and-raising-her-daughter-in-a-gendered-world/amp/

Here is the question that was asked her about raising a girl child.

Lauren Alix Brown:  So in terms of teaching people how to be feminists, has raising a girl changed or challenged any of your suggestions for how to raise a feminist?


CHIMAMANDA NGOZI ADICHIE : :  It hasn’t challenged anything, it’s just that it’s made me realize how difficult it is. Because I think I felt that. I’m only just realizing that sometimes it feels like the universe is conspiring against me. Because I am trying to push against ideas and norms that are so ingrained that they can start to feel invisible. And it’s little things. I’m just amazed at how everything is gendered.  Also, I’m just realizing how early the sexualization of girls starts. Four-year-old girls’ dresses. I find many of them disturbing. It’s sort of like four year olds’ now have to be mini women. I’m noticing these things a lot more just because of my child. And children’s books and cartoons. It does sometimes feel that there’s a conspiracy of the universe. But at the same time, I’m utterly undeterred. It requires pushing back, but I’m going to push back. I want to equip her with the tools. I’m hoping that she grows up to be the girl who sort of mocks these things—who gets it and who mocks them. That’s my hope, that would be ideal for me.

6. RELIGION
Gender stereotypes and gender roles have been an integral part of history. Stereotypical thoughts that gender stereotypes go all the way back to Adam and Eve, the idea that Eve was made for Adam, and the instance that Eve persuaded Adam to eat the fruit, it all helps for many people to justify gender roles and stereotypes. In modern culture within the past hundred years there has been a movement to eliminate unequal or oppressive gender stereotypes and therefore the roles that are associated with those stereotypes.
Women are significantly more likely to attend church than men and are also much more likely to self-report as being religious. For example, Church census records show that in 2005 congregations were divided 57% women and 43% men (and this gender division had remained quite consistent for some years). A 1990 opinion poll for that 84% of women believed in God compared with 64% of men.

Here are a number of reasons for this in which religious underpinned gender roles and stereotype:


Firstly, from a traditional view, women’s expresses some default role (nurturing and caring) which is a good match with religious faith. Raising children in their religion and taking them to church was seen as part of that role. Also women’s proximity to childbirth, childrearing, caring for the sick and caring for the elderly all, it is suggested, gives them reason to pray and seek spiritual support and guidance. Furthermore, women traditionally having been marginalised in domestic roles gave them more time to devote to religion whereas men had little time away from work and therefore were more likely to spend it on leisure pursuits.

Secondly, men and women are socialised differently and women are socialised to be more compliant and passive. Religion – particularly traditional, established religions – expects compliance, conformity and passivity from its congregation. Men are socialised to be more dominant and therefore, while they take leadership positions in churches (indeed in many churches and religions they are the only ones permitted to take leadership positions). looking at the different roles of women and men  in the church -men are to fill the roles of pastors, such as, head pastor and elder of the church while women should primarily work with the children, so they would work in the nursery or as children's pastor.


 Lastly, Woodhead (2005) has suggested that churches have become feminised. She argues that secularisation has had a bigger impact on men than women. This is echoed by Bruce, who suggests that as religion becomes more a private matter than a public one, it appeals more to women, particularly women who perform a domestic role and look after children. Some feminists, such as Simone De Beauvoir, argue that women are sold a false ideology by religious teachings which encourages them to believe that they will get their reward in heaven and should therefore be committed and devoted to their faith.

Evaluating The View That Women Are More Religious Than Men
Women would appear to attend church more than men, but that does not necessarily mean that they are more likely to believe in their chosen faith. Women may attend church for other reasons (form and keep friendships, support with their families, etc.) and men who do not attend church may still have a religious faith.
Similarly, according to a survey that was conducted towards religious practises by women and men, women are more likely to respond to surveys that they have a religious belief and affiliation than men. Perhaps, because of the historic association between faith and women, they see it is as socially desirable and therefore answer surveys accordingly. Young men, in particular, may have the opposite response and worry that religious faith is not socially desirable or might be seen as “uncool”.

EFFECT OF GENDER ROLES ON CHILDREN
This idea starts in early childhood, reinforced by schools, parents and media. Interviews with children and their guardians revealed that the onset of puberty triggers increased reinforcement of pressure to conform to sex-typed identities and roles.

1. EFFECT ON THE GIRLS
For girls, those risks can include child marriage, pregnancy, leaving school early, sexually transmitted infections, and exposure to violence, mobility restricted (Parents also tell girls not to go out alone, parents tell this girls not to go out at night because they had grown breasts, Parental fear for girls' safety and family status is a common rationale for restricting girls' movements) and access to education restricted (This restricted mobility of girls to education may lead to restricted knowledge and power and socialization with the public or people around and also loss of prestige especially among poor families).

As they enter adolescence, silence and modesty are instilled as desirable values, as girls are pressed to behave in a "modest fashion. They are taught on how to take care in selecting their clothing or risk being seen as "too easy" or "prostitutes," making them potential victims of violence.
Once puberty hits, it's all about (preventing) sex: Messages such as "don't sit like that," "don't wear that", “boys will ruin your future”, and “Cover up“and “don't go out” reinforce the gender division of power and promote sex segregation with the aim of preserving a girl's sexuality. In some society, once a girl reaches puberty, "her family is concerned with protecting her chastity, preventing the stigma from losing family honour. Due to the idea of holding family honour the girls are not supposed to look at or talk to boys, "as this might raise suspicion that they were initiating romantic relationships."  As puberty deepens, the idea sexuality come in to place turning girls into potential targets from the boys.

During the process of menstruation and breast development, negative societal attitudes further contribute to girls' sense of self-objectification, body shame and restricted in sexual decision-making. The onset of menstruation appeared to constitute a major concern for parents as they are afraid that the girls we involve in early romantic and sexual engagements and subsequent risk of adolescent pregnancy. As a consequence of adult perceptions of girls' “sexual vulnerability girls'” mobility is far more restricted than it is for boys.

Firstly, I will backed it up with  4 QUOTES/ powerful statements made by FEMINIST/WRITER CHIMAMANDA NGOZI ADICHIE in terms homely character possesses by  girls which act as an effect of gender roles.

FIRST BACKED UP
According to a popular literature book "" we should all be feminist """
FEMINIST Adichie Chimanmanda Ngozi she says in her book:


"""  We police girls. We praise girls for virginity but we don’t praise boys for virginity (and it makes me wonder how exactly this is supposed to work out, since the loss of virginity is a process that usually involves two people of opposite genders).     """ 


SECOND BACKED UP
According to a popular literature book "" we should all be feminist """
FEMINIST Adichie Chimanmanda Ngozi she says in her book:


""""""""""   We teach females that in relationships, compromise is what a woman is more likely to do. We raise girls to see each other as competitors—not for jobs or accomplishments, which in my opinion can be a good thing—but for the attention of men. We teach girls that they cannot be sexual beings in the way boys are. If we have sons, we don’t mind knowing about their girlfriends. But our daughters’ boyfriends? God forbid. (But we of course expect them to bring home the perfect man for marriage when the time is right.)  """"""""""

THIRD BACKED UP
According to a popular literature book "" we should all be feminist """
FEMINIST Adichie Chimanmanda Ngozi she says in her book:


"""""""""" We teach girls shame. Close your legs. Cover yourself. We make them feel as though by being born female, they are already guilty of something. And so girls grow up to be women who cannot say they have desire. Who silence themselves. Who cannot say what they truly think. Who have turned pretence into an art form.  """"""""""

FOURTH BACKED UP

According to a popular literature book "" we should all be feminist """
FEMINIST Adichie Chimanmanda Ngozi she says in her book:


"""""""""“And then we do a much greater disservice to girls, because we raise them to cater to the fragile egos of males. We teach girls to shrink themselves, to make themselves smaller. We say to girls: You can have ambition, but not too much. You should aim to be successful but not too successful, otherwise you will threaten the man. If you are the breadwinner in your relationship with a man, pretend that you are not, especially in public, otherwise you will emasculate him. But what if we question the premise itself: Why should a woman’s success be a threat to a man? What if we decide to simply dispose of that word—and I don’t know if there is an English word I dislike more than this—emasculation""""""""""


FIFTH BACK UP
According to a popular literature book """. Dear ijeawele or A feminist manifesto in fifteen suggestions   """
 FEMINIST Adichie Chimanmanda Ngozi she says in her book:

From the Twelfth Suggestion


"""""""""“

1. Talk to her about sex, and start early. Remember that seminar we went to in class where we were supposed to be taught about ‘sexuality’ but instead we listened to vague semi threats about how ‘talking to boys’ would end up with us being pregnant and disgraced? I remember that hall and that seminar as a place filled with shame. Ugly shame. The particular brand of shame that has to do with being female. With her, don’t pretend that sex is merely a controlled act of reproduction. Or an ‘only in marriage’ act, because that is disingenuous.

2.  And speaking of shame – never, ever link sexuality and shame. Or nakedness and shame. Do not ever make ‘virginity’ a focus. Every conversation about virginity becomes a conversation about shame. Teach her to reject the linking of shame and female biology. Why were we raised to speak in low tones about periods? To be filled with shame if our menstrual blood happened to stain our skirt? Periods are nothing to be ashamed of. Periods are normal and natural, and the human species would not be here if periods did not exist. I remember a man who said a period was like shit. Well, sacred shit, I told him, because you wouldn’t be here if periods didn’t happen.            """""""""

SIXTH BACK UP
I will backed it up with a powerful statement made by FEMINIST/WRITER/ CHIMAMANDA NGOZI ADICHIE where she mentioned ““her personal view on chivalry””

For further reading here is the link to convince you:


She said:  “I think just like holding the door shouldn’t be gender because we should open the door for every one. I hold the door for men and women. I think the idea of sort of holding the door for a woman because she is a woman, I have trouble with, I’m quite happy for people to hold the door for me i hope they are not doing for the sort of idea of chivalry because chivalry is the idea of women are somehow weak and need protecting but we know that there many women who are stronger than men”



2. EFFECT ON THE BOYS

Boys suffer, too, from increased risk of substance abuse, suicide and shorter life expectancy than women, must act strong and bold (Conversely, "boys who 'act like girls' are generally not granted the same social acceptance because of the lower power or prestige associated with femininity traits and behaviors.") -- Especially if they try to challenge masculine norms. Puberty deepens when it comes to sexuality, turning boys into predators on girls. Boys are given the freedom to go out and go as they pleased to pursue education and other opportunities. Despite the freedom and benefits conferred upon them, boys are still perceived as a danger to girls because of their vulnerability -- a bias with negative impacts for both genders.

Firstly, I will backed it up with  2 QUOTES/ powerful statements made by FEMINIST/WRITER CHIMAMANDA NGOZI ADICHIE in terms homely character possesses by boys which act as an effect of gender roles

FIRST BACKED UP
According to a popular literature book "" we should all be feminist """
FEMINIST Adichie Chimanmanda Ngozi she says in her book:


""""""""""   We do a great disservice to boys in how we raise them. We stife the humanity of boys. We define masculinity in a very narrow way. Masculinity is a hard, small cage, and we put boys inside this cage. We teach boys to be afraid of fear, of weakness, of vulnerability. We teach them to mask their true selves, because they have to be, in Nigerian-speak—a hard man. """"""""""

SECOND BACKED UP
According to a popular literature book "" we should all be feminist """
FEMINIST Adichie Chimanmanda Ngozi she says in her book:


"""""""""" In secondary school, a boy and a girl go out, both of them teenagers with meager pocket money. Yet the boy is expected to pay the bills, always, to prove his masculinity. (And we wonder why boys are more likely to steal money from their parents.) What if both boys and girls were raised not to link masculinity and money? What if their attitude was not “the boy has to pay,” but rather, “whoever has more should pay.” Of course, because of their historical advantage, it is mostly men who will have more today. But if we start raising children differently, then in fifty years, in a hundred years, boys will no longer have the pressure of proving their masculinity by material means. But by far the worst thing we do to males—by making them feel they have to be hard —is that we leave them with very fragile egos. The harder a man feels compelled to be, the weaker his ego is. """"""""""

THIRD BACK UP

I will backed it up with a powerful statement made by FEMINIST/WRITER/ CHIMAMANDA NGOZI ADICHIE where she mentioned “""" why men have a higher rate of dying by suicide. """""""

For further reading here is the link to convince you.

https://m.guardian.ng/features/how-patriarchy-could-be-spiking-rate-of-suicide-among-men/
https://dailypost.ng/2018/09/12/men-die-suicide-chimamanda-adichie/

Here is her speech:


She said: “Both men and women suffer from the illnesses that lead to suicide but it is men that have a much higher rate of dying by suicide.
“Why? Because men are socialized to suppress so many human parts of themselves, men are socialized not to ask for help, men are socialized to be afraid of fear, men are socialized not to show vulnerability.

“From the moment we tell a little boy that ‘boys don’t cry’ or we tell a hurting teenager to ‘man up’ we are creating an adult man who will be cheated of the full range of his emotions. So, while men benefit from patriarchy, they also suffer from it.”


WAYS TO COMBAT/OVERCOME GENDER ROLES



1. Implementation Of Educational Policy

Educational policy makers should resist the creation of gender segregated educational contexts (e.g., single-sex schools) and instead seek to enhance co-educational schools’ promotion of gender egalitarian attitudes and behaviour.

 2. Training Of Teachers
Teachers need training to recognise their own explicit (e.g., consciously endorsed)) and implicit biases (unconsciously held) and how these biases affect their classroom behaviours. Additionally, teachers should receive explicit training in confronting children’s biases, so that they reduce peer policing of gender normativity. Teachers should seek educational settings for their students that are gender integrated and that make use of curricula that directly teach about, and challenge, gender bias and inequality.

3. Parents awareness
Parents should set aside traditional gender roles which affect these children, instead they should focus more on the interest, goals and ability of the children than on gender or society roles of both sexes.

4. Emphasize Accomplishment over Physical Attributes
Whether you're thinking of yourself, interacting with your children, or dealing with others, emphasizing accomplishments is much more helpful than focusing on physical attributes. Too often, people put their attention on "being pretty" when speaking to and about girls and too little attention to their capabilities. The same is true of adult women. Focusing on a boy's or men physical strength can be just as harmful, especially if the male isn't as physically strong as the culture expects him to be. However, everyone, no matter who they are or what their physical capabilities might be, can accomplish something. Find that something, whether it's in someone else or yourself, and give it credit it's due.

5. Choose Colours Based On Personal Preferences
The idea that you should choose a specific colour for the sole reason that it the right colour for a person of your biological sex makes no sense. In fact, the colours for boys and girls have changed over the years based on nothing more than the whims of the fashion industry. If you're a male and want to wear a pink shirt, do it unapologetically. If you're a woman and prefer to decorate your home in brown corduroy, do what appeals to you.

6. Learn Skills Based On What Interests You
There was a time when all women were expected to learn skills like sewing, cooking, and childcare first and foremost. Even today, women are often denigrated if they try to learn skills like auto mechanics or electronic repair. On the other hand, a man who spends his free time sewing may be considered less than a man. Whatever skills you want to gain, find someone to learn from them and set to work. You might find that it's harder than you thought, or you might just find your new vocation.

7. Encourage Young Women to Excel In Science and Maths Subjects
There's been a lot of talks lately about getting young women more into the STEM subjects of science, technology, engineering, and maths. The numbers still don't add up. There are still many more young men studying and excelling in STEM courses than young women. Why? Chances are it has nothing to do with the biological capabilities of the students and everything to do with cultural norms for gender. By encouraging your daughter to study STEM subjects, you open up a whole new world to her.



8. Expect Men and Women to Share Fairly In Household Chores

Every couple must make decisions about who will do the household chores, especially those that no one enjoys doing. It's unfair to suggest that women should do all the cooking and cleaning if that's something they don't enjoy doing. It's also unfair to expect that men should do all the yard work if they'd rather contribute in some other way. So, who do the chores no one wants to do? Decide that fairly so that both men and women take a part of the burden.

9. Create Mentoring Programs for Men and Women in Non-Stereotypical Jobs
Being in a job where there are no or few other workers of your gender can be extremely stressful. You may be seen as an outsider. Others may fear you or discredit your contributions. Having support is crucial. A great way to get that support as well as learn how to navigate a difficult work situation is to find a mentor who has been through what you're going through. And, if you want to help change societal norms, help other thrive in non-stereotypical jobs by working to create a mentoring program for others.



10. Acknowledge Both Men's and Women's Contributions to History

Now, the society needs to incorporate more stories of the contributions of women. By telling your children stories of women who helped make history, you empower the girls and help boys understand their value as well. Then, this men and women stereotypes won't colour their view of the past, the present, or the future.

11. Be Friends with People of Both Genders
Friendships between men and women can be just as satisfying as those between women and other women or men and other men. When you choose your friends based on shared beliefs, interests, and activities, you may find that you enjoy spending time with someone not of your gender in a non-sexual way. At the same time, you may come to understand and respect the other gender more.

12. Don't Accept Violence from Anyone Regardless Of Their Gender
Violence is never okay, whether it's a man or a woman who initiates the violence. Never accept violence in any form. "Boys will be boys" is not a good enough explanation for physically hurting someone. Men are not slaves to any preconceived gender expectations. Instead, they must be held to the same high standard of human decency as anyone else.



13. Acknowledge and Help both Women and Men Who Are Victims of Domestic Violence

Both men and women can be the victims of domestic violence. Yet, many people find it hard to get past the gender expectation that men should be able to defend themselves. If a man is a victim of abuse, he deserves the same help in getting out of the abusive relationship as a woman. Help someone who is a victim of domestic violence whether they're a man or a woman.

14. Recognize Men's Needs to Be Parent Figures Too
At one time, children were sent to live with their mothers after a divorce unless the mother didn't want the child or she was openly abusive. That is changing, but equality hasn't been reached yet. Men need to be given opportunities to parent and spend time with their children just as women are given those opportunities. If you're a male and feel you're being shut out of your child's life, there's no reason you should go along with it. If you're a female, you need to make room for your children's father to play a part in their upbringing.

15. Plan Policies to Meet the Needs of Both Women and Men
If you're a member of a government agency, a business executive, or a leader of a community organization, you might have the opportunity to have an impact on eliminating gender stereotypes. When you're creating policies for your organization, simply pay attention to what men and women need and create policies that make it easier for both to fulfil those needs within your organization.

16. Plan Budgets to Take Everyone's Needs into Account
Whether you're making a family budget or planning spending for a large corporation, you need to consider the needs of both the men and women involved. With those needs in mind, create a budget that allows room for both to satisfy their needs, so they can contribute more effectively to the family or organization and have a satisfying life within it.



17. Build Your Self-Esteem Based On Who You Are As A Person.

When you build your self-esteem based on your gender, you limit yourself to only seeing the good in yourself if it reinforces your preconceived notions of what you should be as a man or a woman. Yet, many parts of who you are have nothing at all to do with your biological sex. If you celebrate every good thing about yourself, you'll likely find yourself going well beyond gender stereotypes.

18. Look for Work Opportunities In All Your Areas of Interest, Regardless Of Gender Expectations
Looking for work can be a task for anyone. When you automatically eliminate job opportunities from your search because they don't fit with what you think a man or woman should do, you make the task even more difficult. Instead, look at the full range of job opportunities and allow yourself to consider any job that sounds interesting and within your capabilities.



19. Write Fiction That Promotes Gender Equality

Well-written prose can have a powerful impact on the culture. If you write fiction, whether you write stories, screenplays or novels, you can work to change female stereotypes with each word you write.

20. Allow Time and Space To Care For Others Whether You're A Male or a Female
Caring for others has long been considered a female occupation. It is the women who have been expected to care for children at home, care for children in daycares or kindergartens, and care for elderly or disabled people inside or outside the family. If you're a man, you can choose to take on these roles, too. If you're a business leader, you can make sure your male employees get the personal time they need for caring for others, just as you would for a woman. And, if you're a woman, you can allow and even expect men to share in these duties.

21. Network with Others Who Are Promoting Gender Equality
People in business often do a lot of networking, but if you're only networking with those who want to keep things as they are, you may miss out on opportunities to help overcome stereotypes of women. At least include others who share your intention to make a difference in gender equality within your networking circle.

22. Speak Out Gender Bias
When you or someone else is harmed or held back due to gender bias against them, be prepared to speak out against the practices that caused the damage. Whether the problem is female or male stereotypes, the added attention can help effect change.

23. Don't Put Yourself or Others Down Because Of Gender
Whatever you do, never put yourself down for being the gender that you are. Whether you're a woman or a dude perfect stereotypes, don't exist. Think of yourself as the complex person that you are, because reducing yourself to a stereotypical image may encourage you to devalue yourself in a way that harms you in the long term. Find a way to be happy and proud of who you are, regardless of what other people think you should be due to your gender.




I will like to ask a simple question  for my fellow readers and viewers.
1. What is your own views and contributions on this articles?
2. What was you own experience  of  being a man or a women in a gendered role or stereotypical  society?



3. Do you agree the the society perception about gender role designated to male and female is wrong or right?
Please let me know all your reactions, views and insights in the comment box below!


Written by:
Kogwuonye Patrick Onyeka
Writer/Blogger/Educator/Tutor
University of Benin

Credited to :
1. Women who fight very much to be self independent and to all feminist.
2. To my father and mother ( MR &MRS KOGWUONYE) who inculcated in me the idea of rejecting gender norms and live as a full person.









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