6. Gender Stereotypes

Gender Stereotypes

This article is not about feminism, this article is about to give the desire and possibilities to every human to develop and change himself freely. This article is a claim to fight against every form of determinism.

Boys are turbulent, brawler, talkative, disordered and they want to show how interesting they are while the girls are more polite, more responsible, more perfectionists, more sensible, harder workers but they have a tendency to coquetry and play on seduction.” Who has never heard this from parents or teachers?

These common remarks give the impression that masculine and feminine behaviours are innate. As the philosopher, Simone de Beauvoir said, “One is not born, but rather becomes a woman”, I will show you that these gendered behaviours are transmitted by our educational systems. And we need to be aware of this in order to make these stereotypes disappear from schools. School is not apart from the society and it is permeable to all the standards of the society, and specifically, to the standards of femininity and masculinity. A study about the content of school’s textbooks revealed that the boys are over-represented compared to girls, that there are more heroes than heroines, that when an adult is represented with children, 7 times out of ten, it’s a woman, the boys are represented outside and the girls inside, the jobs are gendered, the games also, the little boys are presented in situations where they are strong, courageous but negligent, while the girls are pretty, sensitive but fragile. As these books build our imagination since our little childhood, we can easily understand the power of these images printed in our brains. Some other studies show that 80% of the punishments are given to boy pupils. This disproportionate result shows clearly that there is a gender differentiation in school. By questioning boy pupils, the answers they give are surprising. They say that in fact, they are searching for punishment because of the little feeling of adrenaline but also because of the secondary effects obtained. They gain the image of rebels, they become popular and attract more girls! Thus, the punishment system largely participates in gendered behaviour. In school, boys and girls play their gendered partition; Meaning, for the boys to be agitated and noisy. The boys act to look like real little boys and the girls look like real little girls in order to seem normal and not be marginalised. The class, the professors, the parents validate or not these behaviours. This is how we have been taught the way how to behave according to our sex and why we play our “role” according to the common standards of feminity and masculinity.

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