The Damage on Forcing Gender onto our Children

We shouldn’t be raised to hate our true selves.

The Damage on Forcing Gender onto our Children

Jennifer Soriano

Soap, toys, and clothes, what do they have in common? Well, they both are separated into 2 categories, one for men and one for women: for example, Dove Men’s extra fresh Bar Soap, and Dove Purely Pampering Coconut Milk & Jasmine Petals Beauty Bar Soap (Yes those are the actual names). It’s the first thing to pop up when you search “men’s bar soap”, and “women’s bar soap” on Target’s website. I believe that gender stereotypes are harmful to people who want to express themselves, and that others keep judging them for not following gender stereotypes are emotionally harmful. Gender-specific items will only harm others by being extremely sexist and giving into stereotypes.

Believing that all girls like pink or all boys like blue is inherently sexist, and I believe that it can have a negative effect on people. Having gendered items is excluding many people. A study done by Ashley Martin, a behavioral scientist, found that certain qualities are associated with a gender. In Martin’s article, it states, “led participants to believe women were more feminine (nurturing, gentle) and men were more masculine (independent, leader-like).” Gendering items has gotten so bad that personality traits are assigned to genders.

The pink tax is also a part of gender stereotypes. The other day I was at Target, specifically the hygiene aisle, and I saw shampoo. The “men’s” shampoo was anywhere from $3.99 to $29.99, while the “women’s” was $5.89 to $126.90. So naturally I went online and searched the price of common house-hold items, unsurprisingly anything targeted towards women was noticeably more expensive. At Target’s men’s Gillette razors are $5.59 – $21.99 and women’s Gillette razors are $5.89 – $22.99.

We need get rid of items that are made for “women” or for “men”, plus if we get rid of it the pink tax will also leave. It’s also more welcoming for people who want to try something new, whether it means finding their sexuality or their gender-identity. We can help create a safe space for men, women, and everyone in-between. Gender stereotypes are something we don’t need, or want.