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Gender Norms - Vidhi Kothawala

Hello everyone! This is Vidhi, and I’m very excited to be a part of the TYO blogger’s team! In today’s blog, I will be talking about the inequality and stereotypes that both genders go through and how we can try to fix these norms. 

Although it has gotten better throughout history, there are still many social, economic, and political inequalities that females face. To start off, the wage gap between men and women still exists, meaning men are getting paid more than women. According to a Pew Research Centre inquiry about an average of hourly earnings of both full and part-timers of the United States in 2018, women get paid 85% of men earn. This means that women would have to work an extra 39 days to make what men earn. Obviously, this is hugely unfair and wrong. As per the World Economic Forum, the wage gap in 2017 between men and women is approximately 68%, globally. To move on, girls also have to face something called the “pink tax,” which is basically regulated towards women’s products to cost more than men’s products even though they are the same or somehow similar. In many countries, things like clothes, hygiene items, toys, etc. all cost a lot more than men’s items. A study by the New York City Office of Consumer Affairs revealed that items for women and girls cost 7% than men’s items on average. “Pink tax” isn’t an actual tax or a law; it’s just something many people have noticed. 

Moreover, women are less likely to be given political positions rather than men. For example, America has yet to elect a female president, as women hold only 20% of the seats in the United States Congress. Even in Canada, less than 35% of seats are held by women, and many other countries have never had a female leader. Not only that, but women are also more likely to be sexually assaulted than men. According to Ontario’s website, 1 in 3 women and 1 in 8 men get sexually assaulted in Canada. As you can see, women are more prone to get assaulted, which is not right. These are only some of the many inequalities towards females, such as domestic violence, human trafficking, early marriage, domestic work, unpaid maternity leaves in many countries, and more. 

Men and boys don’t face many inequalities, but they do face many stereotypes and gender norms. These stereotypes affect their personality traits, domestic behaviors, occupations, and physical appearance. For example, many of them are told to “act like a man” while growing up, which basically means not to act feminine. Acting “feminine” just means being polite, accommodating, nurturing, while acting “masculine” is being bold, aggressive, and durable. This literally doesn’t make any sense! Society has really separated activities and personality traits for boys and girls. Girls are freer to do more things like play sports, dress “masculine,” have a variety of occupations, etc. While boys can’t do “feminine” things because they will get laughed at or bullied for doing such stuff. They would be considered “gay” for painting their nails or wearing girls’ clothing. I believe that these things should be normalized, there shouldn’t be gender-specific things, anyone can do/be whatever they want without being ridiculed or satirized.       

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