In What Ways Do You Defy Gender Stereotypes?

Society has some pretty well-established gender stereotypes. In what ways do you not match up with those stereotypes?

Gender stereotypes are pervasive, starting with people’s behavior towards infants. Boys are given blue blankets; girls pink. Young boys play with action figures, while girls play with dolls.

These assumptions continue to adulthood. Men like cars and sports, and are emotionally distant. Women, on the other hand, wear dresses and makeup, and tend to be flighty.

Listen to a podcast where Michael and Lee discuss a related question: ‘What gives a person value?’ We also discuss a bonus question: ‘What makes you you?’

Of course, in reality, each and every one of us is an individual, and so we may find ourselves in agreement with all, some, or none of these commonly-held gender expectations.

Are there any ways in which you feel you don’t fit in with conventional gender roles? How so? And what does that difference mean for how you see yourself, and how others in the community might see you? In what ways do you defy gender stereotypes?

Related questions: How are you a non-conformist? How do you think others see you? Individual or society? What role do sports play in our society?


3 thoughts on “In What Ways Do You Defy Gender Stereotypes?”

  1. I fail to wield tools correctly. I could care less about a car’s exterior, much less what’s under the hood. For the most part, professional sports don’t matter to me. And when the house needs professional repairs, Rebecca leads in the decisions and talks with those we pay to make things right.

    I consider myself in touch with my feelings and think emotions should play a significant role in making decisions. (Full rationality is a fiction.)

    I hate the phrase: “Be a MAN!”

  2. I never exhibited the expected behaviors as a girl. I liked trucks instead of dolls, pants instead of dresses, ideas instead of gossip, etc. And I was smarter than most around me in school, including the boys. As you might guess, this made me very unpopular. I had to eventually learn to moderate my language to hide my intellect.

    I never wanted to marry or have kids. Even as a kid, I disliked children. And even in adulthood I feel more comfortable talking with men than women, generally.

    But how much of these preferences was influenced by my family and social dynamics? Women’s values are not valued by society (nor by my father) and I wanted so much to be valued, especially as a third child. Then again, I knew I was a contrarian by inclination, which pushed me away from social acceptance. It was crazy complicated!

    Is it because I was formed in a hormonal balance that was on an outer end of the bell curve? My guess is yes, but not so far outside that I could escape the “biological clock” that triggered in my early thirties (which is why I have 2 kids, but don’t much care about the possibility of grandkids, I think).

    I still have never worn makeup or high heels, and I’m proud of that, though why should this be a source of pride? Except the heels — those are just torture devices.

  3. Like Michael, I have no mechanical aptitude. In high school, I took an interest survey that covered 9 broad occupational areas (clerical, scientific, persuasive, etc.). I scored off the bottom of the chart for boys in mechanical.

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