Since we were born, society and its stereotypes have often had a huge impact on our lifestyle. I have always been under the hook of gender stereotypes since I can remember.
I think that the most basic form of social stereotypes is gender-clothes “code”. Have you ever wondered why school uniforms are different for boys and girls? Why do girls wear skirts and boys wear suits and ties? Or why are Father’s Day postcards illustrated with a tie or with an expensive watch, and Mother’s Day postcards are filled with cute floral summer dresses and a bright red lipstick?
We are taught that the mum cooks our meals and tidies the house, while our dad cracks his back at work to get us our needs.
We learn that a mother who has her own job, probably neglects her children and needs the help of a nanny. So we should be thankful if our mother is a housewife and loves us enough to sacrifice her life… then we teach our younger daughters, nieces and sisters, to look for a man: a handsome, fascinating, strong and rich man, able to bring us on his mighty arms when we’re tired and able to satisfy our whims.
Therefore, we teach them to be refined, we teach them how to do their makeup and their hair so that boys will look at them and yearn for their attentions. We teach them to be interesting, but not seductive and to be clever but never arrogant. We tell them to laugh at boys’ jokes because they like girls with a good sense of humour.
I think that’s the reason why parents get very angry when a boy calls their daughter an “easy one”, so much effort to raise a future hopeless spinster? No way.
Therefore, they immediately stand up for her pride and confront the guy about this disgusting lack of respect, but when the same boy calls their girl a “dishwasher” and humiliates her in front of his friends, undermining her just for her gender, her pride doesn’t seem to matter that much anymore.
“He’s just a boy, get over it. He wasn’t trying to offend you”
We convince our girls to forgive boys for their silly attitudes and now we’re used to getting over “silly jokes”.
Times have been changing a lot in the past decades for women, and a lot of battles have been won, but still, this isn’t enough.
Because although I am just fourteen I have experienced a lot of sexist episodes on my skin and sometimes I haven’t been able to understand when I was being discriminated for my gender, but just three days ago a guy told me something I don’t think I’ll ever forget.
We were in our online anatomy class talking about what venereal disease we could catch because of an unprotected relationship. I telematically raised my hand and listed some of the venereal disease I have researched about such as syphilis, mononucleosis, clamidia ecc. I would say that I listed around six or five sexually transmitted disease and as I stopped talking, one of my classmates, said: “not to diminish you or something, but you shouldn’t know all of this information. You’re just fourteen. You don’t seem very virgin”
I didn’t reply.
He is just a boy.