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In Argument Essay

998 words - 4 pages

Gender inequality persists despite the gains women have made over the past five decades with respect to education, employment and political power (Fitzgibbons Shaffer, Malhotra 2011). Women hold only 18.3% of the seats in the United States Congress, and even more startling, women only hold 78 of the 435 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives. Young girls are given dolls and easy bake ovens, as opposed to the erector sets and Legos that young boys are given as adolescents. Young girls are not taught to build or manage like their male counterparts because society expects different behaviors from girls and boys. Young girls are socialized into various gender roles. A gender role is a set of behaviors, attitudes, and personality characteristics expected and encouraged of a person based on his or her sex. The socialization of young girls into gender roles not only perpetuates widely held stereotypes of what it means to be a woman but it also marginalizes the career ambitions and personal aspirations of women.
As a Black male, I understand what it means to be marginalized. Until the election of Barack Obama as the first non-white president of the United States in 2008, black males had no real tangible reason to aspire to reach a career goal so lofty as being the president of the United States. In my industry, it is a lofty goal to become the president of your own record label. Women, however, struggle to reach such heights in their careers. And even when they do so, they are bombarded with ridiculous stereotypes and struggles that seem foreign to me. The resilience of gender inequality may be in part due to stereotypes that portray women and men as innately different (Fitzgibbons Shaffer, Malhotra 2011). Prevailing stereotypes are reinforced by the media’s coverage of women’s issues, women running for elected office, female celebrities, etc. For example, when Hilary Clinton ran for office during the 2008 presidential election, she was criticized for not being “soft” enough, while her male counterparts faced no such criticism. She was lambasted for her wardrobe choice while no one asked Joe Bidden, what designer he’d wear to his next debate. Even, in politics, women are marginalized in such a way that attention is actually given to their physical appearance and emotional vitality as opposed to their ideas and motives.
Research suggests that the various manifestations of sex typing or in society during childhood-by toy and activity preferences do not coherently indicate gender roles given to a young girl (Maccoby 2002). It is important to note, that it is not just about the toys children are given to play with as young girls and boys. Children's participation in cultural routines is an essential element of the socialization process (Corsaro and Eder 1990). The influence of ones parents and their interaction with their society and culture greatly influences how they perceive the gender role associated with their sex (Corsaro and Eder 1990). As a...

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