The Double Standard Essay

734 words - 3 pages

While examining the question of how my life would be different as the opposite gender, I reflected on the treatment of boys and girls at a young age. I began to question how it affects key elements of their personality and the importance of the expectations that others place in their lives. Often a female child is forced to conform to ideals of femininity and these pressures continue into their adult professional and personal lives. Furthermore, I will exemplify the manner in which, a woman achieving success in a predominately male field, earns accolades disproportionately to those of her male counterpart. There are many factors in whether my life would be different or the same and I will give examples through everyday situations.
In “Being a Man”, by Paul Theroux, the writer notes the way mothers encourage their young daughters to have a coquette attitude and look for approval of their appearance to please adults (45). Expanding on his observation, the boys are encouraged to show what they can do physically, by going outside getting dirty and exploring their surroundings without inhibition. All the while, the girls are dressed prim and proper, as if they were the mother’s porcelain doll, and are reprimanded if they get dirty because dirty isn’t pretty. From the time a child can grasp their first toy boys are given action toys such as cars, dump trucks and tool kits, but god forbid he should grab a doll because their sexuality will come into question. Girls, on the other hand, are given toys intended to influence and develop motherly instincts such as baby dolls, playhouses and nursing kits. These types of pressures and expectations propel a child to take a path that will be acceptable to those around them. In the National Association of Women in Construction Facts Sheet, a survey shows that in 2011 of the 828,000 women working in the construction industry, 679,000 of them were in the professional, management, sales and office sectors. I see this as a clear example of how the majority of women have chosen to conform in their professional pursuits, even if they are in a largely male occupation...

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