Gender stereotypes are perpetuated through various means, such as expectations from society or institutions, and the creation of cultural gender norms. In Alice Munroe’s “Boys and Girls” , the protagonist began to realize society’s views of her when her father introduced her to a salesman, while she was working outside as his “new hired hand”, but the salesman replied “I thought it was only a girl” (Munroe 25). Her grandmother would scold her with commands like “Girls keep their knees together when they sit down. and “Girls don’t slam doors like that. ” When a question was asked, her grandmother would answer “That’s none of a girl’s business. ” (Munroe 28). Her mother was looking forward to Laird getting older so that she can be in the kitchen to help her (Munroe 26). After seeing one of their horses being killed, she made a mistake in a judgement call when she let the next horse run out of the property, and the father dismissed it because she was “just a girl” (Munroe 35).
Girls are considered the weaker gender because they are prone to their emotions, unlike boys who are not so susceptible. Stevie Cameron’s “Our Daughters, Ourselves” speaks about the hardships and the unequal opportunities that girls have in the real world. She explains that we tell our daughters that they can be anything they want, but as they grow older, they learn that there’s still injustice.
We are considered the weaker gender, we are to be more careful because we’re more of a target then boys are (Cameron 140). Stevie also explains that mothers tell their daughters that they can be anything they want to, but we don’t tell them it will be more difficult to fulfill their dreams. When she speaks of un-equal opportunities she is not just talking about careers but also public recreation, education, and politics. “Why do the boys get the best gyms, the best equipment and the best times on the field?
Most of the school sports budget? ” or ” Why do the boys make more money at their part-time jobs then we do? “(Cameron 140). The gender role prescribed for women, or femininity, demands a submissive role, passivity, and ignorance while masculinity requires to be more dominating, knowledgeable and experienced . We have come a long way since then, and probably still have a bit more work to do in order to prove ourselves worthy of equality.