Eliminating Gender Expectations Starting with the Dorms
“So how is your Women Gender Studies Class? Have you stopped shaving your legs yet?” smiles and bickers a “fellow” male hall-mate of mine as he takes a seat on the couches in our dorm lounge. Oh boy, time to deal with sexist jerks that actually make me want to pretend I am a man-hating feminist stereotype. Since one guy in my dorm found out I was in Women Gender Studies 101, I’m now suddenly responsible for representing all the feminist women out there. But wait, there’s more. Signing up for this class also automatically comes free with the constant taunting and degrading comments from him and a flurry of conformists in the dorms.
“So do you hate men?” Snickers one of the three guys. Somehow every time one of the guys starts one of these conversations with me, the other two flock to the couch area like magnets as if a planned attack.
“No, I don’t hate men. Why am I automatically a feminist stereotype because I took this class?” I question. Funny how it works because now I really am starting to hate them or at least the three in front of me.
“Because you just are. Guys are better. They’re better at every sport. It’s proven in our sports records. Our hormones make us run faster and with more agility because we’re so much stronger. You can’t argue against that. Name one woman who has beat a man at any race or meet,” responds the six foot four athletic male.
Somehow, because men are supposedly built for sport, they are considered better and more able in society. It doesn’t make them a better person though. Plenty of women are capable of excelling in sports in comparison to some men.Everyone has a different body type, type of strength, and sport preference (if any). There are so many different types of people out there, which is why I don’t understand all of the categories men, women (and other sexes) are automatically split up into.
However, no one can entirely blame men alone for these generalizations and stereotypes. Our society tosses a salad of sexism for both men and women. Throw in a little careless attitude, clothing that’s tough and made to last, hardcore abs and a whole lot of power and you make a man. For women, you need an extremely small waist, cute clothing, the willingness to do all men’s work and get zero credit for it, an amazing ability at cooking, and a little bit of weak dependence. This salad has been tossed the wrong way from the very beginning of time.
“Yeah, men are just better,” guffaws and smiles another tall male. Whatever this boy’s tall look-alike friend has to say, he goes along with it. Does he have a brain of his own? Or is he just another conformist?
Much to my dismay, I see a lot of people conforming to what surrounds them just to avoid conflict. As Allan G. Johnson puts it so beautifully in "Patriarchy, the System" we all tend to follow a path of “least resistance” in order to be accepted. So if we cancel out all the conformists in society, how many people are there that really truly hate feminists? Are all the anti-feminists out there just writhing because they want all the power and are angry women are defending themselves? Or do they actually believe feminists think women should be the superior sex?
While this Women Gender class has opened my half-shut eyes to how we truly are a patriarchal society, I also see how women aren’t the only ones affected by it.
“I love listening to Taylor Swift and I’m as straight as a log. My roommate is too and he watched the entire Twilight saga so far,” confesses one of my guy friends in the hall.
“Ha ha ha, that’s so gay. Are you gay?” Remarks the original instigator of the anti-feminist attack pack. He immediately looks towards me with a humorous glance to see if I’ll react to his satisfaction. I barely blink.
“Nope. I like women and I also like Taylor Swift’s music, because those two have nothing to do with each other,” beams my friend.
He doesn’t follow the path of least resistance. He paves his own path. And you should too.
More articles in WMC FBomb by Category: Education, Feminism, Media
More articles in WMC FBomb by Tag: Activism and advocacy, Gender bias, College, Discrimination, Music, Women's history, Sexism, News