Gender stereotypes – Part I

Personally I believe stereotypes are not half as bad as people make them out to be. I believe it was part of growing up for me to realize that people have prejudiced opinions and clichés are usually based on some grain of truth. It was not easy to come to that conclusion, and it took me a few years to realize.

As a teenager I was highly idealistic, wanted the world to be perfect and people to be tolerant and friendly. A stereotype comment could enrage me and provoke an entire lecture about how this sort of thing is exactly what fucks up the world we live in. What a waste of time, that! The world is a horrible place actually. And people, I believe are inherently evil. Those two I have accepted as facts of life, which are not likely to change. Ever.

And my old (teenage) self would have been depressed at that thought. But you only live once so what’s the point of sulking around about how there is so much suffering in the world, and always will be.

Which brings me to the reason which got me thinking about stereotypes. Last night we were watching TV, a show called “Dangerous jobs for girls”. Three British women were sent off to South Africa to do a job 100% practised by men; hunting wild antelopes for meat export. I always find it amusing when women want to prove themselves by any means necessary. One of them made a statement that was so typical and recognisable; I’m sure everyone knows at least a few women like this: “If a man tells me I cannot do something, I will do it and most surely do a much better job than a man ever could!” (or something along those lines). What a feminist outlook in life! Yeah, girl power! *roll eyes*

So over the course of two weeks, they showed these women being trained in the art of shooting, gutting and chopping up wild animals; by a bunch of alpha-male type seasoned hunters who were totally convinced the ladies would run away crying at the first sight of blood.

A true ego battle. In the end, one refused to shoot anything and the other two did alright; they formed a team in their Jeep who were pitched against a team of experienced hunters over one night; Their aim was to shoot as many antelopes as possible during the time they were given. Not surprisingly, after only two weeks of training, they didn’t win. The winners were the professionals who had 10 years of experience. Wow what a shocker…

What made the show so typical and interesting was the drive these women had to prove themselves as equals or superiors to the men. They would not accept defeat. All fine and well, and very feminist indeed. Then in the end, the guy who trained them proclaimed how proud he was of them, that they could manage the work and in just two weeks, almost did as well as the experienced men.

And the women were so pleased to hear that, they were gleaming with pride. When it became so obvious, they didn’t do if for the satisfaction of completing their task. The only reason they wanted to prove their equality was to hear a man say it; “Good girl, you did a great job!”

Honestly, didn’t that just ruin the entire effort? You want to be independent, strong, goal oriented and succeed at whatever you start. But then in the end it turns out you are not independent at all; you’re needy and miserable until a man acknowledges you.. Without that you’re nothing.

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1 Comment »

  1. odzer Said:

    Its a cave thing. I guess men and women picked up their roles right about then. Now that we do not live in caves anymore perhaps we can start experimenting about what we can and can not do as men and women. Lets just take that antelope hunting thing, as a man you give me a needle and a thread and I guarantee you I will struggle like hell for days trying to sew something. Then I know some men who can sew! I guess its not about what men and women can do or not do but what they choose to do or not. It is just that often they choose to do things that they find easy. So its basically not the other gender that stereotypes the opposite one…..


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