Sex Stereotypes And Gender Inequality. Essay

2414 words - 10 pages

Sex Stereotypes and Gender Inequality'When Ann Hopkins came up for partnership at Price Waterhouse in 1982, she looked like a shoo-in for a promotion. Of the 88 candidates -- all the others were male -- she had the best record at generating new business and securing multimillion-dollar contracts for the Big Eight accounting firm. Yet Hopkins' nomination was put on hold after she was evaluated by several male partners as being too "macho" and in need of a "charm school." One of them advised her to "walk more femininely, talk more femininely, dress more femininely, wear makeup, have her hair styled and wear jewelery." Instead she quit the firm...' (Time magazine, 15 May 1989)Secretary, homemaker, florist, nurse, and primary school teacher. Fireman, truck driver, bulldozer operator and lawyer. Just looking at these professions and I am sure you have an image of a woman in your mind for the first sentence and a man for the second. Why does these professions paint a picture of a particular gender in your mind? Stereotypes. Most of the population is indoctrinated by the agenda of gender stereotyping. In this essay, I will give a whirlwind overview of this social construct and its evolution from the obvious to more covert in the western world.Whose story is it anyway?Is our genetic makeup such that we are trying to achieve something that goes against what nature has built in to our thoughts and reality or have we become victims of our own categorization from the start? We must first look back in history. Looking at the word itself reveals a hidden agenda. Broken down, the word history (His Story) one could see that the word itself tells of history from the male perspective.The king of the castlePost Industrialism male and female's roles in society differed, as did the expectation of their social behaviours. Up until World War 2, physical strength subjugated woman and determined relationships between males and females; it was commonly accepted and was a natural system to the proletariat. Male superiority was also judged on virility. A female was seen as the weaker sex and unable to achieve anything beyond the home environment or crawling through mineshafts. Early scientific experiments backed this view as it was believed that women's brains were like sponges unable to retain a lot of information and not capable of reasoning and logic like their male counterpart. Male dominance was paramount and within the class structure there were also prevalent stereotypes.During the early part of the 20C men were the material providers and women were responsible for the emotional rearing of the family. Females were there to serve their male partner and 'offer' herself whenever the male deemed it necessary. In regards to sex, any pleasure the female enjoyed from sexual interaction was generally seen as irrelevant. Good girls were taught by their mothers to lay back and think of England. A woman particularly from the lower classes who enjoyed sex were good for pleasure...

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