Today I’m going to talk about societal pressures to fit in with established binary norms and the double standard, which is applied to each side. So as I discussed in my last post our society is very much binary, male or female and each of these are pushed in different directions with variation from this resulting in judgements being made.
Experiments have shown that unconscious biases exist in adults. When presented with an infant they will present the infant toys they match with the child’s gender. They will believe the child enjoys these toys the most, even if the child has been dressed as the opposite gender and will not know they have done this until they have it pointed out to them. As was the case in this BBC Experiment testing these biases. This experiment was part of a larger program on the BBC on taking a primary school gender neutral (I can feel eyes rolling). This centres on the hypothesis that they way we treat boys and girls is the reason we have failed to reach equality between the men and women in adult life? And suggests stripping away the pink and blue and other more subtle ways that boys and girls are shaped to be different may be the way to raise kids with abilities and attitudes that are the same regardless of gender. This wasn’t about children that’s are LGBTQ this about raising well round adults and improving society as a whole, reducing the gaps between men and women. Almost everything we do with children seems to push boys and girls in very different directions then we wonder why there are such problems with inequality. A quick search on ASDA’s kids clothing revealed that the girls clothing is predominantly pink and encourages vanity whilst the boys clothing features dinosaurs and super heroes and encourages confidence and action. Is there any wonder when we look at the FTSE 100 there are more company leaders called John then women?
These biases seem to be somewhat of a vestige of our Victorian and Christian heritage and a part that it is high time we removed. Women were second-class citizens seen as inferior to men and they often still are today. If a man goes out and sleeps with someone on a first date he’s celebrated yet if a woman were to do this she would be any number of horrible names that I won’t say in post. A man being suggestive towards woman is just a man being a man but if a woman makes a suggestive/joke comment than she is again any number of names. Our culture blames women for/ accuses them of encouraging men to cat call them or worse by how they dress or behave. It is never the victim’s fault for how their attacker behaves yet we have a culture especially if the victim is female which encourages this attitude.
So I hope the takeaway from this is to encourage differences from the binary status quo and if you hear blaming of victims question it and educate those doing it and as always let me know what you think in the comments.