Every Girl, Every Boy

There were many key themes in the chapter reading that interested me. With a chapter title of Gender and Sexuality, who wouldn’t be interested? 😉 I also thoroughly enjoyed all of the links provided to us on RamPages.

The section about violence towards women was definitely eye opening, interesting, and especially frightening to read about. Domestic violence, a pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one partner to gain to maintain power and control over another intimate partner, is sickening to me. The text stated that about 85 percent of intimate partner violence has been directed at women, and more than a third of female murder victims were killed by a husband or boyfriend (Croteau 307). And the fact that human trafficking is even a thing is beyond me. Human trafficking is when “criminal networks recruit, entrap, and transport individuals, holding them against their will for either sexual exploitation or forced labor.” As stated in the text, about 80 percent of the victims of this modern-day slavery are poor women and girls, half under age 18 (Croteau 308). Even though we all know this unimaginable crime is worldwide, very little has been done to fight against this issue. Don’t even get me started on female genital cutting. Whatever the reason, an estimated 100 million to 140 million women have undergone some form of genital cutting (Croteau 308). Are you freaking serious; you’ve GOT to be kidding me? How is this even a thing?

As I’ve stated in a previous blog entry, gender roles and gender expectations are prevalent and have been perpetuating through the different generations. A gender role is a set of social expectations regarding behavior and attitudes based on a person’s sex (Croteau 296). Gender roles help shape our identity by influencing a wide range of characteristics, including the following: appearance, activities, behaviors and emotions, and aspirations (Croteau 296). Growing up, I remember being labeled a tomboy for years since I was always running around with my older brothers; always trying to keep up with them and do what they were doing. It wasn’t until I surprisingly decided to start cheerleading that people stopped calling me a tomboy. They’d tell me that I looked so much better with a little bit of make-up on, girlish clothes, and my hair down. Why can’t a girl wear cut off shorts, a tank top, tennis shoes and a ponytail? Another concept that caught my attention was what’s referred to as the second shift – the phenomenon of employed women still having primary responsibility for housework and child care (Croteau 305). In today’s world, both parents typically have to work but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the other standards have fallen to the wayside. In many households, men probably still expect their wife to cook the meals, keep the house clean, and take care of the children while working 40 hours a week. I’m not saying that’s the way it is in every household, but it obviously still exists since there’s a specific term for it.

Lastly, I thoroughly enjoyed the Every Girl, Every Boy poem by Nancy R. Smith on page 296. It points out the unfairness between boys and girls and the gender expectations that are instilled in them at a young age; it’s ridiculous. She states that gender distinctions limit the options available to both sexes and she couldn’t be more accurate (Croteau 296).


10 thoughts on “Every Girl, Every Boy”

  1. A nice mix of core ideas and your experiences.

    Just to pick one concept: female genital cutting is a great example of the dilemmas posed by multiculturalism…and changing cultural norms around gender. What are we to do when immigrants from traditional societies insist this is part of their culture? Even the language is telling here: Westerners tend to refer to it as “female genital mutilation,” “cutting” is perhaps a more neutral term. “Female circumcision” is the preferred term elsewhere. Each frames a cultural practice in different ways. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/20/magazine/20circumcision-t.html?_r=0

    1. Great point about immigrants coming over believing it’s the right thing to do and that it should be done. I’m not exactly sure what should be done about it though. I haven’t really thought about it before but I guess we may have to let them do what they believe with their families. On the other hand, our judicial system could see it as child abuse, child endangerment, and along the lines of torture.

  2. Hey! Really enjoyed your post. I feel like you covered a lot of stuff, which was awesome. I was engaged the whole time. One question though, if you could change somethings about todays state of gender and sexuality what would it be? Or if you wouldn’t change anything, why not?

    1. Thank you for the compliments Srikar! I just wish that we would all be more understanding and accepting of everyone. Equality and non-judgement is something that I wish for our great nation! What would you change or not change in regards to gender and sexuality, Srikar?

  3. I like that you brought up the phenomenon of woman still have the expectation of doing the house chores and child care while both parents tend to work nowadays. It reminds me of the article I read of how parents tend to care about their sons being intelligent and their daughters being skinny. Stereotypes and expectations of girls versus boys is changing now, so much that the way our system works nowadays is a part of it, but yet theres still old habits of stereotyping.

    1. You’re right… Old habits are hard to break! I like how you pointed out the sterotypes of young boys being smart but young girls being obedient and skinny. How about we all do our absolute best. Let’s all work hard at work, around the house, and to be healthy.

  4. Domestic abuse is sickening to me. I have had friends go through it with their boyfriends and have been scared out of their minds to leave them because of what they could do. I could not imagine what I would do if it were to happen to me. I hope one day we can put all the scum that abuse women behind bars.

    1. As a criminal justice major, I couldn’t agree with you more. I wish we could put them all away as well but I don’t see that happening! 🙁 I’ve known a few victims of domestic abuse and it’s quite challenging to deal with. Leaving and staying are both extremely hard things to do.

  5. Just the term human trafficking makes me sick to my stomach! The concept is beyond me. I don’t see how people could sell humans as if they have no worth?! Similarly, relationship abuse is just as bad. It is worse to know that females are more at risk than males.

    1. As a female, I completely agree. The world is terrifying but I refuse to walk around in fear because that’s no way to live. I’m very cautious and nosey about what’s going on around me but I don’t want to walk around scared. I don’t understand how people could treat other humans the way that they do sometimes. Like you said, how can people sell and treat humans as if they have no worth? Females are not sexual objects and deserve the same respect as men.

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