Millennial Musing
December 19, 2017
Female stereotypes

“Women can’t hold positions of power, because they’re too emotional.”

Every time I hear that statement, a piece of my soul dies. This stereotype has probably existed since the beginning of time, and if I could kick the person who invented it, I would.

The idea that women cannot be in power because they are emotional is damaging for several reasons. Firstly, it is that it is extremely sexist; judging someone’s ability to do their job based on their gender is not something we should ever do in the 21st century.

“Women don’t support women,” another ridiculous statement. Why does the entire world expect women to support other women…because she’s a woman? Why are women expected to vote based on gender and not skills? For example, the 2016 US elections, everywhere I looked I saw people blaming women for Hillary’s loss. I will admit the 2016 US elections had many complexities and there were several forces at work, but to diminish it all and blame women is preposterous. Don’t get me wrong; having women in leadership is extremely important. However, it is ironically sexist to expect women to vote for other women based on gender.

EQUALITY means being able to vote or not vote for whomever you damn well choose. If I want to vote for someone based on their fiscal policies or haircut, it is my business! Do not limit me to my sex. Men have always had the right to vote for whomever they want without scrutiny. Why are women expected to accept any female leader, regardless of how corrupt or unqualified she seems for the job?

“Women fight down other women,” because men don’t sabotage each other? Men don’t engage in backstabbing for jobs, girls and money? People backstab each other; it is not unique to females. I have never, and will never endorse dishonesty; however, call a spade a spade. Stop demonizing women for the same things men do. A man will ask you out on a date the same day he finds out you and his best friend broke up, so spare me your hypocrisy.

“Women are petty;” why, yes, of course this is true…but so are men. Women might be petty, but men’s petty behaviour often ruins lives. First of all, have you ever rejected a man’s advance and have him punish you? A man will come on to his subordinate, and if she rejects him, he’d fire her or make sure she never gets promoted. This happens every day in the workplace. How often do men react with violence when they are rejected? So many women have been assaulted for saying “no”, yet women are the petty ones.

“Women are too emotional,” I chose this one last, because, in my opinion, it is the most damaging stereotype. For one, it implies that showing emotion is weak and undesirable, as if emotions are some disease women suffer from. Secondly, it implies that men are not emotional, which is false. Men display emotions all the time; these emotions are jealousy, anger and possessiveness. Men are taught from very young that displaying sadness or joy is weak and unacceptable. Yet, we simultaneously allow them to engage in possessive behaviour and aggression. What do you think happens when we tell young boys it’s okay to hit, but not okay to cry? They become abusers.

Not all men are abusers, of course not. However, abusive men (and women) exist and we must not only hold them accountable for their actions, but hold ourselves accountable as well. We need to reassess our beliefs on what we think being “a man” entails. Human beings are emotional, and it is time that we accept that. Perhaps if we allowed men to express emotions besides anger and jealousy, their suicide rates wouldn’t be so high. Perhaps the prevalence of domestic violence would also decrease. Change only happens when we challenge the norm.