Gender issue has become so important this lately. Many people think that gender plays a very important role in the society. Public views on gender have become so exact on certain issue till it is being accepted as a fact by the community. For instance, issues engrossing equality, inequality and stereotyping on gender nowadays attracted most people attention.
United Nations Population Fund affirmed that equality will only exist when both men and women have an equal right in the power allocation of power and influence.
And also they will have a corresponding chance to gain money and finance their life by working or doing businesses. They will as well have equivalent right of entry in education as well to share responsibility for the household chores. Society always tries to differentiate between what a man and a woman can achieve because it is understandable for a man and a woman to have different physical appearance, difference body size, different capabilities, different strength and etc.
A man is continuously being described as a conqueror and always acts as an oppressor to woman life. But in reality, all those things will not happen again in today’s modernize world. In some area, such as military, leadership, role in family and chances of being promoted in workplace it is found that women cannot survive just as men can do. Society incessantly believes that men can perform well in those areas just because the past had shown that men are better in those areas. This will prevent the women from showing their capabilities. Most horrible, this will led to many other problems.
For example, women have a higher poverty rate than men in almost all nations. In thinking about possible causes of the gender gap in poverty rates, it is crucial to understand that poverty is measured at the household or family level in most all government and academic statistics. Christopher, England, Sara and Smeeding (2000) concluded that for a woman who has a spouse or married women, this thing will only become their minor problem. But for a single mother, it will lead them to become poor. There are two main reasons for this problem, which are they actually earn lower than a man and a fact that they always live together with their children after divorce. Thus, it will direct to a very big problem which is poverty in the family.
Nevertheless, people should notice that inequality not only happen in women community but also men’s. Even from the outside people always sees a man as tough and better in strength, but actually they are suffering inside. A man will not be allowed to express their feeling and act emotionally. For example, a girl may be allowed to act some tomboyish behavior, but little boys cannot be allowed to be a sissy or at least show some sissy stuff. In addition, a woman also can be easily accepted if she is trying to work seriously in the man profession but a man will receive many negative comments if he is trying to work in the woman profession. For example, a lady can simply apply for a career in the army however a man will be question a lot if he is attempting to apply for the nurse job. Perhaps, this thing occur because people might think it is difficult for a man to show the love and kindness like a woman might do where as to show the strength and ability in the army is trouble-free for a woman.
However, equality also exists in gender. Women and men nowadays have an equal right to receive same level of education. In many countries, there is no barrier between level of education applied to men and women. Thus, after receive the same level of education they might also acquire the same high pays job. This will decrease the difference in wage they receive. Rushfan (2008) said that in many areas of Afghanistan, girls are often taken out of school when they hit puberty. Cultural factors related to the ‘correctness’ of sending girls to school, reluctance to send girls and boys to the same school after third grade, as well as the perceived and real security threats related to girls walking to school and attending classes all contribute to slowing down the enrollment of girls in schools. But, however we should be thankful because the same policies did not applied in Malaysia. Woman in Malaysia cannot be disallowing from receiving education as this is an offense under Education Act of 1996 which stated that all children must attend primary school classes until they finish their Standard 6 phase.
Stereotyping always occur in everyday’s life. People cannot escaping from the act of stereotyping others from their days. According to Oxford Dictionary of Sociology, gender stereotyping means that it is one-sided and exaggerated images of men and women one deployed repeatedly in everyday life. In a simple words, gender stereotyping can be clarify as the accusations or assumptions made about a specific gender whether they are true or false. Most of the time however, gender stereotyping is far from the truth but based on past speculations therefore it is assumed as true in the present time. Additionally, it will also persuade someone to put others down because of their gender or believe that they are unable to do a particular job just because they are either male or female.
There are many factors that have stimulated the gender stereotyping issue. The influence from the media, family leaders, schoolteachers, buddies and the respected religious people undoubtedly are the main stimulus of gender stereotyping. McConnell (n.d), described that media always portrayed individuals like sportsmen, celebrities and model as a symbol on how a man and a woman should appear and act. In terms of fashion and physical appearance, those who did not match the body size and the look of these individuals, unconsciously they are judge as “bad” and “ugly”. Also, media constantly shows a man work as a hard labour where as a woman will work at a house, arranging lace and prettying the house in pink. This will shape an idea of a child where he will think that working at home is only a woman job. As for the kids, adults are their role model. For them, no matter what adults do, this will be assumed as a way of life of what a man or a woman should do. For instance, the way the adult stereotype the gender will influence the kids. It will pass along gender stereotypes from one generation to the next.
Another factor that influences the stereotyping is the influence of others. Sometimes, we are confused between other’s perceptions and ours which it may vary a lot. As a result, we might choose to follow their perception and slowly believe that our thinking is wrong and erroneous. This may happen in everyone’s life especially children where they tend to follow others more than their own instinct.
The weight of scientific evidence demonstrates that children learn gender stereotypes from adults. As with gender roles, socializing agents-parents, teachers, peers, religious leaders, and the media-pass along gender stereotypes from one generation to the next. One approach to reexamining conventional gender roles and stereotypes is androgyny, which is the blending of feminine and masculine attributes in the same individual. The androgyne, or androgynous person, does not neatly fit into a female or male gender role; she or he can comfortably express the qualities of both genders. Parents and other socializing agents can teach their children to be androgynous, just as they can teach them to be gender-biased.
(CliffsNotes.com. Gender Stereotypes. Retrieved on 21st Feb 2010)
The most common stereotype for a man will be a man is more skillful, hardworking when it comes to practical jobs, always thinking about sex, be assertive, competitive, independent, courageous, and career-focused; hold his emotions in check and too conscious about his life triumph. These are few stereotype views that one’s will deliver to a man. Whereas for a woman, she always be viewed as always put her family’s welfare before her own; be loving, compassionate, caring, nurturing, and sympathetic. It seems so hard to separate them with those stereotypes.
In Malaysia, the trend of a man becoming a househusband is still low. People view on a working-woman is acceptable, but for a woman to work and become the breadwinner of the family whereas her husband will take care of the household chores is still negative. Krishnamurthi (2004) stated that a woman will receive mockery comments and being alienated by the society if she has to work and her husband will stay at home. People will uttering that she is trying to control her husband and overshadow him as a family leader. In my view, the act of such thing will cause many negative effects. Many fathers intent to spend more time with their children but due to lack of time they have to keep inside their intention. A man is stereotype as a tough guy with less love sense like a woman. The act of encouraging them to stay at home will make them develop their love sense gradually. Hence they differentiation between a love from a father and a mother will be wiped out. For the mother, she may possibly work without tension and stress because she need not to worry about her kids as this thing will be under her husband responsibility, not in other people’s supervision .
Franzoi (2003) stated that negative stereotypes will develop a ruin self-fulfilling prophecy. Self-fulfilling prophecy refer to the act that becomes true because people expect it to be true and behave in a way that will make it happen. To forestall stereotyping, everybody must play a very important role. In Friedman (n.d) article in American Baby magazine stated that among the way to overcome stereotype is by gaining self-confidence it the kids. We should support everything the kids for whatever they are doing. Added to that, the parent should develop a special interaction and coordination to their kid that suits the kid interest. Personally, I really think that a parent should watch out for the media because as I have discussed earlier in this text media have develop most people stereotype view. The act of letting them receives much unclear information which will shape their view.
As a conclusion, although equality, inequality and stereotype has create many problem however if we view it positively we still have many thing to gain from it. We, as the society should know how and when to react to this issue appropriately. Gender issue has to be treated properly as it tends to create more trouble if we handle it pessimistically. Moreover, it involve all kind of human being no matter we are a man or a woman.
Franzoi .L. Stephen (2003) Social Psychology 3rd Edition. New York: McGraw-Hill.
United Nations Population Fund (2002). Gender Inequality. Web Population and Reproductive Health Indicators. Retrieved 21 February 2010, from http://lao.unfpa.org/defcon.htm
Christopher K., England P., Sara R. & Smeeding T. (2000). Gender Inequality in Poverty in Affluent Nations : The Role of Single Motherhood and The State. Presented at a Conference on Child Well-Being in Rich and Transition Countries, Luxembourg. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 439195). Retrieved from http://www.eric.ed.gov/
Rushfan (2008). 10 Extreme Examples of Gender Inequality.Ultimate Top 10 List. Retrieved 21 February 2010, from
10 Extreme Examples of Gender Inequality
Oxford Dictionary of Sociology (3rd ed.).(2005). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Krishnamurthi A. (2004). Gender Stereotyping.Social Strategic Foundation. Retrieved 14 February 2010, from http://www.yss98.com/index.php?view=articleHYPERLINK “http://www.yss98.com/index.php?view=article&id=399″&HYPERLINK “http://www.yss98.com/index.php?view=article&id=399″id=399
Friedman J. (n.d). Avoiding Stereotypes.American Baby Magazines. Retrieved 22 February 2010, from http://childparenting.about.com/od/childdevelopment/a/avoidstereotype.html
Gattiker., Urs E. (2000).Income Inequality Based on Gender and Position: Possible Effects on Perception of Career Success.Alberta Manpower STEP Program. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 278928). Retrieved from http://www.eric.ed.gov/
CliffsNotes.com (2008). Gender Stereotypes.Ultimate. Retrieved on 21st Feb 2010, from