My name is Jaclyn Di Marco and I’m nineteen years old. Throughout my life, I was very small plus I’m a girl. Being a girl, people automatically doubt you. They don’t think you can do something because you’re “fragile” or “too small” or maybe you can’t do something because “you’ll get hurt”. I was never a girlie girl that played with dolls when I was younger except I did gymnastics, so I was always very strong. I always liked playing with army figures and wrestling with my dad and brothers. At recess, I would always play football with the boys and I would always try to be in competition with them. In gym, I was the fastest girl and did the most push ups and sit ups for the physical tests we did every year. Being told “no” or that I can’t do something makes me want to do it ten times more to prove everyone wrong. When people think I can’t do something because I’m a girl, it makes me extremely mad. Why can't girls do things that require physical activity? About a couple weeks ago we had a fitness test for cheerleading to see where everyone was at and to keep track of improvement. Once again I did the most push-ups in a minute out of everyone, including a boy. I was so excited when I found out that I did the most; it felt so good to be the smallest person that also did the most push-ups. Maybe it's good sometimes that people doubt me because it pushes me to prove them wrong and from that I will accomplish so much more.
Passivity relates to our gender studies because of the expectations imposed onto women. Many stereotypes portray women as weak and incapable of doing anything good. Women are looked at as the weaker sex, the more fragile and the more dependent ones. Women are treated as passive because the stereotypes say women aren’t as important as men are.
Women also suffer from the “glass ceiling,” a term that refers to how women are treated in the workplace. The “glass ceiling” is an imaginary barrier to advancement in a profession, especially affecting women and members of minority groups. In the workplace, women aren’t paid as much as men because of the stereotypes about women; women are also not given the opportunities that men receive. This is extremely unfair towards women. In “The Glass Escalator: Hidden Advantages for Men in the “Female” Professions ,“ Christine L. Williams shares research where even in female dominated professions such as nursing and teaching, males are still favored and given advancement opportunities more than and faster than women. From her research, we see that men are looked at as stronger and more worthy whereas women are, of course, looked at as weak and incompetent. These stereotypes can poison us all, because if men think that they can get more because they are men, then they won't take things seriously.
Despite the stereotypes that women are faced with ev
eryday they can become stronger, prove people wrong and strive past men. The stereotypes against women can encourage them to prove people wrong but it can also discourage women as well. They might lose faith in being a woman and start to believe the negative stereotypes towards them. The opposite is for men: they advance because of the “glass escalator,” often rising higher and faster than women in professional settings. They are given raises and promoted to higher positions of leadership more often then women.
The day we are born we are assigned a sex and were taught how we are supposed to act and what we are supposed to like. Women and girls suffer from these messages of how females are weak and incapable of doing things and that men are more capable and better. Girls are taught that they are weak and fragile, that they should depend on males. These controlling images are so discouraging but we are taught it at such a young age that it doesn’t feel like an insult; that’s just how life is suppose to be.
Girls need to be raised to be strong, independent individuals who know that they are capable of anything they put their mind to. Unfortunately women are treated passively, like “we don’t matter” because “we are unimportant” because “we are weak, fragile and incompetent”. Think about how you treat women and how you look at women... would you like your mother, sister, aunt, wife, girlfriend or grandmother to be treated and seen as this?