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Sunday, March 8, 2015
Gender biases start at a young age and can affect our children in the future. In fact, it affects us today. At a young age girls and boys are taught the same concepts at school; math, science, history, and so forth. However, when it comes to playing outside in the playground the environment changes. If a girl were to fall and scrape her knee and cry, she would be comforted and be told “it’s ok”. If a boy were to fall and scrape his knee and cry, he would be told to be a big boy and “don’t cry”. So it’s clear that even from a young age, the way a certain individual is treated determines different thought processes that develop because of the social environment. At the same time when a women is being persistent with what she wants she’s seen as aggressive whereas when a man is showing persistence he is seen as assertive. Relating back to children and how they’re raised today, when a girl takes control of a situation she is seen as bossy whereas a little boy takes control of a situation he has potential leadership skills.
Men and women face gender discrimination every day. One place in particular where gender unfairness takes place is in the work place. Employers are less willing to hire a woman over a man any day. When it comes down to getting a promotion a woman will have to show proof from her past accomplishments whereas a man has the potential to do the task. At the same time, even when applying for an internship or a job, men are less likely to apply to a position where they fit every criteria whereas women only apply to jobs that fit almost every criteria. Women constantly go through the struggle of having to prove themselves in the workforce in order to receive even part of their male counterpart’s salary.
In addition, women have one of the hardest challenges before getting hired. Unfortunately there are some women out there when going into an interview that take off their wedding rings. We all know that nursery song, first comes love, then comes the marriage, then comes the baby in the baby carriage. Although there are laws that help keep private matters private having children is part of the circle of life. In the United States, most couples eventually have children, employers need to understand that women will eventually become mothers and men will eventually become fathers. Fathers today pack lunches and change diapers and mothers go to work.
Just as there’s biases in regards to women entering the workforce, there are also biases when it comes to men leaving the workforce for “paternity leave”. There are many single parents out there that need to work and support their children. At the same time, the world is evolving and husbands are staying home to take care of the children while their wives go out and become the primary breadwinners. Just as employers understand that women take off for maternity leave, fathers have it a bit more difficult for paternity leave.
There are always many sides to one type of argument which is why gender equality is still seen as an issue today. While men get the “father of the year” award, women are expected to take on the role of taking care of the children, so it’s already seen as part of their job description. There’s a saying about “motherhood penalty” and “fatherhood bonus”. Women face much harder obstacles when it comes to entering the workforce. This is especially true with low income couples. The bias where fathers are the breadwinners and mothers are the caregivers in today’s day and age is still an issue today and it all starts from a young age.