Today, I did something that a lot of young people in our society have identified as being very “girly” or “feminine.” That is, after a long day, I sat down and watched The Bachelorette while drinking wine. This is an activity that is pretty typical for me and something that I enjoy. However, I am often given a hard time if I tell other people, particularly males, that this is what I’m doing. I’ve recognized for a while now that this is a routine mostly looked at as being classically female, but I don’t really have any intentions of changing it any time soon.
Today, I wore a dress. While this doesn’t really seem like a big deal, in the world of feminism, your wardrobe is often a point of ridicule. There was a time when skirts and dresses were all women were even allowed to wear. So, it’s interesting that we sometimes still choose to wear them, now that we have the option of wearing so many other things. However, I kind of like wearing dresses. Feeling “girly” isn’t necessarily a bad thing in my book. I like feeling feminine and wearing dresses is something that makes me feel good about myself.
Today, I made dinner for my family. I really enjoy finding recipes and making them for other people, so tonight I decided I would try it out on my family members. To me, this was a fun thing to do. However, I didn’t really think at first how I was fitting into the gender role that society has created for me. Women are often looked at as the cooks and cleaners of the household. In my household, that duty is more shared throughout everyone, including me, my sisters, and my mom and dad. However, in many other households, this is expected of women, typically the mother. I hope our society is eventually able to break this habit of giving that role to women. Instead of feeling obligated or involuntarily placed into this role, I think whatever makes most sense for a particular household should be their norm. Whether that’s the male figure or female figure in the household who does the cooking and cleaning, should be up to that family and whatever works for them.
Today, I decided to play soccer outside. It was such a beautiful day out, I knew I needed to get out and do something active. It took me a little longer today to figure out what to write in my gender journal, because it didn’t seem as obvious to me today how I was either “fitting into” or “break the mold” of gender roles. However, after sitting down and thinking about it, I realized there is still a lot of work and advocating left to be done for women in sports. There was once a time when women weren’t allowed in sports, period. While we now see a lot more women participating in, and excelling in sports, society still puts women lower on the totem pole in world of sports. Women athletes make significantly less money than male athletes. This has been a huge issue recently, as seen with the US Women’s National Soccer Team. Even after bringing the issue to court, there were still no changes made and the judge, who happened to be a woman, told the players they could not strike in response to the wage gap. I thought this was interesting, considering that judge was now in a position of power that not long ago, she most definitely was not allowed to have in our country. As women, I think we need to band together in order to make a real change in our society. We can’t be scared of popular opinion or backlash that might come from sticking up for ourselves.
Today, I went to the grocery store with my mom. We went during the afternoon, so of course the majority of people we saw in the grocery store were “soccer moms,” or young, presumably stay-at-home mothers with small children. While this isn’t exactly the stereotype my mom and I currently fit under, I thought it was interesting to see it firsthand. It’s never really been something I thought about when I went to the grocery store, but today was a little different, and I actually took note of the overwhelmingly large of young mothers I saw in the store. This isn’t really a huge deal but it does bring to light the stereotype that mothers should stay at home during the day, taking care of chores and tending to the children. I don’t think this is a role women should be expected to take on, if they have other desires in life. Obviously being a caregiver is a big job, and even some women aren’t cut out for it. Being a stay-at-home mom isn’t a negative thing, but I think this role should be more evenly distributed among men and women, depending on whatever dynamic works best for a particular household.