The Problem With Gender Roles in Society


Tori Knizewski

It is not considered the norm for girls to like video games or Sci-Fi, and for guys to like fashion or the color pink. But in reality we all like different things and we should not be ashamed for liking something due to our gender.

Some people believe that girls who play video games aren’t ‘real’ gamers. This stereotype has been influenced because there are certain people who pretend to be interested or good at certain things when they are really not. In reality it is probably only a small present of girls who pretend to be good at video games. This makes people believe that all girl gamers are this way, when that is not the case.

College student Alisa Sonsev said “Girls are often accused of not being “real” gamers because men often think women are trying to be like “one of the guys” in order to fit in. [What] they don’t realize is that the girls probably just like gaming.”

The same thing happens with girls liking Sci-fi; they get accused of not being a ‘real’ fan.

It’s not just guys shaming girls for playing video games – girls are also to blame. Guys mainly argue that girls aren’t ‘true’ gamers — and then with girls they more or less shame girls for playing video games because it’s considered a ‘guy’ thing.

Because of this stigma most girls feel the need to hide their passion for playing video games. Girls will also bully other girls for liking Sci-fi, because these things are considered for guys.

It’s not only Sci-fi and video games that people will get judged for liking.

ABC News went to a costume store with two actors (mother and child) to see how people would react when the child picked a costume that is typically meant for the opposite gender. When the boy asked to be a princess, the mother actor refused to let him wear a dress. A parent in the store agreed with the mother saying “You can’t… wear a princess costume… [it’s] for a girl, and you’re not a girl, right?” Even some kids chimed in saying that dresses are for girls.

Sonsev said “Adults need to stop raising their kids with these gender roles. Boys [will] pick up dolls to play with and their dads will tell them “oh that’s a girl toy, don’t play with that.” The little boy begins to realize that [this] is a bad thing. [The] boy then grows up with that mentality and [will] associate girly things as bad.”

Next a mother and child pair of actors played out a scenario in which the daughter wanted to be spiderman. When the girl tried on the Spiderman costume, a mother nearby started asking questions, and telling the daughter why she couldn’t wear the costume. “I would like you better in a little dress…”

Out of the whole video there was only one person who agreed with the child. When the little girl tries on the spiderman costume, the mother actor walks away. The child asks the shopper is she should feel bad about liking guy things. The woman says “No… if you are strong and you know who you are, and you know what you want, people will respect you… there are more girls like you…”

When the host for the segment comes in to ask the women questions, he asks why she defended the child when many others sided with the mother. The woman replies “You want people to start being more opened minded…”

Sonsev said “Genders aren’t inherently a bad thing, but they become a bad thing when people use them to stereotype and degrade people. [The] way people group different gender rolls can lead to ignorance.” Which is exactly how I stand on the whole issue; if people stopped stereotyping and abusing genders, and then they could start to accept people’s differences.