Overtime, society has built a picture of what a girl should be like and what a boy should be like based on religion, morals, natural instinct, and power. This has contributed to the myth that boys and girls are born with a static set of characteristics solely due to their gender. However, as time has gone on our population has learned a lot more about humans and what they truly desire. Through this heightened understanding, society has developed its own style. Owing to the establishment of social media, individuals broadening their mind, and the advancement in education, men and woman are able to identify as just people rather than boy or girl.
Human beings most significant purpose on earth is procreation, and to create off spring that have the highest chance of surviving against nature. Further, a deep desire of all people is to have their legacy continue in the greatest way possible. Since men and woman are both needed in the act of procreation, a separate competition to find the most beneficial mate naturally occurs. This relates to the idea that children of high quality come from the best parents. Humans have always been determined to keep a good family name and fight for the health and status of their own family. This is something that will never change. Some types of religion and their bible have contributed to gender stereotypes as well. In the book of Genesis, God states “Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you” (Genesis 3:16). This statement projects the idea that men have more power over a woman and woman must accept this. Also, in some cultures it is offensive if one does not marry or procreate with the most adequate person for them. For example, Islamic culture provides arranged marriages for a man and woman along with the guidance of the parents in order to honor their god Allah. It is important for a man or woman to ensure that their partner will be helpful in creating an empire, or a strong family that has at least some amount of power. Today, a younger generation of individuals describe this type of relationship as a “power couple.” The founders of Messenger International John and Lisa Bevere quoted, “Marriage was never meant to be a power struggle. It was meant to be a power union.” Greek Mythology has also substantially played a role in the development of gender stereotypes. Many of these myths from long ago are still taught in school as an important part of literature and are cited on a daily basis. In the Introduction to Classical Mythology, Edith Hamilton states, “Zeus, trying to hide his love affairs from his wife and invariably shown up, was a capital figure of fun. The Greeks enjoyed him and liked him all the better for it. Hera was that stock character of comedy, the typical jealous wife” (9). This story adds to the cliche regarding woman being overly emotional, while men are easygoing, selfish creatures.
When royalty and monarchies were established, kings and queens began possessing power through their families and relationships. The highest man of royalty married the highest woman of royalty in their land. Queen Elizabeth declared to her people, “I have the heart of a man, not a woman, and I am not afraid of anything.” Although it was rare for a woman during this time to show this amount of strength, Queen Elizabeth is still inferring here that it is not good to have the heart of a woman when you can have the heart of a man. She is also inferring that women are afraid of most surroundings, and therefor should not typically be put in charge. These royal relationships from the past can be described using some of the same adjectives we still label boys and girls with today. Once people became fully aware of these ideas that involved acting a certain way in order to hold a powerful status, they held tight to them. Human beings have felt the pressure to work their hardest in order to get to that dominant point and to remain in that sate of being. When humans are not provided a purpose for existing and an answer regarding where they will or should end up, they enter into a state of panic. Individuals and their self esteem thrive on following a specific direction. Human beings also thrive on knowing where they came from so they can relate to something. Whether we think they are sincerely true or not, this is what has given power to the tales of mythical creatures that are still being passed down from generation to generation. Containing some sort of background also contributes to a sense of purpose. These thoughts and emotion are the basis of people and they will always act on these instincts. When the US government began to take form, they developed laws that separated men and woman tremendously. Woman were not allowed to vote while men could. Men were allowed to fight in war but woman could not. And, woman were not typically allowed to have an occupation. If they did, they made significantly less money than a man in the work force would. These are just a few example of laws that separated men and woman at the beginning stages of our government. By separating men and woman under law, people began to whole heartedly believe that men and woman deserved different things for each other through brainwashing and guilt. Individuals who were raised to abide by the law forced themselves to adapt to these thought processes.
The film industry contributed to this myth as well. When movies began appearing on the big screens of local drive-ins, people all over the world were exposed to the same actors playing specific roles. These characters from the early 1920s portrayed women that were typically beautiful, soft spoken, naive, and domestic; While the men were aggressive, strong, confident, and showed little emotion compared to the woman. These roles of men and woman were already widely known, but the film industry really put an emphasis on these ideas and exposed them for the entire world to see. People began aspiring to be like the actors in the movies, pretending that the films could also be real life situations rather than just behind the camera. Daily routines were planned in relation to the latest movies that were released, and people adapted certain habits that the most popular actors were demonstrating at the time. There was no such thing as a woman expressing aggressive behavior in a film until around 1930. This was when Dorothy Arzner depicted woman as independent and free to make their own choices despite what a man’s opinion of them was. Even after this there were few films that displayed woman as aggressive. Gay characters were not written into television shows or movies until the early 1970s after the Stonewall riots occurred in New York City. Gay actors in reality were not even allowed to be hired to perform until the early 1980s after John Gielgud came out about his sexuality and then won Best Supporting Actor in the movie “Arthur.” Rock Hudson was a very famous actor from the 1950s that was gay, however he was not open about it and even went out of his way to hide it from the public.
This myth that boys and girls are born with a static set of characteristics solely due to their gender has greatly affected the United States. Men and woman have forced themselves to pursue certain occupations that they may not enjoy because they feel limited to them. People have also felt obligated to be in certain relationships with individuals that they might not want to be with. Hiding ones true self from the world can affect an entire life including ones hobbies, occupations, relationships, exercise, and education. This type of suppression is mentally exhausting. These kinds of people have therefor suffered mental illnesses due to suppressing their deepest aspirations and have been unable to find themselves in every aspect. When certain people are unable to understand themselves, it is common for them to become mentally lost and start practicing bad habits. They go crazy. In an article called “Bros Before Hos": The Guy Code, author Michael Kimmel acknowledges the outcomes of young men being under this pressure writing, “No wonder boys drop out of school and are diagnosed as emotionally disturbed” (470). In another study ,the National Voices For Equality, Education, and Enlightenment group published, “In a 2005 survey, students said their peers were most often bullied because of their appearance, but the next top reason was because of actual or perceived sexual orientation and gender expression” (From Teasing to Torment: School Climate of America - GLSEN and Harris Interactive). Furthermore, when people are mentally unstable they also at times begin to harm others. When one is able show their true colors to the world there is no better feeling. They can be liberated and find happiness through not just being accepted by other people but by accepting themselves. Instagram and snapchat have brought a lot of positive attention to the artistic side of people. Photography has become a high respected and sought after practice due to the ability for photographers to expose their talents on Instagram and other social media sites. Also, Snapchat has provoked more people to take pictures of not just their daily lives, but of their daily selves. Through people taking multiple temporary pictures of themselves for Snapchat, the idea of being good looking on a camera phone has become a very common trait. Wearing high end make up and looking fashionable is no longer only utilized to impress a date or potential employer. It is worn when posting on social media in order to gather a greater following that is either substantial for business opportunities or for ones climbing of the social ladder. Men and woman equally participate in the social media world, and therefore exchange ideas and styles. The idea of people and the surrounding world looking pretty or intriguing has become so important and competitive. Education has also allowed for individuals to have their own intelligent opinion on men and woman sharing traits amongst each other. Through examining the history books and acknowledging the reasons for the differences between men and woman, one can infer that there really is not much of a difference between them except anatomically. Through the advancements in the science department, humans are able to understand more about how the mind works and why they feel the way they do about certain things. Scientists continue to study what draws men and woman together and what sets them apart. And, overtime people have become more liberal about how a person chooses to spend their own time. The enlarging world population issue that is causing global fear in mostly everyone has allowed for more people to accept gay relationships. Or this could also be because past traditions have finally begun to really die out and people are thriving on following their own modern day intentions. Men and women are able to identify as just people rather than boy or girl due to the establishment of social media, individuals broadening their mind, and the advancement in education.
Concluding, society throughout a period of time built a picture of what a girl should be like and what a boy should be like based on religion, morals, natural instinct, and power. This has contributed to the myth that boys and girls are born with a static set of characteristics solely due to their gender. Although woman are known to have intense connections to their emotions, men are emotional creatures too. It is normal for a man to become emotional in certain situations because they are human. The hormone testosterone does not completely rid the male body of feelings, just as estrogen does not provide a significantly greater amount of emotions in woman compared to men. In order for individuals to become content with who they are, men and woman must start respecting each other and the decisions they make. They should respect each other not just for how “manly” or “domestic” they are, but for who they are as an overall person. “Men of quality respect woman’s equality.” And if a woman is fair, she should also respect the equality of men.