Children's best interest

by Dong-Le on September 20, 2013 - 9:31pm

This article interests me since it raises a subject on gender stereotypes. There are toy companies that are starting to adopt their marketing without labeling their products to specific genders. This caught my attention by strangely bringing me mixed feelings about this situation. I am a person who strongly believes that everyone should be able to decide for themselves. However, personally, it would probably bother me a little bit if I had a son who would develop a main interest in dolls. However, that must be due to the fact that I was raised in an environment where a guy should have certain masculine characteristics.

Should we decide for the children what kind of interests is appropriate to their gender?

In my point of view, we shouldn’t let anyone decide for our child what they should like. At this point we are just forcing or applying our ideas on a certain gender. They have the rights to choose their preferences. We shouldn’t let society brainwash our children into thinking that a certain gender should have a specific and ideal image. This is just furthering down the path of stereotypes that separates boys and girls. They should be able to decide for themselves.  Certain interests are not all reserved for only guy or girl. There are many cases that demonstrate that the notions of feminine or masculine are not permanent and can be fluent. For example, there is an interesting animated TV series called "My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic" that mainly targets little girls as an audience, but strangely there are many adult man who loves that show. To add, this does not affect on their gender self identification.

Then again, society is not so nice towards kinds that do not fit their perspective. The idea of a male or female can take its roots from thousands of years ago. It would be incredibly hard to erase some traits that are associated to a certain gender. For one point, a parent might decide what kind of toys his child should take interest in just in case he wouldn’t get pressured by society’s beliefs. It would be for their children’s protection, so that the child wouldn’t get bullied or feel left out. Or maybe it is a necessity to indentify ourselves and draw a line to differentiate between guys and girls.

Should a gender have particular traits that defines it one from another?

http://www.masslive.com/living/index.ssf/2013/09/moms_view_gender_stereotypes_persist_in_toy_marketing.html

Comments

This post caught my attention by its title because it concerned a topic that I have been hearing about a lot lately. I did not know that the post was mainly about gender roles, but since it is, this has been a topic of interest for me. Gender roles have been a means for one to identify themselves, however it has also set up an idealistic characterization between a woman and a man. Since society has become more open to this topic, our way of perceiving gender roles has drastically changed from hat of the past.
In my opinion, gender roles are a sort of model that set ideal characteristics that a man or a woman should have. However, it can often lead to gender discrimination. I do not think that these “norms” are necessarily needed to be followed. There should not be specific traits standardized by society, because it is possible that a person does not feel associated to that role, but rather the opposite. Our society has evolved from perceiving women as only housewives and men as the sole workers. We have come to realize that women can and are just as good as men at doing some things.
Conversely, to impose the gender role on someone will reduce their right to choose. One should always be able to make their own decisions based on their personal interest. Even if they are children, many of tem do know what their likes and dislikes are. Though I think they should be introduced to the differences between a boy and a girl by exposing them to the concepts of gender differences without necessarily being guided towards one.
On this topic, I agree your arguments. For the longest time, women and men have always had characteristics classified specifically to them. Nowadays, as people are more aware of their freedom, very few would want to be imposed a role since it would be going against their freedom, but It is good to be aware of the differences. Since it is even possible that by choosing the opposite gender role, it is simply out of preference without any direct influence on the way the person will act. However it is true that the biological makeup may not allow one to do something that the other gender can. Therefore, it is possible that they may naturally be inclined towards a certain identity due to society’s standards.
Following the reading of your post, I did some further research to find out more about gender stereotypes and this webpage gives plenty of information on how gender roles are changing and what are the effects from these changes. The link also has an interesting video that compares the working brain of a man and of a woman. http://curiosity.discovery.com/question/gender-roles-society-changing

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