One would have thought that we would have been more open and accepting in 2017. Although we've come a long way in terms of tolerance and acceptance in the world, it's a slow-moving process. But we're no doubt making progress — especially when it comes to tearing down all the gender stereotypes that have been built up and set in place for centuries. Thankfully, for those of us lucky enough to be surrounded by open and respectful people and environments (or at the very least, folks who will engage in constructive conversations), we can be comfortable in our own skin, bodies and representations.
Because ignorance is bliss and there are still many people who will contradict what they find unfamiliar, often gender norms are upheld and those who do not conform are threatened. It takes courage and self-respect to stand up to the status quo. The following empowered and truth-seeking individuals took to Whisper to reveal why they think gender stereotypes were made to be broken.
Marriage these days is such an arbitrary concept for many couples. Those in same-sex relationships are unfortunately oppressed in many states and countries worldwide. For some, their cities have implemented automatic common-law policies where you become "technically" married to your partner — even if it's not what you believe in. However you may look at at, marriage is a very, very sticky subject and extremely divisive across cultures, genders, and relationships. For this fearless woman, enough was enough. Why wait around and make something great happen when you can hold the cards yourself? The typical bride-groom conventions have been ingrained in our heads, but in reality everything is just superficial. If you want to spend the rest of your life with someone, make it happen in whatever way you choose.
If you've encountered this consistent ladies wear problem — we totally feel you. Not only is finding the perfect pair of jeans ridiculously difficult (if not entirely impossible), but if you haven't noticed — women's clothes COST MORE MONEY. Well, that's what it seems like anyways. For some reason, a men's extremely durable and soft XXL t-shirt will usually ring up at least $5-10 less than a woman's XS crop top. How is this discrepancy in cloth vs. cost even determined? Regardless, if it isn't the cost that persuades us, it's the fact that loose clothing can sometimes make us feel beautiful as well as functional. Whoever decided that women had no need for pants with pockets is either suffering from severe misogyny, or has never understood the qualms of carrying a purse to the restroom. Until then, no one can stop us from raiding our boyfriend's closets and the men's sales racks.
Some studies have shown that when it comes to certain construction jobs—particularly those that require advanced skill with heavy machine operation—that female multitasking capabilities come in handy (pun intended). When you really think about it though, why does it matter? If construction is your career calling, your passion, or simply a means to pay the bills, it should be a job available to all who are qualified and certified in the field. Being relegated to someone's wife or secretary is just plain rude. Just because a lady can clean up doesn't mean she's any less entitled to a hard hat. This is one badass chick that has to step up to the plate—and to the men on her team—every day of the week. You go, girl!
12 House Dad
Whoever determined that the role of a mother was to stay at home with the kids while the husband heads to the office for his 9-5 job can be blamed for this massive generalization that still irks many people. The truth is this: why does it matter? A job is a job, and if the men want to be stay-at-home-dads, then all the more power to them! It doesn't make the man any less masculine and it doesn't make the female any less feminine. The gender flip in this household is flipped, but as long as their kids and finances are taken care of, then why does it matter? In fact, the more children grow up with this role reversal, the less of a "reversal" it will actually become. Don't ever let anyone dictate how a family dynamic should be, and what gender roles parents should play in their family.
This says it all. When it truly comes down to it—gender, sex, race, ability, religion—there's always hope that one day, the only thing people will care about is whether someone has an awesome personality. If kids are taught at a young age that just because they identify a certain way does not determine how they'll go about their daily business, the world would be overall a safer place for everyone. When it comes to making friends, that old adage that girls and boys can never mix is absolute garbage. Back when we were children on the playground, all we cared about was who was the most interesting, or who played the best school yard games. We say, the more diversity in your group, the more flavorful the friendship!
We're not suggesting that if you're a girl you have to shave your legs whenever you wear a dress or show your legs. Not at all! But this boy has a point; while it may be considered "manly" to show off a furry chest a la Austin Powers, or grow a lumberjack beard to "prove" your manliness, the same gender norms sadly apply in both cases. Unfortunately, he still hasn't been able to admit that he doesn't shave his legs for sport, but because he chooses either to identify as female or experiment in drag. And that's still okay by us. Just keep in mind that legs can look just as good unshaven in a dress as they can hairless. Because at the end of the day, everyone has hair on their legs, people really need to get over "pretending" that women are hairless.
It's a great misconception that DIY is only for girls. While arts and crafts are often relegated to home economics classes (which again, have a strong tendency to cater to your typical female gender norms), creativity comes in all shapes and sizes. It's present in all kinds of people — female, male, or fluid. We give total props to this dude who said "screw the status quo!", and decided to save money to impress his loved ones by making his own homemade candles as Christmas gifts. We know his mother and sisters would no doubt be impressed with whatever creation he came up with (we sure are!), because candles are pretty hard to master for any gender. Who knows, if he's really into it, he could open up his very own Etsy shop and continue to blow gender stereotypes out the window.
When it comes to children's pastimes and hobbies, you'd think any parent would be happy so long as their kid put down their iPhones for more than five minutes. Ahh, back in the old days when the younger generations would run from yard to yard or in the field at school — playing flag football and kick the can. In fact, it's been proven time and time again how essential physical activity and sports can be for growing bodies. Because as kids, we all believe we can be whatever we want and do whatever we please, this shouldn't stop at what kind of sport we play. For all those football parents out there, wouldn't you rather your kid (regardless of gender) know how to block a hit, sprint 100 yards, and catch a ball? This mother is right to be proud of her daughter for showing everyone up on the team.
When people say "Grow a pair," it can be baffling. The question of masculine energy prevailing over feminine power makes absolutely no sense — especially since women are (in the wise words of Beyoncé) "Strong enough to bear the children, then get back to business." Thankfully little girls today have opportunities that no woman had a couple of decades ago. All their rights have been fought for and protested by other strong females. In this way, there are so many empowering and fierce role models out there for girls. So why can't boys look up to them as well? Gender norms often chastise parents for allowing their children to play with toys that don't "match their gender," but we disagree. If a little boy aspires to be a politician because of Angela Merkel, or a rockstar because of Stevie Nicks, then let him wear a damn dress if he wants to.
Total props to this bada*s mom for not only accepting her daughter and encouraging her supposedly "boyish" love for superheroes, but for joining in on the fun as well. For all the moms out there who really want to shatter what gender stereotypes have been drilled into society: show your kids that you've got their backs no matter what. If you don't care what other people say about your cape, then chances are your kids won't either. And now currently, superheroes don't solely come in the shape of men. With the introduction of the Supergirl series and the Wonder Woman movie (in addition to all the fantastic female characters that have been making waves in Marvel and DC films for years), little girls everywhere can dress up like whichever superhero—or heroine—they like best.
5 Fruit Basket
Some women prefer the smell of cologne over perfume, and some men appreciate citrus and floral scents over tobacco. Whatever his preference, there's no judgment here when it comes to how this guy likes to come across. Why is it that fruity scents (and come to think of it, fruity cocktails) are associated with being girly? Like, when did this happen? Since when were men not allowed to appreciate fruit? This is a gender stereotype that makes absolutely no sense at all. Smelling delicious and fresh should never be considered strange for men, just as smelling musky and spicy shouldn't be off-putting for a woman. To test this theory, we challenge you to switch up your friend's skin care products with something fruit just to see how quickly he falls in love with it.
It's a well-known fact that Pinterest is the perfect excuse for a marriage-driven woman to manage a slew of wedding boards in secret. Whether they're pining the most beautiful engagement rings, designing their dream wedding dress, or grabbing inspiration from different color schemes, Pinterest is the perfect place to daydream about your big-day without the guilt in the privacy of your own home. However, similarly to the notion that it's the man who has to propose to the woman, why is it the woman's job to organize the entire wedding? Both parties have families, friends, and separate tastes. Some people are generally just more high maintenance than others — regardless of gender. We're stoked that this fiancé is unashamed to admit his desire for a perfect wedding. After all, marriage is communal and should cater to everyone's needs.
We feel sorry that this guy even thinks about how "manly" his eyebrows need to be in order to go about his day. Actually, it seems a bit counter-productive to advocate for shameless use of makeup products in order to achieve a very gender prototypical effect, but we'll let it slide. If RuPaul's Drag Race's Jeffree Star and Manny MUA's YouTube channels have taught us anything, makeup—though initially designed for women—is not exclusive to them. Just in the past year, both Manny and his counterpart, James Charles, scored makeup contracts with Maybelline and CoverGirl! This quickly shut down all the haters who believed men shouldn't wear makeup. It just goes to show how an artistic license is truly available to everyone...and as it should be.
Let's be quite honest, in this day and age where everyone's eyes are glued to their Smartphones, it's a shock if someone holds the door open for anyone at all. Truthfully, to everyone who claims chivalry is dead — it really isn't necessarily a bad thing. This woman has it figured out, and is totally right when she claims that showing kindness and respect is not a "gender thing," but an overall matter of having manners. Sometimes it's the little things that brighten up peoples' days, and although it may be a lost practice, the act of sincerely showing kindness to a stranger does not go unappreciated. This is a good reminder to all the ladies out there who huff and puff about men not showing them any respect. Manners should be mutual, and if you hold the door open for them, maybe they'll return the favor.
We couldn't be more on board with this sassy female foodie. The saying "The only way to a man's heart is through his stomach," goes both ways these days. In fact, it was probably true from the beginning, but just not as socially acceptable to admit. Nowadays, you can reject the stereotypical first date norm, where the man orders a plate of wings and fries and the woman orders a side of salad. Eating out is expensive and generally only happens every once in awhile. And if a woman's gotta eat, she's gonna eat! Although many people of all genders love receiving flowers on different occasions, and chocolates are definitely appreciated under most circumstances, everyone gets hungry. And if someone judges you because you like to eat? Then he wasn't worth it in the first place.