Write an original essay at least 450 words
Gendered artifacts help communicate what society believes males and females are like and how they should behave. Pink is associated with femininity. It is a soft, not harsh color- again emphasizing submissiveness and sweetness in women. Recently, a popular form of spotlighting has been the use of the phrase â€œreal men wear pink.â€ Since this color is generally used to define femininity, men have begun expressing how â€œmanlyâ€ they are by feeling comfortable associating themselves with an artifact that is normally associated with women. Men want others to believe that they are so closely associated with being a â€œreal manâ€ and not feminine at all. They show this through wearing a shirt that basically says â€œI can do something that is normally feminine, but Iâ€™m so masculine that this gendered artifact wonâ€™t even make you question my manliness.â€
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The idea that certain artifacts, or objects that are expressive of our identity, are gendered is taught to children at a young age. Artifacts help communicate how we think men and women should behave and reflect the stereotyped characteristics we attribute to the sexes. Stereotypes are ingrained into us from a young age, which makes it difficult to see past those stereotypes as we grow older and more aware of our biases.
For example, consider this example of how young a child can be aware of gendered artifacts. While at Party City a little girl who looked about 4 years old was shopping with her father and was looking at plastic â€œprincess crowns.â€ Her father jokingly put on one of the crowns and the little girl yelled â€œHey! You canâ€™t wear that!â€ Her father asked why, and she said â€œYouâ€™re a boy!!â€ This exemplifies that tiaras and â€œfeminineâ€ items are seen as inappropriate for men from a very young age.
Your assignment is to reminisce about your childhood and identify 3 different objects (referred to in your text as ARTIFACTS) that you remember playing with from your childhood. Most childrenâ€™s toys and games represent either a FEMININE or MASCULINE bias. Very few toys are gender neutral when you really think about it. Each story should be a minimum of 150 words (total = 450 words). Why do you think these particular objects created lasting memories? Finally, include how each object reflects male / female stereotypes or an affinity for the feminine or masculine gender. If possible, recall at least one object that would generally be considered appropriate for the opposite gender. (Baseball & bat = boys / wooden refrigerator & stove = girls) BE SURE TO INCLUDE THE GENDER ISSUE / COMMENT at the end of each example. ATTACH at least ONE IMAGE (can be from google images) to help illustrate your story. EXAMPLES = 595 words.
Example # 1: Barbie Dolls
My mother made a Barbie doll cake for my 10th birthday. I really loved playing with my all of my Barbie dolls and wanted a birthday cake to reflect that. I received several Barbie outfits as gifts but the most memorable one was a football uniform for Ken that was red and white with rubber shoulder pads, football shoes and a helmet. Our local high school team wore the same red and white colors. I loved dressing Ken for the big game while I dreamed of someday becoming a cheerleader. Two years later I began my 6 year journey (7th â€“ 12th grade) as a cheerleader for the Mattawan Wildcats. (Kenâ€™s football uniform, complete with shoulder pads, is carefully packed away in my attic with Barbie, Ken, Midge and Skipper.) GENDER IMPACT: In junior high and high school cheerleading was my life! The only JV or Varsity activity for girls to participate in was BASKETBALL or CHEERLEADING. Boys could letter in Football, Basketball, Baseball and Track.(140)
Example # 2: The Barbie Game
I received the original â€œBarbie Gameâ€ for Christmas in the early 1960â€™s. The goal of the game was to travel around the game board to 1) earn babysitting money 2) get elected as a club president 3) buy a dress for the prom 4) get a boyfriend and therefore a DATE to the prom. Naturally, some dresses were better than others and of the 4 boyfriends available, KEN was the dreamiest. While I played the game a lot as a tweener, it wasnâ€™t until I had children that playing the Barbie Game became a family ritual. The game was taken to our cabin in Canada and my son and daughter played it every summer with their grandma or me. Nobody wanted Poindexter or Bob as their prom date or the crummy blue dress. Even in high school (and college) my son, John IV, was the first person every year to drag out the game. To this day, when weâ€™re in Thessalon, Ontario â€“ an evening of the â€œBarbie Gameâ€ is a must. As a side note, my daughter, Hallie, was NEVER interested in playing with Barbie dolls (or most dolls for that matter). However, sheâ€™s a vicious opponent playing THE GAME.
GENDER IMPACT: One of my â€œgirlyâ€ childhood games has crossed the gender divide and become an annual ritual with my son and daughter. Our family has shared hours of laughter and fun over the past twenty-five years reminiscing about who was stuck with the crummy blue dress or Poindexter! (248)
Example #3: Secret Agent Man
In the mid 1960â€™s James Bond and secret agents were all the rage – – especially for boys. I was convinced my future husband was going to wear striped pajama bottoms (with no top) just like James Bond. (Again, I was a tweener.) My brother and I used to watch The Man from U.N.C.L.E. on TV together and then play undercover secret agents. He was 3 years older than me so, of course, I was his sidekick. He was Napoleon Solo and I was Illya Kuryakin. For Christmas we decided to get each other the â€œhottestâ€ board games of the season. I got him the James Bond game and he bought me The Man From U.N.C.L.E. That same year my brother taught me how to climb onto the roof of our house and we blasted the bad guys with our secret agent guns while traversing the rooftop. Of course, we only did that when my parents were out for the evening.
GENDER IMPACT: Secret agent movies and TV shows were very popular during my pre-teen years. There were no female agents EXCEPT agent 99 on the TV comedy, “Get Smart.” . The other women who appeared in the secret agent movies were “eye candy” and often dressed in bikinis and sexy cocktail dresses.