Ideas of gender surround us everywhere in concepts of what is masculine, feminine, and what are expected behaviors for males and females because of their gender. Sometimes teachers want a gender identity essay that explores these issues. Gender stereotypes papers too explore whether conceptions of gender are even fair. Today, women fight in the armed forces, are police officers, and hold many jobs that used to belong to men and men do the same. Whether you need a gender inequality essay, a gender roles essay, a gender stereotypes essay or an assignment on issues. Sometimes, though, what clarifies how to write a paper better than any lecture is viewing a good example, like the one below.
From an older students’ perspective, gender roles have relaxed quite a bit since the ages of “My Little Blue Book” and “My Little Red Book” established clear ideas of gender roles in my youth. These two books that chronicled the adventures of Dick and Jane formed much of the Baby Boomer’s children’s concepts of what boys and girls should model themselves after. This paper will examine how Dick and Jane type books help reinforce limiting stereotypes for men and women that may be detrimental to their self concepts.
In the Dick and Jane books and many children’s books and teen lit books today, girls are still consistently pictured as trying to get a husband, boyfriend, and spending much of their time worrying if they are attractive enough to attract a man. The female characters in children’s books and teen novels worry about their hair, their make up, and “getting the popular boy” to look their way, not getting into Stanford. And what the problem is that some of the most popular books amongst young people are the ones that most adamantly reinforce these limiting sexist stereotypes.
Where are the female athletes sweating away in the gymnastics auditorium or running laps around their male competitors in track? Where are the boys that pride themselves on studying hard rather than becoming the most popular kid in school. If anything, one would hope that adult authors of children’s books would take into consideration that these ideas of popularity immediately vanish with the rapidity of a disappearing genie or cloud of vapor the minute they and all the members of their senior class graduate.
Why can’t adult authors of children and teen lit today use the lessons they have learned in life about what’s really important and infuse YA lit with admirable characters with depth and intricacy, who are concerned with more than mere surface attributes such as having the fanciest clothes in school and being the most attractive. Why can’t we have a female character who is worried about scoring 100 on her next calculus test instead of musing on the wonders of candied lip gloss for the best pout – to attract the best boy.
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