Gender: Stereotypes And Prejudice

Throughout history, gender stereotypes have made themselves prominent in the lives of individuals of all cultures. A stereotype is a common biased of a certain group that is defined by oversimplistic ideas usually taught at a young age. Gender stereotypes reflect the prescriptive notions of men and women that have been predetermined by society for centuries. While many have fought for the pursuit of equality and have become liberated in their beliefs and attitudes, many of our actions can be traced back to the influence of gender stereotyping and the common illusion of men and women that have been passed down through the generations. In spite of their headstrong battle for their values, a significant number of people today relate to individuals on a gender stereotype bias.

From the birth of gender equality movements such as the Seneca Falls Convention of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott(1848) to the perilous fights against gender discrimination today, gender stereotypes have been an issue affecting everyone. At a women’s rights convention in Ohio in 1851, Sojourner Truth gave one of her most famous speeches, called “”Ain’t I a Woman.”” Truth asserts, “”That man over there says that women need to be helped into carriages, and lifted over ditches, and to have the best place everywhere. Nobody ever helps me into carriages, or over mud-puddles, or gives me nay best place! And ain’t I a woman?”” Truth calls for people to realize that no matter the skin color or gender, all people deserve equal treatment. The fight for equality can be seen in all parts of history being led by powerful leaders such as Sojourner Truth. Women’s rights activists like Stanton and Mott created the gateway for more individuals in society to aid in movements threatening genderstereotypes and breaking the boundaries that limit equality for all.

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Prejudicial attitudes are taught at an early age from observing the stereotypical roles that people in our families assume. The deeper understanding of how certain things are able to influence ideas and self-understanding at a young age is discussed in “”Breaking Gender Stereotypes in the Toy Box.””. A new study is introduced by Lauren Spinner suggests a hypothetical ordeal that “”the potential power of words and images are able to battle gender stereotypes and open up interests and activities for children to explore without barriers”” (Perri). These choices are significant because they can influence the skills children learn and the possibilities they see for themselves. The images children see can reinforce stereotypes and limit their horizons, but they can also open up possibilities and lead kids to believe that they have more choices. As we progress through school, these attitudes are reinforced by our classmates and peers. Today, gender is viewed as a merely defined of misconceptions, judgments, and assumptions that are the fuel that runs in the veins of society today. In today’s society, the definition of gender is everchanging.

Despite the various roles played by men and women in today’s society, people are still prone to judge individuals based on their idea of how males and females are expected to behave. Articles such as “”Gender Stereotypes””elaborate on the idea that preconceived ways of life where the sexes are assigned characteristics and roles that are determined and limited by their gender. Eige explains that Gender stereotyping “”limits the development of the natural talents and abilities of women and men””(Eige). Stereotypes about women both result from and are the cause of, deeply ingrained attitudes, values, norms and prejudices against women (Eige).

Gender stereotypes are used to justify and maintain the historical relations of power of men over women as well as sexist attitudes that hold back the advancement of women. Gender stereotypes are studied to have known powerful effects on cognition and behavior, as well as increasing the gap between men and Women. In this gap, gender stereotypes include portraying feminine and masculine characteristics as complete opposites. The social pressure created by ideals based on gender stereotypes is studied to be damaging from childhood to adult years, as well as relationships. Although American society has prospered in recognizing and protecting human rights, these distortions of the sexes caused by gender stereotypes are known to isolate and interfere with levels of intimacy and compassion in relationships. Due to recent efforts to establish equality between the sexes, society can be seen straying away from ideas that support discrimination and inequality between men and women but is seen lacking when battling the everlasting fight agasint gender stereotypes in today’s society.

The Biggest Pandemics -The Black Death

The black death was one of the biggest pandemics that infected Europe and wiped out nearly 60% of the population, that’s about 25 million people, across a two year period. Africa along with Asia was also infected by this plague. This pandemic is commonly known as the bubonic plague. The Black Death had almost a 100% mortality rate it was very rare that someone survived. One of our happiest childhood hymns is a sad remembrance of one of the most devastating pandemics in human history. Some may even say that this dark part of our past changed history for the better. The way of life in the middle ages was affected by the black death in the ways of economy, religion, and socially.

The economy was the most affected after the passing of the black death. With almost one-third of the population gone, the working population went down drastically. “As people died, it becomes harder to find people to plow the fields, harvest crops, and produce other goods and services.” Since there were fewer workers in society after the black death many jobs were left unworked. With workers being in such high demand, many of them wanted higher wages and better conditions for the jobs they worked. Rulers did not agree with giving their workers higher wages since they worked for that much beofre the plague. “Within a year of the onset of plague, during 1349, an Ordinance of Labourers was issued and this became the Statute of Labourers in 1351.” Rulers at the time wanted to prevent giving out higher wages so they made laws to force workers to take the lower wages they were given before.

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This ultimately changed the relationship between the higher classes and serfs. Usually, the peasants were the ones in need for work at a lower advantage but not the higher classes were the ones in need if they wanted to keep their businesses going. “The vast majority of the population at the time of the Black Death was rural peasants who suffered the highest mortality and in so doing, became much more expensive and choosy about where they worked, and how they related to lords.” With the higher classes being in need, peasants were able to be a little more choosy about where they wanted to work. This made the higher class give into higher wages and better conditions knowing if they didn’t it would only be bad for them. Since most people after the plague had lost their family they came into an inheritance which was most times a lot of money. In addition to this, some were lucky enough to come into more things such as land, tools, and housing after their lord’s death. “No-one cared for wealth anymore which resulted in very small prices for everything” With a drastically smaller population, there became an overabundance of things which resulted in prices to fall in the economy. This resulted in peasants being able to afford higher-end items due to having extra money they would have never had before the plague. These are one of the upsides of the plague.

After the landlord’s had no other choice but to give into higher wages, this resulted in the manorial system coming to an end.

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