Personal Narrative: My Experience With Gender Roles

935 words - 4 pages

Personal Narrative: My Experience with Gender Roles

A secret agent. A professional football player. A fire fighter. These would have been my responses when asked that inevitable question, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" Family, Media and Peers are said to have influenced my views concerning the role I am to play society. All of these factors had one thing in common. They all were influencing me to behave according to my gender. Everything from the clothes I wore to the toys I played with contributed to this. Even now as a young adult my dreams and aspirations are built around the gender roles that were placed on me.
There were several instances in my childhood when my Family had a direct influence on me according to my gender. Right from birth my role as an individual was predestined. The gifts I was to receive at a baby shower were all based around my gender. It would have been unheard of for someone to give me pink clothes or flowery decorations at my baby shower. Young boys have always been told not to cry when they fall and scrape their knees. Comments like these from family members definitely had an impact on my aspirations. My dream to be a fire fighter was most likely related to those comments to not cry. Being a fire fighter would definitely be an occupation where stress would be high. If I could be a fire fighter I would definitely have the opportunity to prove to my parents that I could be strong and not cry. The media was also a factor that had a large impact on my childhood ambitions. Television is a great example of this. In almost all Television shows the gender roles are very prominent. Things such as male characters being strong or in positions of authority are prevalent. Even the simplest of programs such as cartoons use dominant males to impress upon children gender roles. The "Flinstones" is a perfect example of media influencing children. The main character Fred Flinstone is the head of the family. He is the one who earns the money to support the family. His wife Wilma takes care of things such as house work and raising the children. Finally, my peers as a child also had a large influence on me. Because other children my age were also being raised with gender roles, when they came to school or over to my house to play, the toys they brought would be results of gender roles. When we interacted socially we would play with trucks and army men. Parents would not give their sons dolls or dress-up games, because they...

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