10 Stereotypes To Stop Spreading About Women
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There are many generalizations and stereotypes about women which I come across frequently. I find the higher the standards that a woman holds for herself and those she allows into her life, the less she fits the molds we are about to discuss.
So, what are “all women” not…?
Not all women are overly emotional.
While it is true that brain functions between men and women differ greatly, by perpetuating the stereotype that all women let their emotions outweigh their logical processes, we are essentially downplaying their abilities to run countries, businesses, be professionally successful, or anything of the like.
Women currently hold 4.8 percent of Fortune 500 CEO positions and 5.2 percent of Fortune 1000 CEO positions (source) and while this is an unacceptably small number, it’s important to note that none of these companies are crumbling under their leadership – just the opposite, actually.
Now, of course not every woman is going to want to be CEO of a major company, but the emotion perception infiltrates all areas of their life. They are often not taken seriously because they are “just being emotional” or some such nonsense. There have been many times I have heard women formulate far more logical and sensible points on an issue than I have heard from men – point being, we need to stop shaming women because of this perception.
Not all women want to get married and have children.
Women are often made to feel pressured by society or their families to get married and start a family. Traditionally, this would mean that she would take on the primary care-giving role for the child(ren) while her husband goes out and brings home the bacon.
As a result of this, women who have children and continue pursuing their careers, or just don’t want to get married at all, are almost treated as second class citizens. “Oh, your’e not married yet? Why not?” “Oh, you’re choosing a career over having a family?”
By the way, some women are perfectly capable of being personally and professionally successful simultaneously, believe it or not.
A woman’s life choices are nobody’s business except her own. If she is happy, that is what counts the most.
Not all women get moody around “that time of the month.”
There is this perception of women that around, let’s say, the 28th of every month she is going to turn into a raging succubus lunatic who breathes fire and would send Godzilla running for the hills.
Anyone with half a brain or any experience with women whatsoever has likely come across plenty of women who seem to have no behavioral changes regardless of the date.
The danger in this stereotype? The excuse to dismiss a woman’s behavior and chalk it up to some hormonal imbalance. Any thought process that allows us to take someone’s thoughts or feelings less seriously for such a flimsy reason should be eliminated.
Not all women are nags.
Maybe she’s nagging you to do that thing again because you didn’t do it the first 157 times she asked you nicely.
Not all women are damsels in distress.
Maybe Rapunzel needed to be rescued from the tower, but no more. Today’s women are bold, strong, and well educated. They know what they want, and what they don’t want is someone who will mistreat or disrespect them. Our goal as men should not be to be someone they need, but to be someone they want.
That being said, I am as old-fashioned as the next guy in the desire to want to be a protector and take care of the woman who I am with, but that doesn’t mean I do it because I don’t think she can do it herself.
Not all women are perfectly innocent.
Studies have actually found that women cheat just as often as men do in relationships, but they do it for different reasons. Often times people think when I write articles like this that I’m just coddling women and trying to get “bonus points,” but we all have flaws and nobody is perfect. That needs to be recognized in both genders also.
The reason I say this is because when there is a problem in a relationship, a divorce, or a custody battle – the woman is undoubtedly favored in the ruling. We need to judge these cases on the facts, not the assumptions.
Not all women are trying to overpower you.
A common misconception about today’s “independent woman” is that she is trying to take a leading role or hold power over the man in her life. Relationships are not about control or power from either side. They are about cooperation, equality, and collaboration.
While of course there are women out there who take the independence notion a little beyond what might be conducive to a healthy relationship, most of them just want to be taken seriously and be seen as your equal. Pretty reasonable, I would say.
Not all women wear revealing clothing because they want you.
Perhaps one of the most dangerous stereotypes perpetuating rape culture or street harassment is the argument about how a woman was dressed and that she was “asking for it.”
For centuries women were forced to cover up because it would give men impure thoughts. Not only is this archaic notion oppressive to women, but it is insulting to men. I for one am insulted by the notion that I am such a primitive caveman that I will not be able to stop myself from assaulting a woman if she is wearing too little clothing.
A woman’s clothing choice is not an invitation for you to disrespect her. If you want to approach her, go about it the same way you would if she was wearing a pant suit. Gauge her interest through conversation, not through baseless assumptions.
Not all women are “crazy.”
Yes, this is different than the first point about being overly emotional, because often times when women are accused of being crazy it is not just triggered by emotional outbursts or the like.
Sometimes men call women crazy when they don’t understand reasoning, can’t relate to the issues being faced, are offended or insulted themselves, or just wish she was reacting in a different way than she was.
Though, the damage done is the same as the first point. If we choose to keep using harmful language like this, we give breath to the notion that women are incapable of logical or coherent thought and therefore any reaction or situation is subject to dismissal by using this argument.
See also: The abusive manipulation tactic of Gaslighting.
Women don’t owe you anything.
I will close with a serious point.
You don’t have to look far in the news to find someone who became violent towards women because he felt as though he had a “right” to her, that she was a “target,” or something to be obtained.
Women are not a goal. They are not a conquest. They are not a notch in your belt. The idea that any woman owes anything to any man will always do more harm than good in our society and we need to teach the children who will someday grow into adults that what a woman does or doesn’t do with a man is her choice and he has no right to force anything on her. Ever.
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Reblogged this on Hey, World. It's me, Coppertop..
Very well stated James. You’ve hit on some of my top pet peeves. Both genders need to take responsibility for refusing to perpetuate the damaging stereotypes that destroy trust and constructive relationships. Thanks for adding your voice to the cause!
Thank you so much for this post, James! It is 100% accurate & very much needed in this world today.
“Studies have actually found that women cheat just as often as men do in relationships,”
No James! As one who has studied “cheating” extensively, women do not engage in extramarital relationships as often as men (three men cheating with one woman doesn’t equalize the equation). While the reported number of women being unfaithful in relationships has increased over the past few decades, most research still shows that women cheat 10-30% less than men.
Simply adding a web-link to an infotainment video (without proper credit) doesn’t absolve you from your error of opinion.
Here is what a valid reference and research looks like: N. D. Tidwell, P. W. Eastwick. Sex Differences in Succumbing to Sexual Temptations: A Function of Impulse or Control? Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 2013; DOI: 10.1177/0146167213499614
Thanks for the correction! In no way was I attempting to ‘absolve myself from an error in opinion’ – in fact, adding a ‘source,’ albeit an inaccurate one, as you have pointed out, is for the purpose of making it not an opinion at all…
I appreciate the correction, I will look further into it, always interested in learning more about the dynamics of relationships!
Very good! Thank you!
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