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Are gender stereotypes an outdated concept?


Content warning: This article may contain topics related to sexuality that some readers may find distressing.


two wooden figures standing in front of a pink and blue background
by Magda Ehlers @pexels

Gender today is a more fluid concept that is ever-changing and evolving, but traditional gender stereotypes have in the past defined what a person can or can not do. I heard many times when I was younger, I couldn’t do certain things because of my gender. I wanted to take a fighting class, but I was told I was wrong and shouldn’t do that because it was for boys. But in recent times there has been a shift in gender roles, they don’t have as much control over what a person is expected to behave like or their choices.

What are Gender Stereotypes?

Well, gender stereotypes are preconceived views about how members of a certain gender should behave or what traits they should have. The problem with gender stereotypes is they are out of date, many of the ideas being pushed by these stereotypes are no longer relevant today, they were based on old beliefs. Gender stereotypes at home push the idea that women are the caretakers of the home and men are breadwinners, but this is no longer the case. The National Centre for Social Research in 2018 found that 72% disputed the conservative view that women should dedicate themselves to housework compared to 10 years ago with 58% showing the changes in society’s beliefs regarding gender. More recently the Tik Tok trend where husbands were posting videos about if their partner made enough money to support them, they would stay home and take care of the home showing a shift in perception from that of the past. That these traditional gender stereotypes are no longer a part of society.

What Happens Next

As well, another way we have moved away from these outdated concepts is through women’s football. In England, as this was banned until 1971 by the FA, it was not until 2018 that England had a fully professional women’s football league. It took a long time for the permanent professional league to be created and yes it should never have taken that long but it also shows how society is moving away from the old outdated traditional gender roles.

This move away from gender stereotypes is in every level of society from football to clothing society is breaking those traditional gender roles. Harry Styles in his Vogue photo shoot in 2020 wore a dress and his reason behind it was simply, he liked that style of clothing.

"I find myself looking at women's clothes, thinking they're amazing."

Harry Styles is right. Why shouldn’t he be able to wear what he feels comfortable in? These old, outdated expectations are being pushed out of society’s expectations and what we will see in the next few years will focus on ever-changing gender fluidity.

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