Words Matter

WORDS matter. Words matter in how we talk about the two genders. What does “man up”, “grow some balls”, “don’t be a girl” convey? And both genders use these words. Not only does it show girls as weak, it also prejudices boys who don’t behave in a stereotypical way. If we call women as “bitches”, even for fun, how are we teaching young men and women that we should be respectful towards women? When we say someone is not a good mother because she has a career, why can’t we accept that someone might not want to be a mother, might not be good at motherhood, or just plain wants a career as much as a family? Children can learn a lot from a mother who can do both. Same thing with a man being a provider. If both genders deserve to earn equal pay for equal work, just a single gender should not be stereotyped as provider. If we want women to be high-paying executives, we should also accept that some men could be low-paying artists. Work that allows a person to support themselves should be respected, not who earns more. More importance should also be given to fatherhood, so that fathers, if they want, can spend more time with their children. No one ever asks if men want time off to spend time at home with family and kids. Equality is moving past stereotypes about both genders. Equality is respecting the individual, not prejudiced views based on their reproductive organs. And both genders are equally guilty of gender stereotyping. Men have to get past the traditional idea that they have the final word, and women must get past the idea that they are entitled to be provided for. Words matter when a man calls a woman “fat”, or a woman calls a man “short”. Words matter when we cannot look into the individual, but only how the situation or the person appears. Change can only come when we look into our attitude, and the words we use to describe each gender.

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