Stereotype: In social psychology, a stereotype is any thought widely adopted about specific types of individuals or certain ways of behaving intended to represent the entire group of those individuals or behaviors as a whole. These thoughts or beliefs may or may not accurately reflect reality.
We create stereotypes when we are indoctrinated to a particular way of thinking which may sometimes be retrogressive. We have already highlighted how some parents pressure their children into particular occupations and careers. That is one way stereotyping manifests. But there are others.
For instance, some people have role definitions for boys different from girls.
In many African cultures especially, boys are mostly given the impression that they are superior to girls and must have the last word on everything; that they are not meant to do house chores or cook or even tidy up after themselves.
It is generally acceptable for males to ‘sow their wild oats’ while females remain the ‘untouched flowers’ that men will one day seek to pluck from their father’s garden…
There are many such beliefs, some are rooted in religion while others are cultural.
In these 16 days, we unequivocally call on all and sundry to walk away from these retrogressive ideas that pigeonhole individuals and limit their potentials!
These backward beliefs are also transmitted though educational curricula. Often we notice in textbooks, illustrations of boys strutting about without a care while girls are often depicted helping their mums in the kitchen or around the house.
These stereotypes affect young men and women as they grow up and become sources of conflict and misunderstandings that trigger violence.
Human beings are different and often have inclinations that do not conform to socio-cultural norms. It is our duty to respect individual differences, especially in our educational institutions.
We can impart good morals across board to our boys and girls alike without differentiation. We should bring up our boys to learn to do house chores and cook, so they do not become dependent on manipulative ladies in future. Likewise, our girls should learn rudiments of fixing things like changing light bulbs; even changing of vehicle tyres.
If boys and girls grow up in deep appreciations of their differences and similarities, they will be better able to compliment each others efforts in the modern world.
Let us not keep importing the convenient excuse of how ‘things were in the old days’!
In those days women did not have careers beyond subsistence agriculture and the running of their homes.
Women now run the most developed countries in the world. Nigeria is not peculiar!
Join the fight to end GBV in Education.
#orangetheworld #nooneleftbehind #16days #16daysofactivism2017 #16daysofactivism #GBV #EndGBV #ViolenceAgainstWomen #TML
*** This post is sponsored by The Metro Lawyer (TML) and Lampaix (Mediators and Advocates of Peace, led by its Executive Director, Ozioma Izuora).