Earlier this week, I overheard something during class. See, our professor wasn’t around so I spent the period making notes of another subject (Do you see the sad life I’m currently living??? *cries ungraciously in the distance*)And while writing, I…
kinda eavesdropped on the conversation of the people in front of me. I can’t really help it because our desks were near. Heh. #Excuses
Basically, the guy was talking about how he was mugged and he lost his phone. And the girl he was talking to was baffled.”How is it possible that you were mugged?” she asked, not in verbatim by the way, but that was the idea. “Why wouldn’t I be?” the guy asked, equally puzzled.
And then, the girl, God help her, said something along the lines of, “Well, girls are supposed to be the ones getting robbed.”
I know, right?
I was on the verge of crying out, “Wait what?!” at that point. So was the guy. She went on explaining that it’s because girls are often seen as weak and that makes them more susceptible to getting mugged than guys. That guys are less likely to get robbed because they’re seen as strong.
Ya gotta admit, she has a teeny-tiny point. We do have set cultural expectations on men and women, with the former being strong and the latter being subservient.
Still. I would like to think that thieves and petty criminals scour their potential victims carefully. I mean, they would have a certain level of street cleverness, right? Even fantasy novels with thieves and assassins imply that, don’t they???
More importantly, it felt wrong to generalize.
Because that conversation I overheard? That is a perfect example of gender bias experienced by everyone. The progress we have with stereotypes for women are, at best, crawling and at worst, stagnant. And yes, one of the reasons is because of how men see us. But then women themselves have this same generalization on their own gender.
See, I think this is why we aren’t getting past through all this gender bias. Or any bias for that matter. And we won’t anytime soon.
We start thinking out of the confining box of categories and stereotypes we like to put ourselves in. Not only be aware, but actually start acknowledging people’s individuality. That we have to constantly remind ourselves that no one is merely a part of a group.
And I’m no exception to this.
I’m no less guilty than that girl in my class. I’ve held both ends of gender bias. I know how discouraging being placed in a box can be. And I also know how these categories and stereotypes can make life so much easier. Because they simplify things. Make them less complicated. And we humans don’t like complications.
The funny thing is: we are complex beings.
And the only way to understand these things better and make them simpler is to accept its complexity.
TALK TO ME: Have you ever experienced being on both ends of gender bias? Or any bias, for that matter? What box/es have you been placed in before? How do you start to see people beyond their stereotypes? Do share your thoughts and opinions below!
Happy Wednesday, awesome peeps! <3
P.S. Ohyeah, and before I forget the most important question: what fantasy novels with assassins and thieves have you read and would highly recommend??? I’ve read The Final Empire, by the way, and it’s definitely a must-read!