In this analysis I am supposed to discuss similarities and what resonates with me from two of my classmates’ stories with how they demonstrate particular normative narratives, obviously everyone has their own experiences and no one’s story will be exactly the same so there will be differences in our stories. The subject of the stories will be gender because some of the stories I resonate with. One of the stories I will be comparing to will be Noah’s “Barbie Boy” because there are relations between our stories, and the other story will be Haley’s Blog because she talks about the Norms that women have to go through even if they have to suffer pain, because the “normal” thing to do. Both of these stories are different views on the gender norms because one is from a female student talking about the social norms of “looking good” while the other is about a boy wanting a toy that is marketed for girls.
There are all these normative narratives for Males and Females and in Haley’s blog she talks about getting her hair and makeup done for grad, she talks about the pain of getting everything ready, and the suffering through this whole ordeal so that they “look good” as she says in her blog “Even though almost every female goes through the same type of events and has the same feelings about them as I do, they still continue to do it.” This is one of the normative that women have to face even daily, some women wear makeup every day and have to go through this long process because it is what society tells them they have to do, they have to look “pretty” to look like a “lady”. It is like what I said in my blog with their being predetermined thing that men and women have to follow in their life because its what the world around them does, all the makeup and hair is seen all around in magazines and in pop culture, it is just “normal” to do it. She is correct in saying that it influences 1000 decisions we make every day.
The other story that resonated with me was Noah’s “Barbie Girl” it relates to my blog post because it as well struggles with those social norms for what is a girl’s toy and what is a boy’s toy. Everyone has to deal with these social norms, guys cannot buy a Barbie doll because that would be something that a girl would play with. I feel like I had similar experiences to Noah in my upbringing, I grew up with a sister and she, of course, had many barbies and I had Legos, army men, and race cars. I remember my sister saying she loved Lego, but she never had any because there wasn’t any made for girls. Why does it have to be made for girls or boys, why can’t kids just play with whatever toy they want? It is because we have this mindset taught to us since we were born that there are only two genders and they all have their own preset personality traits and must cater to the world around them and the toys they are supposed to play with.
A lot of people try to disrupt these normative narratives, we try to be different to be unique in this society because we don’t want to conform to the social norms that are put on men and women. Men don’t have to be strong and desensitized, they are looked at as “wearing the pants in the family. And being the “head of the household” and women are supposed to make themselves look a certain way, dress a certain way, and be sensitive and “feminine”. These words “masculine and feminine” are made up words for traits on how men and women are supposed to act and conduct themselves in today’s society. This story that I chose was Natasha’s story because it differs to some stories because she is going against those norms where girls can’t play the same sports as boys because they are too physical. As it says in our textbook “Is Everyone Really Equal?” by Ozlem Sensoy and Rodin DiAngelo chapter 7 page 112 says: “Mainstream movies, as well as many reality makeover shows, normalize the idea that it is important to for women to Transcend their race and class status to and realign with the traditional notions of femininity.” This quote is meaningful because it’s true and all of the stuff we see in pop culture and in tv shows today. We see these gender “norms” and these narratives with the man being strong and the hero and all the makeover shows for girls and how-to makeover videos on the internet. It makes it so that it is important for women to look a certain way.
I chose Natasha’s story “Gender Inequality on the Playground” about her experience with gender inequalities on the playground and in sports. She talks about how difficult it was for her to join in with some sports at recess because the boys had set games that they only played, the girls had games that only they would play. Natasha talks about how a lot of the time she would be the only girl playing the sport with a bunch of boys. We are taught as children that boys are supposed to be stronger than girls, so they get put into the more physical sports like football, while girls are pushed into the more performance sports like dance and gymnastics. She is going against these gender norms by playing the games that most of the boys play, Natasha says that she still played her fair share of these “girl’s games” but still it is the fact that she is not bound by who she is and will not conform to the gender stereotypes of which sport she is supposed to be in.
This story will silence others that try to say that men and women should stick to their pre-determined traits, it will silence the stereotypes for what is masculine and what is feminine, in Haley’s story when she is talking about how almost all girls go and get all dolled up for grad, some don’t and it is stories like Natasha’s where she states herself as a “tomboy” which is a word for a girl who falls under some of the “masculine” traits. again, as it says in our text talking about Prince Charming from Cinderella having to sweep the woman off her feet, in two ways creates a sense that the man has to be the hero of the story saving the “damsel in distress” and that the woman, in fact, has to be saved by a man in the first place. Although both stories are true, there is no wrong answer when it comes to someone’s experiences, it is their point of view all that these stories are saying is different experiences on gender and of course a woman is going to have a different view on things than a man because of our society we hold genders to different standards. These “norms” are what are holding us back and the stories like Natasha’s show how not all people are the same, women can play sports with the boys even if they are the only one. These stories are showing that we need to rethink the definitions of “masculine” and “feminine”, everyone has a different story and you can’t just place people into this table based on what they look like on the outside. It is important to create these counter-narratives so that people who don’t fit this “criteria” are not oppressed and discriminated against.
Sensoy, Özlem, and Robin J. DiAngelo. Is Everyone Really Equal?: an Introduction to Key Concepts in Social Justice Education. Teachers College Press, 2017