By Tiarnan Hatchell, IATG ContributorJuly 13, 2016
“That’s not very ladylike of you.”
“Be a man, and do this for me.”
Chances are, you’ve heard something like this at some point in your life. From a very young age, we’re forced to live our lives according to certain roles and expectations regarding what a person of a particular gender should or shouldn’t do. Women should cook the meals. Men should be out making the money.
I know I’m not the only one who thinks these gender roles are outdated nonsense, and in recent years, this has become increasingly apparent with more independence among the sexes being and the break away of traditional gender roles.
This can be seen in blockbuster action films where female lead stars are appearing more often than ever before, such as Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) in the Hunger Games franchise, Rey (Daisy Ridley) in the Star Wars franchise, and the upcoming Wonder Woman (Gal Godot) film, which will also be the first female-directed blockbuster with a budget of over $100 million. This is not to mention the upcoming Ghostbusters reboot and the Oceans 11-style heist film, which both feature all-female casts in roles where men once dominated.
Another area where women are slowly breaking down gender stereotypes is in business. Donna Langley (half-Egyptian), helped Universal Pictures gross a massive $6.7 billion in 2015, more than any other studio that year. A powerful woman in Hollywood definitely isn’t the norm, but women like Langley are certainly paving the way for others.
Many people forget than men are also subject to certain gender roles and told that they can’t or shouldn’t do certain things because of their gender. We’re told we can’t wear makeup. We’re told not to show emotion, because it makes us look weak. We’re expected to like sports and action movies, because they’re 'manly'. However, men are allowed more freedom to express themselves and to break away from these expectations. The Irish singer Bry wears makeup daily, because it helps him feel better about himself. While he still faces prejudice and ridicule, more people are open to men dismissing traditional gender roles.
The LGBTQ community is also experiencing more acceptance than ever before. Actress, Laverne Cox, is a transgender woman who is showing Hollywood that a person’s gender or background shouldn’t determine what they set out to achieve. Genderqueer bands like PWR BTTM raise awareness for LGBTQ issues. They aim to remove the oppression faced by this community by fighting to have things like all-gender bathrooms at their shows, so that their audience can feel comfortable.
Those in the gay community are also fighting against oppression with gay marriage having been legalized in 15 countries, including Ireland, Canada and the United States.
However, while those in the LGBTQ community are gaining more independence with each new day, there are still people who refuse to open their minds to the lives of others and go out of their way to prevent these freedoms from being granted. This has been seen in the recent Orlando terrorist attack in which an armed man shot and killed 50 people, while also injuring another 53 inside a gay nightclub. This tragedy is an example of the extremes some people will go to prevent others from having the same rights as them, and frankly, this attitude is absolutely disgusting. On behalf of everyone who is a part of I Am That Girl, I would like to extend my deepest and most sincere sympathies to the victims of this attack and their families. This is something that will stick with them for the rest of their lives, but I hope this attack can help spark more debates about the freedoms and persecution of those in the LGBTQ community, so that we can move forward into a more open-minded world that is safer and inclusive of all.
While the world still has a long way to go until everyone can be free from the roles and expectations set out for them, progress is being made every day. During this month, do what you can to include everyone and make them feel free to be who they are.
Be inclusive, not exclusive.
How do you break through the stereotypes placed upon you?
I'm an 18 year old guy from Ireland. I am a fan of films and I love going to the cinema anytime I can, or else watching my favourite movies at home. I also love to write my own film scripts, poetry and short stories. I also love music and I am constantly listening to my favourite albums on vinyl, going to gigs or releasing my own music (www.idolisedidiot.bandcamp.com).