BP 7

Reflecting on specific gender messages in your culture, clearly name 2 messages that are restrictive and 2 that inspire inclusivity.

Cite at least one supporting example from the text as evidence for your ideas.

When thinking of gender messages, males and females receive two completely different messages. As a male, I have experienced a particular restrictive message, that of “boy’s don’t cry”. This message indicates that it is “weak” for boys to show emotion when they are hurt. Another restrictive message is that of how males should dress. Though it makes sense to most people in my culture, the message of “boy’s don’t wear dresses” doesn’t make any sense other than the fact that it is considered feminine by american culture even though it’s acceptable in others. i.e. Kilts.

There are also inclusive messages told by society that may be contradictory to the restrictive ones. One inclusive message is that when in a relationship, boys are encouraged to share their emotions with their partner. This contradicts the restriction in emotion when boys are told not to cry. Another inclusive message is that of hair length. This message may be specific to my life, but it has been socially acceptable by my family and the people who surround me for males to have long hair. In the past, long hair on a male would be seen as feminine, in today’s society, it is a growing trend regardless of gender. The same can be said for females that have short hair.

An example from the text is the concept around who can be a ballet dancer as told by a boy. His mother asks him who can be a ballet dancer and he claims that only girls can, despite his mother telling him otherwise. The message to him is that only girls can be ballet dancers, which acts as a restrictive force in his interests, even though the reality is different. (Broderick, p. 301)

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