Do we limit girls? This was the question asked to a group of girls in Always’ new ad “Unstoppable”. As a sucker for slow-motion, it was very hard for me not to like this commercial. Now, on a more serious note, I can totally relate to the limitations topic. If you’ve read my previous posts, you’ll see that gender inequality is a topic that pops out from time to time. Personally, I don’t see myself as a “crazy” feminist. I don’t want gender roles to switch, neither do I want only women running the world. I just want people to feel great in their own skin, and not feel limited by their gender.
Regarding this particular commercial, I don’t believe “Always” is trying to portray women as victims. They are just trying to shed light on certain issues. Do I believe that “we” limit girls? As I see it, girls are just as limited by society as boys are. Why? Whenever a child is told that she/he is not allowed to do something or should behave in a certain way just because of their gender, that’s like putting them into “gender boxes”. This is conditioning them as “future adults”. That’s why I said that both girls and boys suffer limitations due to society’s expectations about them.
If things can be considered somehow even between girls and boys in terms of limitations, what about women and men?
The sketch above plays with the fact that a lot of the childhood gender rules are no longer applicable once one reaches adulthood. However, that itself doesn’t make the gender stereotyping problem disappear.
Let’s talk about adults and the thing that really hurts regarding the gender equality issue: money. Yes, I said it. At the end of the day, it all comes down to our personal ability to financially support ourselves and others. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the “perks” of being a woman but I can live without them. What really disturbs me is the possibility of my male colleagues earning more income than me when we both have the same education and professional experience. Is their gender really more valuable within the organization than mine? That’s so confusing…
“Work hard towards your studies in order to get a good job.” Does it sound familiar? That’s why, employment inequality kinda feels like a slap in the face. I mean, how would you feel if someone told you that your gender is often the decisive factor between getting the job/promotion or not getting it? If in theory, women are earning less than men… then in a relationship, it’s the man’s responsibility to earn more money. Right? Well… I don’t agree with society’s pressure on men to be the “breadwinners”. It’s not healthy, but I’ll leave that thought for another post. Meanwhile, think about it.