Harmful gender roles perpetuate years-long discrimination


Evan Gleason

Over thousands of years, the perception of what clothing and accessories are considered to be feminine have changed.

Evan Gleason

Gender roles are something that society has made to associate with a specific gender and need to be eliminated.

These roles are something that our current social climate should be eliminated. These gender roles only limit people’s expressive freedom and make it harder for people who are born male to maybe want to wear more feminine clothing or people born as female to wear more masculine clothing.

When Harry Styles was published on the cover of Vogue Magazine on Nov. 13, 2020, he was shown wearing a dress, which is stereotypically worn by women. This caused people to say Styles was not a man because just because he’s wearing a dress. But in reality, it is the actions that make a man and not their appearance. He has donated more than $1.2 million from his Solo World Tour and that was just one of the many charitable acts he’s done. This shows that he is a real man who uses his influence and his own money to help people. Styles isn’t the first time someone in history was targeted for wearing more feminine clothing. 

From the 1940s to the 1960s, members of the LGBTQ community were arrested for cross-dressing or dressing up as if they were a woman. This was one of the many reasons that The Stonewall Riots were started. People, like this 13-year-old transgender girl who got kicked out of her school dance for wearing feminine clothing, are being harassed. Some examples are boys wearing dresses to their school and getting expelled for causing a distraction even though they fit the dress code. 

 Clothing that has been perceived as masculine and feminine has changed over thousands of years. Upper-class men in Europe originally wore high heels, but this changed because society then decided that they were more feminine because more women started to wear them.

The only reason why people call clothing for male and female is to divide clothes into two different sections to make it target a specific audience. In reality, these are nothing but people deciding what gender it needs to be assigned to based on marketing, which is why they should call it masculine clothing or feminine clothing. Things like clothing shouldn’t have an assigned gender. Any person can wear any clothing because clothing is universal. It’s just a piece of material that covers your skin and has no correlation to your gender identity.

Another big issue is we need to stop judging men for wanting to wear things like lipstick, eyeliner, nail polish, or feminine clothing just because it’s considered girly. What should make a real man is being comfortable in your own skin and being able to express yourself no matter if it’s something that is more feminine or is something more masculine?

At the end of the day, gender roles are something society makes up and what we should strive for is to break these roles to make people who don’t stereotypically dress the way society wants them to. Clothing won’t make someone less of a man or a woman because they aren’t wearing the stereotypical clothes their gender preference wears.  As someone who identifies as he/they and does things like wearing nail polish or wanting to wear a dress, I am no less of a man than anyone else. It’s the actions that make people good people and if you get mad over someone wearing a dress, you are just a terrible person.