The idea that certain artifacts, or objects that are expressive of our identity, are gendered is taught to children at a young age. Artifacts help communicate how we think men and women should behave and reflect the stereotyped characteristics we attribute to the sexes (Gamble, p. 103). Stereotypes are ingrained into us from a young age, which makes it difficult to see past those stereotypes as we grow older and more aware of our biases. In class, we discussed different artifacts which are appropriate for girls and boys. We noted that dresses, jewelry, and styled hair are feminine artifacts, while ties, short hair, and professional-looking clothes are more masculine artifacts.

I saw an example of how young a child can be aware of gendered artifacts when at Party City. A little girl that looked about 4 years old was shopping with her father and was looking at plastic “princess crowns.” Her father jokingly put on one of the crowns and the little girl yelled “Hey! You can’t wear that!” Her father asked why, and she said “You’s a boy!!” This exemplifies that tiaras and “feminine” items are seen as inappropriate for men from a very young age.

flower-tiara-2

 

Gamble, T. K., & Gamble, M. W. (2003). The Gender Communication Connection. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company.

Link to tiara picture

Advertisements