- What Iceland is doing right and why the rest of the world should follow.
- How stereotypes effect you long-term in ways you never knew.
- What needs to be done so we can experience progressive change.
The Start of Something New… and Progressive
Not only in America but all around the world perspectives are changing when it comes to
gender stereotypes. Recently Iceland passed legislature that banned strip clubs, why? Not because they felt they were too risqué, but because they over sexualize women. Iceland is in fact one of the most progressive countries when it comes to social liberties and equality rights and the first country ever to ban lap dancing and nudity based on feminist beliefs and not religious ones. While this is a very extreme example of a progressive movement, it is nonetheless a worthy one.
Why it’s Such a Big Deal
These inequalities, discriminations and stereotypes are not things feminists just like to complain about. In fact, feminists are not the only ones who care. This is a global issue that effects people on all levels of society whether it be economic status, race or gender.
“I’m in a major full of girls so when there’s a guy in our major, people make assumptions towards them. I feel like it kind of scares guys away from being in the major.” -Gillian Wooler, liberal studies junior
In an article from Psych Central titled, “The Long-term Effects of Stereotyping,” it is stated that labeling people has a long and profound effect on them and can also seriously contribute to them performing poorly in any situation where they feel negatively stereotyped. “People don’t cognitively realize it, but we live up to the stereotypes that are placed on us by society. Everyday when you decide how to dress, what to do or how to act, those decisions were shaped by previous things you have learned. Societies conceptions of how we should be play a larger role in our lives then we think,” said Nicole Hunter, comparative ethnic studies junior.
Who Should Take the Responsibility For Change
While talking about how to delete the myth of disposable women, “In our multiple roles as leaders, teachers and students in the world, we are the ones who have the power to create and ensure this [equality] democratizing takes place. In thinking of how we can help this process along we need to think about the responsibilities we all face as people coped by, and silenced in power networks,” said Dr. Lisberger, a guest professor of women’s and gender studies. This is a statement that we the people are the ones who choose to be controlled by these “power networks” instead of question the status quo, and that like Iceland, we should make up our own minds about what is right and wrong.
Ways we can change people’s perspectives:
- Fight to stop the overrepresentation of sexualized women and masculinized men in all media (advertisements, TV shows, movies, etc.)
- Educate youth by requiring gender and ethnic studies courses in the school system
- Become more tolerant of those outside social norms through promoting different life styles and creating a less ignorant society.