Gender bias, a heated topic.
The heat is only because it appears more complex than it is. Let me simplify it and illustrate where it shows up for me. Gender bias is more than preferring one gender over another, it is our unconscious feelings that we attribute to gender. For example, boys are strong, protective, good at maths and sport; girls are nurturing, kind, supportive and good multitaskers. Both statements are fiction. This is no one’s fault. This is developed in our subconscious from our own childhoods, environment, culture. At my son’s parent teacher meeting it was most evident. In fact, it was a whistle stop tour of each individual teacher’s gender bias. How they speak about him and what they expected of him was aligned with their gender bias, it was less to do with his performance and achievement but the stereotype they attached to him. He is 15 year old, athletic, 6ft3, popular, participative honors student. My daughter’s parent teacher meeting offers a greater scrutiny of her performance and achievement, although her scores are the same. The challenge for our teens is; are they aware of the gender bias in their lives? How does this help and hinder them? It most definitely was advantageous for my son; it was not advantageous for my daughter. Overcoming gender bias is with awareness and exploring stereotypes together. Gender bias too, plays a role in gender identity and sexual identity.