Re: gender stereotypes
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Wed, 12 Jul 2017 16:23:20 -0700 (PDT)
As a feminist in the 1960s and 70s, I and a whole generation of women spent a 
lot of time denying gender differences. We believed gender was behaviorally 
determined from the moment they were first touched in the delivery room. This 
is a girl. This is a boy. It was important to have boys in blue and girls in 
pink so everyone would know how to treat them. How to hold them. How to softly 
to speak. 

We were rabid about it. Free To Be You and Me was constantly playing. But then 
we started having children who were raised by us without preconceptions but 
also with anti-stereotyping. Girls had to have trucks and boys had to have 
dolls.  Clothing was unisex. Girls no longer wore dresses.

Well, guess what. The boys were still traditional boys and the girls were still 
girls. There were differences in that they were no longer shamed for 
cross-gender behavior. All boys didn’t have to join a sports team. All girls 
didn’t have to wear makeup and start filling a hope chest at 12. But they still 
preferred girl things and boy things.

And adults do too. Many people like to use workshops and do woodwork. But the 
person who is mostly likely to move in _because_ there is a workshop, is a man. 
Not that all men like woodworking or have ever been in a shop, but if you have 
a good workshop, the chances are you will attract more men.

The fact remains, however, is that women are the majority of the population and 
that majority begins increasing dramatically at about age 50. 

If you spend too much time being careful not to be gender biased, you will miss 
the gender bias.

Sharon Villines
Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC

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