Column: Do not let gender roles determine your life

Mackenzie Freund, Online Producer

A lot of the time you are in college, you will run into people telling you that you can’t do something.

Being a journalist, sometimes I am told that I am not able to do things because I am a woman and a student.

Why is it that I am being told that I can’t do something because of my age and my gender?

It should not be part of the social norms to believe that men can do everything better, because at the end of the day it is not about gender, it is about skill.

The skills you have are what define you, and how hard you work to further develop those skills are what helps determine your future.

This also goes along with the face that women are trained to believe that no matter what, they are destined to be the parent at home with their baby.

I had the chance to listen to four women editors in the journalism field, and two of the women told the story of the response when they told their male superiors about their pregnancies.

Most of the responses were “when will you be back?” and “you need to find someone to replace you.”

In the meantime, nobody has thought to ask the men if they were planning on taking time off to spend time with their children, and honestly, it bothered me.

Why is it that we are the only ones asked about our futures when it comes to being pregnant?

There are many things that should be thought of when deciding your future of building a family while pursuing a professional career, and stereotypical gender roles should not be a main factor.

If the women make more money, why exactly should she be the one who has to take leave?

I had a teacher in high school once whose wife had just given birth to their second child, and he made less money than his wife, so he decided that he should be the one to go on leave and take care of their baby.

I heard a couple of different teachers that thought his decision was wrong because the woman should be the one to not go to work.

Why is it that this is how society thinks? And more importantly, why is it that we are the ones letting this happen?

We are the generation that can begin to change to this way of thinking.

This is something that we, as members of this generation, should try and do.

We should not let society dictate what we think and how we feel.

We need to change the way that people think, because if we don’t, we could be stuck in this stereotyped society for a long time.

Mackenzie Freund is a junior journalism major. She can be reached at 58-2812 or [email protected].