The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

SE gender seminar defies stereotypes

By Selby Lopez/reporter

Gender stereotypes can lead to sexual violence, said a community education specialist with The Women’s Center of Tarrant County during an Oct. 22 workshop on SE Campus.

Monica Gutierrez, who works in the center’s rape crisis and victims department, said parents often contribute to gender stereotypes even before their children are born.

“Boys and girls are treated differently based on their genders, which contributes to them fitting into gender stereotypes,” she said.

Children generally learn how to behave while playing, Gutierrez said.

“Girls play with dolls, with makeup and accessories teaching them how to be pretty,” she said. “Most of the toys for boys are to teach them to be strong and dominant.”

Another key area that emphasizes gender stereotypes is in sports.

“Girls can play sports, but they have to look cute while they’re doing it,” Gutierrez said. “If they get mad or throw a fit, we would say that isn’t ladylike. For boys, it is about toughness. They get mad and will insult each other, but it’s [considered] normal.”

The main correlation with gender stereotypes is that men are taught to be aggressive and controlling while women are taught to act like a lady and be submissive, Gutierrez said. 

“This is what can contribute to sexual violence,” she said. “If we continue to build societies where there is an imbalance in the power in genders, we’re always going to contribute to sexual violence. It’s about choosing your power to be protective rather than dominant.”

Gutierrez noted that a way to end sexual violence is to recognize the problem of gender stereotyping and address it.

“If we don’t recognize the problem, we’re never going to see the end of sexual violence,” she said. “We shouldn’t worry about trying to fit gender stereotypes. We should say ‘I am who I am’ and respect that.”

Gutierrez had one goal for her presentation.

“If there’s anything I want you to take away from this is that we can all break that box [of stereotypes] that we create for men and women,” she said. “Hopefully, we can create a world without sexual violence.”

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