You're a girl: how a woman can resist gender stereotypes - Inc News
, author: Ermakova M.

You're a girl: how a woman can resist gender stereotypes

Even in modern society, stereotypes live and multiply. But experts know how to deal with them.

Photo source: @freepik//

Often women (even when they are still very young) hear from others: "You're a girl, you should ..." (and then follows a long list of points - be soft / dream of marriage and motherhood / always remain attractive / be a good housewife / be interested in outfits - underline as necessary). The opinion that a woman should look and behave in a certain way is often supported not only by men, but also by women themselves.

But times are changing. Some of them may well not see themselves as mothers. Someone is seriously engaged in science or hard physical labor. Someone prefers comfortable overalls and sneakers to dresses and stiletto sandals. Women become different. And the pressure on them from others continues. How to withstand it, saving yourself? And what is the nature of gender stereotypes? Experts say.


“Stereotypes arose in society for a reason. From an evolutionary point of view, they helped to structure society, make decisions quickly, simplify, control through the creation of an understandable system. The downside was that the old stereotypes did not correspond to modern realities at all and did not have time to change as fast as society Changing stereotypes is a major change and takes time and patience.

For those women who want to resist existing stereotypes, you can pay attention to 2 aspects: external and internal. In psychology, this is called locus of control. In order to be successful and happy, he must be oriented both outside and inside himself. At the same time, the balance can shift a little in one direction or the other, depending on the situation,” emphasizes coach Anastasia Bloom. But even when a woman finds harmony with herself and with the world, public pressure on her can continue.

Photo source: @freepik//

"From the outside, of course, it is important for us what others think about us. This allows us to fit into society, to be accepted, to be appreciated, to feel support and protection. Taking into account the opinions of others is important and necessary. And then the question arises, who do we surround ourselves with? “People who adhere to stereotypes that have not worked for a long time, or people who believe in your potential and want you to realize it?” Anastasia says. It is important to analyze your surroundings and either stop communicating with those who dictate the rules of life to you, or stop paying attention to their words. Both require determination.

"The duty creates an illusory appraiser who takes responsibility for evaluating your actions. Determines what is right and what is wrong. This is one of the contributing factors of this distortion - the fear of responsibility. Responsibility for choosing one's "must" and "should not ” To cope with the onslaught of social pressure, you need to put yourself first and identify life priorities.

For example, you can make a list:

1. What should I do in the opinion of others;

2. What I should in my opinion,” recommends psychologist Ekaterina Vasilyeva.

Such a list can help to determine the zone of one's own responsibility for one's destiny, to separate one's own ideas about a happy life from those of others.

The right to be yourself

Due to the fact that many behavioral stereotypes are imposed on girls from childhood, it can be difficult for them, even as adults, to understand themselves. Separate your own interests from what your mother once forced you to do or what friends introduced you to. It is very easy to lose yourself in stereotypes. Tatyana Fedorova, a businesswoman, shares the story of "finding oneself":

“All my true thoughts in childhood are to become a Snow Maiden! Yes, it’s a girl in a white fur coat with a muff, a hat, and boots. And I was sure that if I were in these clothes, well, everyone would love me!

Photo source: @wayhomestudio/

At school, dreams changed, Cinderella appeared. And no, I did not dream of becoming Cinderella, I was her. I walked through the forest, picked berries with my grandmother, carried water with a yoke, washed the floors, spudded potatoes - my thoughts were “Here the betrothed will see me - he will be proud of me and will definitely choose me!”

She got married early and ... Cinderella moved into an apartment: she washes dishes, gives birth to children, feeds, heals, cares, the rear is getting stronger, and there is less and less joy ....

I adjusted to the desires, preferences, demands of others, and I had less and less strength and patience, and I began to scream and cry more often. At 40, I cried sobs! My children and husband did not hear me, my friends did not understand and my partners were afraid. I was out of control and could not manage myself.

What was wrong? After all, this is exactly what everyone expected from me: tenderness, gentleness, beauty, the ability to cook and run a house, and I could do it all! Three children, a cozy apartment, delicious food, everyone is healthy and cheerful...

And I realized my thoughts that I owe for my parents, for my husband, for children, for business, and there is not a moment where I myself would be ...

And I chose this! I chose the path of the Snow Maiden, the path of Cinderella, the path of Vasilisa the Wise ...

And who am I? What do I love? Where is my strength, joy? What is my path?

Three years have passed and I have chosen:

Become selfish - I choose myself in everything.

Become a rich greedy person - I choose everything for myself.

Become promiscuous - choose to smile over clothes and be a cat for enjoyment.

Become beautiful / not very - I choose joy.


Photo source: @freepik/

Every journey starts with the first step. He may be timid, but he is the one who will eventually lead you to the desired result. Division Financial Director at RUSAL Tatyana Chibinyaeva offers women several steps to free themselves from other people's (and their own) stereotypes:

1. Focus on achievement, not physical qualities

Whether you're thinking about yourself or interacting with co-workers, highlighting accomplishments is usually far more beneficial than focusing on looks.

2. Learn skills based on what interests you

Even today, women are often vilified if they try to learn skills such as car repair or electronics. Whatever skills you want to learn or interests you want to pursue, find the right teacher or course and start learning.

3. Create mentoring programs in non-stereotypical professions

A great way to get support in a difficult work situation is to find a mentor who has been through the same thing as you.

4. Befriend people of either gender

Friendship between people of different sexes can be just as satisfying as friendship between women and other women, or between men and other men.

5. Don't accept violence from anyone, regardless of their gender.

Violence is never normal, whether it is the man or woman who initiates the violence. Never accept violence in any form.

6. Speak out against gender bias

When someone is harmed because of gender bias, be prepared to speak up. Extra attention can help influence change and reduce other harmful situations.

7. Build self-esteem based on who you are as a person

If you celebrate all the good things in yourself, you will most likely find that you go far beyond gender stereotypes.

A specialist in working with the subconscious and the body, Lyubov Trofimova, also offers an algorithm for interacting with society without stereotypes:

Step 1. Determine what is normal for you: behavior, clothing, expression of thoughts and feelings. How do you like to appear, communicate, without taking into account public opinion and orders. This is the very first step towards self-identification.

Step 2. Find out the size of personal boundaries: how you can and cannot be with you, what is unacceptable in communications, work and everyday life. When we understand what is the norm and its absence, we discuss it with other people, designating new rules of behavior for them.

Step 3. Identify people in the environment who, under good intentions “I know better, I know better”, impose their own opinion and stop communicating with them. It is not uncommon for these people to hide personalities that are very close and dear to us, but psychological pressure has not yet made anyone happy and carefree.

Step 4. Speak calmly and explain your opinion or point of view. Often, in order to mark your personal boundaries or get rid of stereotypes, there is a need to repeat your opinion, emotions or feelings a couple of times, as neutrally as possible. When you don't get involved in an emotional tug of war, then it stops being interesting for everyone else.

Remember that you have the right to any life, in accordance only with your ideas about happiness, truth, harmony and much, much more.