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KatawaGrey's avatar

Are there any gender stereotypes that you experience that, despite your best efforts, you don't mind?

Asked by KatawaGrey (21418points) May 24th, 2009

When I play in a card tournament at my local gaming store, I always seem to win the “random” raffle and get a really cool premium card. When I see a spider, I’m not expected to deal with it myself (unless I’m with other freaking girls, in which case I usually am the one to screw up my courage and do it). I get a lot of free meals when eating out with male friends (even when I pull out my wallet to pay for my own meal). Parents aren’t very leery of my interest in their cute children.

Of course I’m not saying that any stereotypes are okay, whether they are based on gender or not, but sometimes they can yield a few small perks.

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39 Answers

Fyrius's avatar

I suppose the stereotype that men don’t pay much attention to how other people see them can work in the favour of shy and overly self-conscious people. If everyone expects you not to be aware of what others think, it’s easier to stop worrying about what others think. It means it’s okay if you can’t figure it out or get it wrong.

nikipedia's avatar

I love it when guys carry things for me, even things I could easily handle on my own. I have a friend who also habitually opens doors (including passenger side car doors) for girls. It’s kind of charming.

Facade's avatar

There are quite a few gender stereotypes that I don’t mind. Too many to name, really.

Vincentt's avatar

I look really cute (well, perhaps not now because I really need a shave…), in the traditional sense of the word, which I suppose brings some advantages now and then. It also means I often have to show my ID, though.

essieness's avatar

I’m a girl:

I really love having a door opened for me, or being allowed to go first in a human traffic jam. I don’t mind being a little “weaker” than the guys and having to ask one to pick something up for me or reach something that’s too high for me to reach.

SirBailey's avatar

I think you’re going to find that this applies mostly to women. Men, not so much (if at all).

KatawaGrey's avatar

@essieness: Ooo, yeah, me too. I’m a short little thing and I just love going up to a group of guys in the mall and saying a cute little voice “Can you be tall for me?”

@SirBailey: I think you might be right, but I bet there are some guys out there who love doing all the driving and having all their buddies over for the Superbowl without their wives and girlfriends bugging them.

Kayak8's avatar

I like that I don’t have to try not to cry at funerals . . .

Jeruba's avatar

I wouldn’t say “despite my best efforts” because there are some I simply don’t fight. Men are usually more than willing to explain something to me that they think women won’t understand, and when I don’t, I’m happy to let them. More often than not they also offer to help with it or do it for me if it’s that kind of thing. I have no shyness about asking, where a man might hesitate because guys are supposed to know. Also I can say certain kinds of “mom” things and get away with them. These days I also greatly appreciate having a young man offer me his seat. I used to do that as a young woman: offer my seat to an older person. That’s probably about age, though, and not sex.

I do hate the assumption that because I’m a woman I must love to shop, which I don’t. I loathe it and avoid if from one end of the year to the next if I can. And I don’t much care to coo over babies or engage in social chatter about recipes, gardening, or home decor.

But I treasure the small courtesies that men traditionally used to extend to women, and I felt very sad to watch feminism paralyze men’s hands on door handles and cigarette lighters and restaurant chairs because they were afraid they’d be damned if they did and damned if they didn’t. Sure, I can open that door, but isn’t it nice when he does it? I will also open a door for a man, and I remember that back in the day a woman could make a very sexy gesture out of lighting a man’s cigarette for him.

tinyfaery's avatar

I am not expected to change the water jug on the water cooler. Yes!

DrasticDreamer's avatar

Eh. It all kind of bugs me, deep down. I know, one time, that I got a job simply because the superior interviewing me thought I was pretty. While I needed and wanted the job, I felt… Nothing, getting it. I didn’t have to do anything. He didn’t even take the time to ask all of the interview questions and honestly, it made me feel kind of disgusting and sad.

KatawaGrey's avatar

@Jeruba: What I meant to imply in the question is that these things only happen because of gender. I don’t have to deal with spiders because I’m a girl, not because they scare me silly. My male friends pay for my meals because I am a girl, not because I am a good friend. What bothers me about these little acts, no matter how altruistic, is that these guys stop their assessment of me at my biology. They see that I am a female and, that’s it, assessment done. Now, once these boys get to know me, these limited assessments don’t happen as often, but there are still certain things (like with money and card games) where they don’t bother to get know my abilities and simply stop their assessment at my second X chromosome.

Jeruba's avatar

@KatawaGrey, now I’m confused. Did I misread your question? Your comment just above speaks of being bothered by the little acts that men perform just because you’re female, and for no other reason. But your question is about little perks that you enjoy and gestures that you don’t mind even though they’re based on gender stereotypes. To me they seem to express opposite views of the same phenomenon.

KatawaGrey's avatar

@Jeruba: I like these things on the surface, but I don’t like the motivation. The motivation is sexist and shallow. The acts are nice. Does that make more sense?

I’m kinda low on sleep, even though school is done. I’m not making as much sense as I usually do…

augustlan's avatar

I do appreciate the little courtesies extended to me because I’m female, however, I think those courtesies should be given to everyone. I hold doors, carry things for weaker people, reach things for shorter people, and give up seats to people in need of them… regardless of their gender.

The only time I really use being female to my advantage is in situations where I need some brute strength.

Likeradar's avatar

I play poker, and I like being able to sit down at a table full of strange guys and know most of them are thinking I’m just a silly girl who doesn’t know what I’m doing.
And just yesterday, at the bike store I got a guy to put my new bike on the car rack for me. I was struggling a little, but I totally could have done it without help. I like having little things like that done just because I’m a girl. :)

rooeytoo's avatar

I think Augustian has it right. People should be courteous to each other. If I am first to the door, I open it and hold it so it doesn’t slam in the face of the person behind me, regardless of their gender.

I really want equality in this world, for everyone, so I don’t look for the male/female type of treatment, I just try to act towards others in a manner that I want to be treated as well.

Jeruba's avatar

Yes, I understand now, @KatawaGrey. Thanks.

And I have to agree with Aug. Courtesy should not have anything to do with a person’s sex. For a while a lot of people (especially liberated women!) seemed to think courtesy itself was sexist. Courtesy is courtesy, and everyone should be able both to practice it and to receive it graciously.

MissAusten's avatar

I enjoy many of the little “perks” that come from being female, and with most of them the underlying motivations don’t bother me. It was great to almost never have to pay for my own drinks in college, for example.

What does bother me is the assumption that because I am female I am ignorant of anything to do with cars (which is pretty much true, but I don’t like getting that condescending attitude at the garage) and the assumption that I’m an airhead who can’t drive well. That second one bugs me a lot—I’m actually a very good driver. The benefit to that stereotype is that it’s ridiculously easy to get out of tickets. I’ve only been pulled over a few times, but I’ve only once gotten a ticket. I’m perfectly happy to live up to the cute-girl stereotype in those situations, but at the same time it annoys me. Can you get a ticket after the fact if you write the cop a letter saying, “I knew damn well the speed limit was 55 and not 65,” or “How in the world could you believe I hadn’t noticed my registration expired seven months ago?”

Lupin's avatar

It’s my job to make sure the tractor runs correctly and the blades are sharp. It’s her job to mow.

casheroo's avatar

I’m never expected to pick anything up. I have very thin arms, so I think people assume I’m weak, I’m not that weak. I take full advantage of that.
I don’t mind being treated differently because of looks. That has never bothered me.

Lupin's avatar

There’s another gender stereotype I don’t mind. She always does the laundry. In return, I always change the oil in the vehicles, and keep the driveway cleared of snow. We both feel we’re getting the best deal so it’s a fair trade.

rooeytoo's avatar

I do the laundry and the vehicles go to the shop to have the oil changed. Hmmmmmmm, what’s wrong with this picture?

Lupin's avatar

I do the oil and maintenance by myself right in the garage. I even do brakes.

augustlan's avatar

@Lupin Does your wife loan you out?

Lupin's avatar

@augustlan I’m sure there are times she’d like to.
By the way, I thought of more gender specific actions we don’t mind. It’s my job to use the chain saw. It’s her job to keep the area clear of brush so I don’t trip and, as “dedicated dialer” have the emergency phone handy. I clean the barn, garage, basement, and take care of the woods. She cleans the house and makes most meals. These “rules” were never written down or cast in stone. They just evolved over time into our own comfort zones and best use of skills.
Another unwritten rule: When one person is working, the other may not “hold the couch down” – unless you are ill.

essieness's avatar

@Lupin My ex-husband and I had a deal worked out like that. I told him up front that I didn’t mind doing laundry, but I wasn’t stepping foot in the yard. He did the yardwork and kept the cars washed and maintained. I did more of the cleaning and decorating around the house. While I’m certainly no Suzy Homemaker, the deal worked out perfect for us.

rooeytoo's avatar

You have to draw the line somewhere, I will not allow my husband to use my chainsaw!
Or angle grinder, he never cleans them properly or wraps the cord properly on the grinder.

Lupin's avatar

@rooeytoo Did you say: “my chainsaw or angle grinder”?!?!
I’m in love! ;-)

rooeytoo's avatar

@Lupin – yep, my shed is full of power tools and assorted saws and I love them all. I do power rock and wood sculpture so they are a necessity of life.

augustlan's avatar

<< I own almost of the tools in our house, and my husband does most of the cooking. :)

Lupin's avatar

@rooeytoo Does this mean you are one of those skillful magicians that can free the beauty inside a piece of wood or stone? I’ve watched wood carvers with chain saws go up to a tree stump and “find” an eagle within (as he described it). The eagle even had feathers. Fantastic. I can’t imagine how difficult rock must be.
When I use my chainsaw on wood the only life I find within are carpenter ants.
@augustlan That sounds like you’ve got a good deal going there. Does he Use the tools too?

augustlan's avatar

@Lupin Every now and again. I’m not so big on plumbing, so he does those jobs. Pretty much everything else is for me, and I love it!

rooeytoo's avatar

@Lupin – yup, I’ll be walking along and a piece of a downed tree will catch my eye, and I end up dragging it home. There is something hidden in every chunk, you just have to get rid of the excess and there it is!

For stone, I use a diamond blade on the angle grinder and then do the finer work with diamond burrs on a Foredom flexi shaft rotary tool.

I don’t do as much stone because it takes so long, I like to see rapid progress!

MissAusten's avatar

My ten year old daughter told me something yesterday that made me think of this discussion. It’s a bit off-topic, but it really annoyed me. Please excuse me while I vent a bit.

In her fourth-grade class, the kids were doing a math worksheet that involved charts showing which kids had placed first, second, or third in various sports. For each sport, the top rankings went to boys. Girls always had the fourth and fifth rankings. My daughter asked the teacher, “Why are the winners always boys? Girls are good at sports too.” The teacher responded, “In the real world, boy are better at sports than girls.” My daughter raised her hand again to comment on that assertion, but the teacher said she would only take questions relating to the work and nothing else. I was a bit floored. My daughter said she knows that men tend to be stronger and faster than women, but that there are many women who are better than many men at sports. She then gave the example of a girl in her class who consistently beats the boys at races and games at recess and in gym class.

Is it wrong of me to be surprised at that attitude from a young female teacher? I’m so glad my kid told me about it so we could have a more rational discussion on the subject.

Likeradar's avatar

@MissAusten awww man… that is incredibly lame and an incredibly foolish thing for a teacher (of any age or gender) to do! Good for you for talking to your daughter about it, and good for you for raising a daughter who realizes something just ain’t right with what her teacher said. Did you mention the issue to the teacher?

rooeytoo's avatar

@MissAusten – I would be furious and I would march in there and tell the principal. It is great your daughter stood up and questioned the teacher. Too bad the teacher has such a terrible attitude.

It is this sort of cultural brainwashing that keeps women from exploring their abilities in all areas of life, not just in the kitchen!

Good on you for having such a wise daughter.

KatawaGrey's avatar

@MissAusten: Good lord, I don’t know what I would do in that situation. First of all, good for your daughter for questioning that absurd claim. Aside from parents, teachers are the main role models for kids. That kind of thing bothers me a whole lot, but if you continue to raise your daughter to question this sort of claim, I think she’ll be all right.

MissAusten's avatar

I know, I really should say something to the teacher and/or principal, but they both make me want to spit nails. There have been a couple of other comments from the teacher that I’ve emailed or called to discuss with her. Each time, it’s always, “Oh, I was joking with the kids,” or “She misunderstood me,” etc. The principal is of the “adult’s version of events is always more accurate than child’s” and is completely unhelpful. We only have to put up with this teacher and principal for another three weeks, then my daughter is off to middle school. I actually can’t wait.

Just once, I’d like my kid to get the kind of teacher who would use a question like my daughter asked to have a discussion with the class. A teacher who can appreciate a kid who thinks on a different level and rolls with it from time to time—I’d love that. None of her regular classroom teachers to date have been that way, but she does have a great school counselor (she runs a weekly group meeting for kids who tested as G&T) as well as a reading specialist who has weekly session with the kids who read well above grade level. So, her school isn’t completely lacking in wonderful adult role models, she just only sees them once a week. ;)

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