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The 52% Episode 1 - Jobs & Gender Stereotypes

In the first episode we are jumping straight in with gender and gender inequality in the workplace.

So many people think because it's 2015 and we had the Equal Pay Act back in 1970 that we have equality in the workplace.

What are your thoughts?

I personally don’t think we have this correct. I have seen first hand discrepancies in pay between men and women doing the same job. But it will be interesting to discuss this with my fellow panelists, Lisa Simmons, Kathy Lawrence & Maizie. We will also be having Marc Wilkinson from Fraiche on the sofa as well.

Simply put, gender stereotypes are generalisations about the roles of each gender and what role they play especially in society. Gender roles are generally neither positive nor negative; they are simply inaccurate generalisations of the male and female attributes. However, through society certain jobs can be seen as traditionally “female” and other roles as “traditionally” male.

I was watching the start of the new Strictly Come Dancing series and they had the glitter, the sparkle, the razzmatazz to launch, and because I’d been thinking about gender and gender stereotypes a lot in preparation for the 52% Show. It really struck me how, Les (the male) was the conductor of the train and how Darcey as the female was the “trolly dolly” inside the train serving the tea and cakes. It just resonated with me about how deeply ingrained we are as a society over what is the right job for a boy to do and what the right job is for a girl.

I do think society is starting to evolve and starting to change, everyone is becoming more aware (or especially in the circles I move) of how fluid gender and sexuality is and is becoming as we develop as a society overall.

Each and every person has individual desires, thoughts, and feelings, regardless of their gender. And while stereotypes can be incredibly simplistic - as an example, girls stay at home to do the cooking and cleaning, men go out to work to earn the money. These examples and stereotypes, do not do justice anymore to the individual attributes of every person of each gender.

The majority of open minded people do know and do realise stereotypes are untrue, and in this day and age, its not right to make assumptions based on gender, but it still happens. Even on the show, we made assumptions that all waitresses were women and that it would be women who would be front of house in a restaurant and it would be the men who were the chefs and in chage of the kitchen.

As a society many people still assume the ultimate goal for every women is to find a man, marry and have children and if they don’t do that they are some how missing out. We put pressure on women to achieve that goal and to sometimes make it their only goal. Women are deemed to be successful if they have married and if they have children and a failure if they don’t - know matter what they've achieved in their life or in their career.

On the 52% show we did not have chance to go into the detail as much as we would have wanted to as this topic is so deep and there are so many relevant and various view points.

But what I hope the show will do, is to get you thinking and talking about gender and gender stereotyping as it pertains to either men or women.

For me, men and women are individuals and they are more than just their gender. Gender is only a small part of who we are; it does not define us as people.

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