Gender Roles And Discrimination Essay, Research Paper
Everybody grows up as a kid in different environments, but they all are treated the same in terms of their gender. In society today, baby boys are wrapped with blue clothing, and baby girls are wrapped with pink clothing. Boys play with trucks, and girls play with dolls. These are some examples of how our society has carried on a tradition of putting different sexes in gender roles. If people do not follow these roles, they are considered abnormal. These people of diversity then become discriminated against. Today s society is ever changing, and now more than ever there is a great diversity throughout our nation. Gays and lesbians are all examples of some of the sexual diversity in our culture. People are always being harassed or physically abused just because of who they are or what they believe in. Discrimination is a big problem today. Society needs to understand that everybody comes from different backgrounds and has different beliefs. I think a lot of this violence comes from the environment in which they were brought up. I know that a great deal of my morals and ethics come from my parents. They always set a good example when I was a kid, and I learned from that. A person who grows up in a racist home is a lot more likely to be racist themselves when they grow up. I think, as time goes on, many of these attitudes will fade away. Discrimination is a problem that must be faced today, or else these attitudes may never change. Today, there are many men and women who are homosexual. As time goes by, more people seem to choose this type of lifestyle. Just because these people are different than most, society perceives them in a negative light. It is the same as saying I could either become an engineer or be a businessman, but it does not matter what I choose, just like a person can choose to be heterosexual or homosexual. Many people discriminate against homosexuals both physically and emotionally. Some people view homosexuals as being less than human, so they treat them that way. Our society needs to be more open to our country s large diversity. We all are different in some way, and there is no reason that we should look down on homosexuals. My best friend s brother, Kenny, is gay, and he is one of the coolest individuals I know. Whenever I see him, I don t see a gay person, but a really good friend. He was one of the first people to admit he was gay in our high school and received a lot of criticism for it. My friend and I thought he was gay before he admitted it. He just seemed to do things a little differently than other males did. For example, we heard stories of him playing with dolls when he was young, and he never had a girlfriend. His parents are okay with it, and he has several very supportive friends. Along with the support he has from his friends, he has a very strong character. Currently, he has a well paying job and an apartment over looking New York City and the Lincoln Tunnel. He is attending John Jay Graduate School and receiving straight A s in forensic science. He has come a long way since high school and I even look up to him in what he has accomplished. He doesn t have a partner but spends most of his time working hard at getting a good education. He is a good example of how I view gay people. I don t care what sexual orientation a person is; I look at them as a person, and if I think they are cool, I will hang out with them.There are many hate crimes today that involve homosexuals. Recently, a twenty-one year old from the University of Wyoming, Matthew Shepard, was severely beaten and then murdered. Two men tied him to a fence then bashed his skull with the butt of a gun. He was in the hospital for several days; then with the trauma of the injuries, he just died. This is very sad in that he was killed for his sexual orientation. He didn t do anything to provoke his killers, which makes it a hate crime. These killers took the life of an individual who meant a lot to many people. Hate crimes are committed to cause fear or injury to people simply because of who they are, not for what they might have done. Hate crimes also make the community in which the crime happened fearful and vulnerable. The whole community must then become more aware of strangers and walking at night.
One thing about hate crimes is that they not only affect the victim, but also the family and friends. The loss of a family member causes much grief, especially a person who had a long future ahead of him. Also, they affect the group of people to which the crime was directed. For instance, Shepard was gay and now Wyoming s gay community must watch their backs every time they walk out of the house.We should make new laws that will make the penalties for such crimes a lot harsher. This may decrease the amount of these crimes committed each year. If we continue with the current laws, how can we expect a change in the attitude of some Americans? Obviously, the laws of today are not adequate enough to force these crimes to fade away. Maybe the only way to solve this problem is an eye for an eye . With a hate crime like Matthew Shepard s, the killer or killers should die as well. Just as the killers might have hated homosexuals, society hates killers. So we may want to consider putting to use the death penalty in these cases.These crimes don t only happen to male homosexuals. Homosexuality in women has many similarities and differences. They share an interest in the same sex and stick out as being gay in our society. Using the word gay or fagot also offends both sexes. Besides these similarities, there are also some differences. Hate crimes seem to happen more to gay men than gay women. I rarely see a news headline of a women getting beaten just because she is gay. Though, that s not always the case. A couple of years ago, there was an abduction of two lesbian activists. Roxanne Ellis and Michelle Abdill were found murdered in a pick-up truck. They were tied up side by side and shot in head. This sparked a Gay and Lesbian Task Force to write a letter to Janet Reno to stiffen hate crime laws. In the letter, it says that Our concern is that however the facts in this case turn out, hate crimes against gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgender persons continue to be an epidemic in this country. In the atmosphere of hatred and gay baiting which are expected to be brought up in next year s anti-gay ballot, it is clear that such crimes will increase. (http://www.ngltf.org/press/oregon.reno.12.12.95.html) This is why something must be done soon. This task force as well as others are working hard to make the laws tougher on these gay bashers. If these groups weren t around, these crimes of hate would still be a problem in the future. A gay person has the same right to live a free life without worry of being beaten or killed over their sexual preference. Discrimination takes place everyday. I hear it in the cafeteria, see it in the movies, and watch it on television. I think this helps develop many of the negative attitudes in people today. Groups of friends use gay as a derogatory term to offend others. This is not right; it is offensive to others not even being made fun of. This term can be associated with others such as nigger or kyke . These are very offensive, not only to one but to many people. What do you think our world would be like if we let hate crimes continue and don t try and change the attitudes of our society? Does our environment while growing up effect our attitudes as we grow older?