Gender differences and sexist actions are apparent very young in a child life. I vividly remember being in preschool, and having an outdoor activity that involved a sprinkler. Since no one wanted to get our clothes wet, we started to take off our shirts in order to play. The preschool teacher immediately yelled at the girls, ordered us to put our clothes back on, and sent us to timeout. The boys were allowed to play in the sprinkler without their shirts without a problem. That was one of the first times I experienced gender differences that caused me to miss out on an activity I wanted to do. Additionally, during high school, I was a member of the track and field team. Running 9 miles a day in 90 degree weather was close to torture, so one day the girls decided to take off their running tops, and just run in sports bras. As the boys ran by without their shirts, the coach and athletic director ran after us yelling and telling us that we were too exposed. They said that we were a “distraction”.
Similarly, when I was in middle school, the “Black and White Ball” was the largest event of the school year. Instead of just being able to go as friends, like we did in previous grades, all of the girls became aware that they are at the appropriate age to go to the dance with a date. But, the girls would be frowned upon if they asked a boy to go with them, and we all waited patiently and prayed that our crush would ask us.
Later in life, my understanding of gender and sexuality differences became apparent in different ways. For example one time, I went to the car repair shop, for a simple repair. The men at the shop assumed that I did not know anything about the car, and tried to up sale the price. The acted like I needed a whole new part instead of just a simple fix. When I said that was not needed at this time, they asked to talk to my dad about the car, not my mother. They falsely assumed that the females had no idea.
Lastly, one of the most recent events took place at work. I work at a restaurant, making less than minimum wage, and as the employees were complaining about the pay one day, another colleague, a male, stated that his pay was 2$ higher than all of the women working. When we asked about it, our boss said that his pay was higher because him being a male, he did more of the physical labor. In reality, we all have the same job, and the male employee was a complete slacker.
Although I am only nineteen, I have noticed a distinct difference between men and women and the opportunities that are open to us in society. When will we be completely equal?