Orange Media publications are official student-produced mediums of news and information published by the Journalism students of Olentangy Orange High School. The publications have been established as a designated public forum for student journalists to inform, educate and entertain readers as well as for the discussion of issues of concern to their audience. They  will not be reviewed or restrained by school officials, adults or sources prior to publication.

The content of the publications is determined by and reflects only the views of the student staff and not school officials or the school itself. They will not publish any material, determined by the staff or adviser, that is libelous, obscene or disruptive to the school day.

The advisers are Kari Phillips and Brian Nicola. Readers may respond to the publications through Letters to the Editor. Letters may be mailed, e-mailed to thecourierstaff@gmail.com or dropped off to room 2223. The staff asks that submissions be 300 words or less and contain the author’s name and signature. Editors reserve the right to edit or withhold publication of letters.

The publications strive to uphold the Canons of Professional Journalism, which includes accuracy, impartiality, etc. Therefore, major errors will be corrected in the next issue. Distinction will be marked between news and opinion stories.

Let’s talk about sex—and gender

September 23, 2016

 

Gender. It has been used in societies throughout history to classify, divide or unite groups of people. Gender is the first thing on everyone’s mind when they learn they’re having a child. Parents eagerly await to find out if they’re expecting a boy or a girl so they can get started on decorating the nursery appropriately, and buy clothes properly suited to the gender of the baby. Fill out any form, a job application, a survey, a standardized test even, and what question is always present, without fail? Male, or Female?

 

 

However, gender is merely a cultural construct, made up of various stereotypes and “norms” for men and women. This is different than sex

which is actual biological differences between men and women. So why is it so prominent, and why do people seem to need a clear definition of everyone’s gender, not only in our society, but in nearly every civilized society around the world?

 

From an early age, children are raised knowing that pink is for girls and blue is for boys, they’re never told why, just that it is so. What’s interesting though is that there weren’t set colors for the different genders until the late 1900s when manufacturers and marketers realized that they could sell a whole new set of baby products to parents who already had everything they needed leftover from their first child but were expecting a baby of the opposite sex.

 

There was even an article published in a 1918 “Ladies’ Home Journal” saying that, “pink is for the boys, and blue is for the girls. Pink, being a more decided and stronger color, is more suitable for the boy, while blue, which is more delicate and dainty, is prettier for the girl.” This just goes to show how bogus assigning a certain color to a gender is.

 

 

Another way in which the sexes are subjected to stereotyping at an early age is through the toys that are marketed to them. Take a stroll through the girl’s section at Toys R Us and there are dolls, dolls, and more dolls (oh, and a large amount of them are wearing- you guessed it- pink). Take a look at the boy’s section and you’ll and trucks, cars, super heros and sports. It’s ingrained in our brains from the very beginning that girls are meant to be one thing, and boys another.

 

Another way in which the sexes are subjected to stereotyping at an early age is through the toys that are marketed to them. Take a stroll through

the girl’s section at Toys R Us and there are dolls, dolls, and more dolls (oh, and a large amount of them are wearing- you guessed it- pink). Take a look at the boy’s section and you’ll and trucks, cars, super heros and sports. It’s ingrained in our brains from the very beginning that girls are meant to be one thing, and boys another.

 

 

The thing is though, that a person’s biological sex should not, and does not automatically define their interests and abilities. Take sports, for example. Gymnastics is considered by most people to be a “girls” sport, but at every Olympics, the US sends not just a women’s gymnastics team, but a men’s team as well. These men have worked tirelessly to become some of the best gymnasts in the world. They’re not only passionate about, but also excellent at a so-called “girl’s” sport.

To put it simply, there is no reason to say that whole group of people can’t do or be certain things just because of their sex, yet it happens every day. People make jokes about women running for president, or look at men who wear makeup as strange. Gender stereotyping can leave people feeling boxed into what they “should” be rather than giving them the potential to grow and be everything they could be.

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