Although stereotypes are formed from ignorance, they have a way of sticking around. Like labels, they become false defining features of groups of people. Some of us spend our lives trying to shake these definitions and defy stereotypes. While it is hard to lump all women into one group as there are so many diversities, differences, and intersecting identities making up each individual woman, there are consistent stereotypes.
We hope that you feel inspired to redefine your stereotypes.
Women are overly emotional. When women show emotion they are seen as being weak and incapable. This is especially true when they are compared to men. Acknowledging and expressing emotions is a powerful trait. It shows empathy and care. Don’t be afraid to show and express emotion to others, even in leadership roles. Being tuned in to your emotions as those of your team make you a more effective leader.
Black women are loud. You have the right to be loud. You have the right to be angry and frustrated. Don’t let a stereotype scare you from stating your opinion. Reclaim this stereotype as a symbol of your power. You can be loud and make a difference whether through word or action.
Women dislike one another. This stereotype has permeated media. Television, movies, songs, you name it, there are women competing against one another. Women are portrayed as caddy and shallow as they complete for usually a boy’s attention. Don’t let this stereotype define you! Don’t believe that the only relationship you can have with another woman is a combative one. Sisterhood is important. Healthy, supportive relationships will carry you through many obstacles.
All women want children. A woman is not defined by her family. She does not gain her identity through her children. A woman without a child is not any more or less a woman. While we are moving away from this stereotype as a society, it is still the norm to assume a woman will marry and have children. Challenge yourself to believe more for your future. You can have a family and be successful and you can not have a family and be successful.