Fergie’s popular song “Big Girls Don’t Cry” made the charts years ago, but the theme of it is everlasting. It has been a common theme in history that boys and girls cannot have any similarities– girls are pink and boys are blue. Erica Hateley’s essay touches on this subject, tying it in with children’s literature. She claims that the books that children read when they are young enforce the gender roles upon them. For example, she quotes that books “presented boys in fiction as movers, doers, explorers, adventurers, creatures of action, guile, mischief, intellect and leadership,” but girls are described as “docile, passive, emotional, and unimaginative.” People have been creating this divide amongst the genders since the dawn of time, and it should end now.
Boys have always been taught that they should not cry or show any emotion, or else they wouldn’t be considered manly enough. Boys carry this stigma around with them and are scared of whatever consequences there may be if they were to cry, so they don’t. Then they teach the same thing to their sons, and it gets passed on through generation after generation. Eventually, it starts to get spread to the girls too, since it is so engraved in every male brain. In Meet Kirsten, Kirsten’s good friend dies from disease and, like any girl would, she cries. Her mother hugs her in consolation, but her father just pats her shoulder and tells her to stop crying and that it was enough. As a man, he couldn’t show emotion, and didn’t think anyone else should be able to. Just as boys are told to not cry, it is not rare for older girls to be told the same thing. Like Kirsten, older girls are told that it is not okay to cry, because they are “too old” for it.
Will we ever live in a world where people can have emotions without being judged for it? Let people live how they want.