Women should not be loud and outspoken. Men are the providers and protectors in a relationship. The upkeep of a home is a woman’s responsibility. These are examples of gender stereotyping. Or to be formal about the definition of gender stereotyping; the societal expectations of how men and women are “supposed” to act, speak, dress, and conduct themselves based on their gender. The problem is that these preconceived gender roles can limit a person’s ability to make individual choices and excel authentically in life. So, let’s look at 5 gender stereotypes the world needs to forget right now/yesterday.

Women should not be loud, opiniated and outspoken

Chances are you’re familiar with extroverted, opinionated women being labelled as bossy control freaks. If the situation was flipped to a man having those personality traits, he’d likely be admired as a strong-willed leader of society. This double standard needs to end. Both genders are capable of bringing different ideas and opinions to the table. The world needs to stop shaming extroverted women and celebrate their strength in leadership.

Men are providers

Just as women are expected to fulfil the nurturing role for children, men are expected to provide adequate financial support. This is one gender stereotype that can cause a man to feel like a failure if he isn’t earning more than his wife. And we have societal expectations to thank. It’s time to flick the switch and empower men to feel comfortable to take on the stay-at-home dad role as women embrace their careers.

Men should not be sensitive, empathetic, or emotional

Men are human. Humans have feelings. When you consider these two facts, you’ll realise this is one gender stereotype that is just plain crazy. For far too long, men have been bottling their emotions and suffering in silence. It is not okay. As female allies of the male population, we need to practice empathy and create safe spaces in which men can feel comfortable to express themselves free of judgement.

Women must get married

Whoa, whoa, whoa, when it comes to this gender stereotypes, the times aren’t a changing, the times have changed. Full stop. End of story. The pressure for a woman to get married, buy a house, and raise a few children is unfair. As a woman, you can aspire to whatever goals and dreams you wish. You don’t need a partner to complete you. You are 100-percent complete on your own. But, if a life partner enhances your life, we’ll be first in line at the altar.

Women must have children

There is absolutely nothing wrong with a woman who wants a child-free life. Just because a woman chooses to pass on motherhood, that doesn’t make her a human who despises children. It’s just not the life path for her. And one day she may change her mind, but it’s totally cool if she doesn’t. So, if you’re a woman who doesn’t dream of having kids, step into your power and own your dream. The world needs to stop stigmatising women who choose a life beyond raising a family.