Blue ♀ & Pink ♂

Posted On 2/24/2019 4:30:00 PM, 4Comments

Think about a newborn baby boy. If you decide to buy a gift, what color would it be ? Pink or blue ? The blue suits boys more,right? This is what society wants humans to be socialized into. Because we are so socialized into gender stereotypes, it would be inappropriate for a boy to wear pink which may cause him to be “feminine” in the future. We are stuck in a world in which colors define who we are . Moreover, since gender stereotypes require us to be the same, we can not stand diversity. Therefore, the ones who are “different”,described as freak. As another example, would you choose a male or female doctor for a surgery? Because the role of a women is staying at home, she is not qualified enough to perform a surgery,right ? Men should work, real men do not cry, women do not play football, women are dependent, women are fragile so they need to be protected, act like a lady , talk like a girl etc. Feelings, colors, actions, jobs have no gender. These are the effects of gender socialization which is a process of learning how to act, talk, behave based on your biological sex. That is why, the life we live is shaped by society’s expectations.


There are many reasons behind the gender inequality such as tradition, culture, misinterpreted religion, ignorance etc. However, the portrait of society push people to think that the actual responsibles of inequality are males-which is wrong. Evil is evil, it has no gender. That is why, all men should not be seen as a potential criminal. In some cases, males are even used as scapegoats in order not to see the big picture. For instance, one of the most tragic mistakes that girls do in today’s modern life is accepting being under the power of a boy which normalize the inequality. What is worse is that considering it as true love. It is not. It is an unhealthy and disrespectful scene created by society in which women are seen as slaves of men. If you are not questioning the statements-“You will stay at home!, You will not talk to other boys!”, it is probable for you to feel like a bird in a cage. Yet, you are not a bird. You are an individual who have the capabilitiy to make her own decisions. In addition, to crown it all, when boys cross the line, girls start complaining and become “a feminist who hates all men(!)” without knowing the real meaning of the term.  I think, this is the point that we should focus on. Change is impossible for the society if we continue to blame someone or something. If we want to change the world we must start with ourselves because we are the starting point of it. When you are reading this, in somewhere, a 10 years old girl is forced to get married, a girl goes to field instead of school or a woman is raped or beaten. We are the ones who will stop this injustice and inequality by spreading love, respect and education.

 The education is a crucial element that a society needs for development. Besides academic subjects,there are other concepts that education provides in classroom environment such as hidden curriculum which reinforces students’ moral and social perspectives in terms of norms, values, behaviour, world view etc. If we consider classroom environment as an iceberg, the hidden curriculum would be the unseen part of the iceberg. Since everything is internalized and imitated by students in a classroom, what happens in this environment should reflect “good and right.”. Simply, a teacher’s democratic and equal approach to students would promote their sense of equality for good. Additionally, because group tasks and cooperative activities creates a sense of belonging, they may be pretty appropriate activities to improve the relations and respect between girls and boys.A divide created between girls and boys may lead them to be adults who do not know how to relate to each other which is a scenario that “sounds familiar.”

Additionally ,in 1930s, Turkish women were granted the right to vote thanks to one of the greatest leaders that the world has witnessed,Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. It is an honor for Turkish people to have such a great milestone in terms of equality. No words can explain how grateful we are to have Mustafa Kemal as a savior, leader and a teacher. Thank you for your care and respect.

Comments (4) -

Bill Snyder
2/25/2019 8:47:28 PM #

Hi Dilanur,

Just a little historical note to start here. In the 19th century, the right colors for babies were the opposite! Red (the color of Mars) (and pink) were for boys, and blue (the color of Venus) was for girls. I don't know the details of how it changed, but the fact that is has shows how this is just a social custom and not something natural. GIving students that fact could be the basis of some interesting discussion.

I think you are right that we should move beyond blame for the general state of gender relations but that does not mean we should not hold individuals responsible for their words and actions that promote inequality. To do less would be letting go of our responsibility to improve the situation. Moreover, I agree with you that the ultimate solution will arise from showing love to people. And most importantly, I think you are right that the starting point for solutions is changing ourselves.

And that leads to the interesting question of how to do that. Clearly, it will take some self-reflection for students to move on from being simply aware of inequality to thinking about how it comes about, their part in it, and what they might do to change it. Do you have any thoughts about how to achieve this?

3/1/2019 1:56:31 PM #

Thank you Mr.Snyder ! Before I start,I need to mention the situation in Turkey. Unfortunately, we have such rigid stereotypes in our country that can make the teachers hesitate to talk about gender issues(especially LGBT). With this in mind, because changing students' perspective on gender stereotypes is a tough job to do due to their cultural background, firstly the teachers should realize how long it would take to change someone's mentality. However, of course it is possible thanks to the teacher's attitudes and approaches. As I mentioned in my post, because teachers are the role models of a classroom, the examples that they set would be very effective to shape the students' opinions unconsciously. Also, the teachers can display some videos about the topic,which are powerful sources that leads a person to do self inquiry. Additionally, thanks to discussions in classroom, students may analyse and interpret their lives through sharing ideas. Lastly, the empathy which is the most powerful instrument of change in society can be "the key" to all of these problems. That is why, the empathy should be put first by teachers in order to promote students to take some action to change the situation.

Bill Snyder
4/6/2019 12:27:36 AM #

Hi Dilanur,

I agree with you that changing people's views may take a long time, especially when there are pressures on them to hold another view. A teacher has to present a model of empathy and justice to students that they can reflect on and hopefully, want to emulate. And to speak about these topics, not in a way that propagandizes but one which simply puts forward what the teacher believes about fairness for all.

But a teacher is with students only part of the time. Change can be more effected when the school community as a whole presents these examples, which is why it is important for teachers to model for other teachers and to talk with them about social justice issues that need to be addressed with students.

This won't necessarily be easy or make immediate changes in some people's views but it builds community among those who do agree, and teachers working together may change more minds over time. This is one reason I'm enthusiastic about this project. It brings together a group of teachers who are already committed and allows you to form a community of support for each other that I hope will extend beyond this project.

Thank you for an interesting discussion!

Best wishes,


Adnan Yilmaz
3/16/2019 12:43:43 PM #

Dear Dilanur,

I really enjoyed reading your post. While reading it, I was astonished by the power of the words that you chose to convey the messages related to gender inequality in the world.

As you mentioned, the ways of being as men and women are definitely determined by societies’ expectations. Due to these expectations, we do face stereotypes and biases in relation to gender roles. As sociocultural zones of contact, teaching and learning setting are not free of these stereotypes and biases. They are embodied in the conversations between student-student, students-teacher, teacher-administrator, etc. The teaching and learning materials and practices are also full of such gender inequalities.

I do agree with you and Bill that the starting point for solutions to these problems is “ourselves”. As men and women, we all have responsibilities to initiate the change regarding gender inequalities and to eradicate the unfair divide between men and women. I really liked your reference to the concept of “hidden curriculum”. We all know that everything is not written in the curriculum. Therefore, what is not written in the curriculum has a lot of importance in terms of conveying certain messages about the perspectives, practices, and products related to gender roles. We, as educators, have very important responsibilities to deliver correct messages to our students regarding gender equality. These messages will, one way or another, shape students’ understanding and construction of gender identity in terms of perspectives, practices, and products.

Thank you for this insightful post about the webinar!

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