These Holiday Gender Stereotypes Need to End

December 4th 2015

Diana Crandall

The holiday season is upon us, with Christmas music on the radio before Thanksgiving dinner has even been served. But before we sit down at the table, there are some old-school holiday gender roles of the past that need to banished, once and for all.

1. Thanksgiving dinner is only cooked by women

Women in the kitchen, men on the couch. The stereotype that Thanksgiving dinner is cooked by women while men sit back and relax is widespread.

ALSO: How Your Childhood Toys Impacted Where You Are Today

Author Elizabeth Hafkin Pleck elaborates on the social structures of Thanksgiving in ‘Celebrating the Family: Ethnicity, Consumer Culture, and Family Rituals’:

“There had always been gender segregation at the Thanksgiving meal, with men talking to other men and women conversing with women both before and after the meal.... Women would wash dishes in the kitchen, mixing gossip and housework in an activity that provided pleasure. The spheres were physically separate, and permeable, but only in one direction. It was easier for a woman to enter the living room where men were listening to the game than for a man to don an apron and help in the kitchen.”

But now more men than ever are getting behind a stove and loving it. Plus, women are the fastest growing demographic of the NFL’s fanbase, Bloomberg reports. There’s no reason everybody can’t crack open a beer, pass around the labor and relax on Turkey Day.

2. Presents are separated by gender

It’s impossible to walk down any toy aisle at a department store and ignore the clear divide between genders. Dolls for girls, action figures for boys. But increasingly, people are shattering these gender stereotypes. At last year’s Christmas toy sorting, President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama mixed up the gender roles by putting toys meant for boys in the girls' bin.

ALSO: How Alcohol Ads Influence What Women Are Expected to Drink

Luckily for the Obamas (and the world), regular people are making moves to allow their children to buy whatever toy they like, regardless of which gender it is “meant” for:

3. Men can’t be organized

The holidays are often a time of traditional domestic duties such as hospitality, cleaning and organization. No matter what holiday you celebrate, figuring out where your aunt, uncle and cousin will sleep while simultaneously cleaning the house or apartment top to bottom (all while balancing a grocery list a mile long) is traditionally seen as a women’s job.

ALSO: Your Grandparents Probably Won't Get Your Understanding of Gender

But the stereotype that men can’t clean or wash dishes is offensive to men and really unhelpful to women, the National points out.

Regardless of gender, no one person should have all the responsibility on their shoulders in any family.

This holiday season, split up the chores and try not to stress. After all, it’s the most wonderful time of the year.

Learn more about gender stereotypes and gender neutral parenting in this ATTN: video:

Gender Neutral Parenting

More parents are choosing to raise their children without gender. What do you think?Learn more about gender neutral parenting here: http://bit.ly/1iUXdFz

Posted by ATTN: on Wednesday, November 11, 2015