Breaking the Box

I am sure we have all experienced something along the lines much like the people in the PSA with not being in your “correct” gender norms.  For example I knew many girls in high school that played softball but many others thought that was not a sport women should play.  Another example is being in a situation when you tell a young boy not to be a “wimp”.  We have all done it, but we are all more aware of the implications it can have later on.

In class we have been going over the idea of gender boxes in which the society around us puts us in.  However, I do not think that people outside of taking a gender class realize this.  I did a basic google search about breaking the gender norms and stumbled upon this wonderful PSA.  Both men and women have these ideas of what society wants us to be, but it is up to us in order to break them.  This video is a great example of the “Act Like a Man” Box others are always challenging each other or putting one another down and testing our own boxes.



10 thoughts on “Breaking the Box

  1. This video was absolutely fantastic. I really think that this should be viewed by other classes when the “Act Like A Man” article is taught. It is a great visual representation of something that is ever present but often goes unnoticed. The best part to me was when the young man who had the box that said “She wants it” helps to get the drunk girl into the cab. After talking about the enthusiastic yes and other parts of gender violence this video shows what should be happening in our culture. I loved that in some cases others helped the victims in the video to break free of the boxes they were confined to. It can be one small act that helps a person view themselves as more than just what they are labeled by others due to their gender.

  2. Laura,
    I really enjoyed this PSA. I’ve never actually seen any sort of advertisement before that has to do with breaking gender roles. This PSA was very interesting to me because it used examples of all different age groups. In class, we talked a lot about how our gender boxes are formed at young ages like childhood, preteen years, and teen years, but I found it to be interesting that this advertisement hit on not only those age groups, but adulthood too. Adults should also be reminded to break out of their gender stereotypes, like the man who was taking care of the seemingly drunk woman. Especially since this is a popular issue in today’s society, it not only gave adult men the idea to break out of their gender stereotypes, but that that sadly is a stereotype for them now.

  3. Laura,
    This PSA was awesome! It demonstrates how gender stereotypes take place everywhere in society. In class, we discussed the idea of Range of Gender. This says that we need to reject the idea of masculine and feminine qualities. The idea says it is common for people to have a mixture of feminine and masculine qualities. This PSA does a great job of capturing the idea in Range of Gender. It is important for people to break out of social norms to express themselves. Each individual in the video had to stand up to something that is looked down upon. Each individual had to break the social norms that society has set which is the true message of the PSA. I think this PSA holds an important message that everyone should be exposed to.

  4. Laura, you make a great point about people that are outside the box. I know myself in particular, as I’ve gotten older I’ve strayed further and further out of the box. I mean even recently I got my first manicure and I plan on doing it again. I think the man box is starting to slowly decrease as the world is slowly becoming more progressive and accepting towards people being different than the “norm.” You’re video was incredible I especially enjoyed the male teammate patted his female teammate on the back proving that the “box” is slowly breaking down.

  5. I agree when said, “we’ve all done it.” But now that we’ve had a bit of insight on how this kind of language can be damaging, it’s now up to us to teach those younger than us to be sensible in their words! I like this video a lot because it challenges so many of the those gender norms. Whether it be the girl playing football or the guy who respectfully took care of the intoxicated girl. Everyone could all learn something from this video!

  6. I think this is a really great video! So far everyone has mentioned the girl who played football. I experienced a girl doing this at my own high school. People were very startled when she joined the team our freshman year and instead of people encouraging her and being impressed by her bravery to break the gender roles, she was made fun of. I had gone to elementary school with this girl and she was a bit strange so I just figured it was another one of her odd phases she went through. One day a group of people approached me thinking I was the girl that was on the football team. We had the same hair color so they figured I must’ve been her. Even after denying that I was not her they continued to make fun as I would walk by. Even though I was not the girl who was brave enough to play a generally male sport, it hurt. I was embarrassed and from then on I had much more respect for those who broke out of the ‘box’ and I will be the first to support anyone who choses to do so.

  7. I absolutely love this video that you chose! I wish there more PSAs out there that would send this type of message. The video definitely showed the physical boxes people are put in and how sometimes we can get stuck in them. It was such a great moment at the end when the people broke out of the box and displayed how its okay to not be a gendered stereotype. More people should realize that everyone is different and what makes them happy might be different as well, that’s okay.

  8. I think this video did an amazing job in giving examples of how one faces so many gender stereotypes throughout life. This video also gave great examples of how growing up either feminine or masculine can be broken. Instead of the guy at the bar taking advantage of the drunk girl and being sexual, he sent her home. Instead of the caring about her appearance and being feminine, the girl decided that she would play football even though it is classified as a male sport. This was a great find and can be related to this class in so many different ways.

  9. Laura,
    I love the PSA you chose. I was just recently writing about Paul Kivel’s Box theory and think it is important to step outside your comfort zone and challenge the status quo. I enjoyed the beginning of the video because I played sports for so long that were identified as “female” sports. It is key to remember why you chose that sport and want to play and not let, like we saw in the video, those surrounding challenging thoughts get to us. We all go through similar gender stereotype obstacles but to be able to overcome them and be comfortable in our own skin is the mission I believe we are all striving for.

  10. I loved your video on challenging gender stereotypes. It is greatly related to everything we have covered in class. In particular, it reminded me of the concept of heteronormativity. The girl playing football was not expressing herself in ways that would many people would classify as “feminine.” It goes without saying that people at that school probably called her a lesbian, and she probably got teased a lot because “girl don’t play football.” It was a great PSA about how we all need to stand up to all of these gender stereotypes.

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