Gender stereotypes have long been a thorn in the side of our society, restricting people to certain viewpoints and giving them red lines never to cross. Essentially, it hinders the freedom one has over his own life, it makes certain things acceptable to males, others acceptable to females, gives us a small grey area of commonality, and puts everything else under the umbrella of “wrong”.
Let’s do an experiment here: think of a nurse, do you imagine a male or a female? What about a police officer? Now think of an athlete, then a ballet dancer, imagine the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of any certain occupation or character. Then, more importantly, think about how you’d feel towards a person of the other gender in such an occupation.
This is exactly what Alicia Keys is talking about; the stigma that binds males and females into society-approved roles and paths in life. Keys was in Egypt with her husband a little while ago, and from the looks of it, she truly enjoyed her trip. If you open her Twitter account, you’ll instantly see a picture of her at the Pyramids.
Even her photo is inspired by Egyptian history. She challenges the stereotype that a ruler or a president is necessarily a male, and posts a picture of herself in Pharaonic attire, reminding us all of the greatness of Pharaonic women such as Cleopatra, Hatshepsut, or Nefertiti, all of whom were queens of their kingdom and reigned with unimaginable power.
So next time you find yourself categorising a male or a female into a limited path in life, remember that you descend from a kingdom that crushed such stereotypes into dust.