Gender in Geography

When looking at gender from a geographical stand point, it is important to notice trends and how the distribution of gender effects a field. For example, most of my teachers growing up were female. This is something that I payed little mind to as a child, yet now as I look back on it, so few of them were male it was almost odd to have a male teacher. This is something that seems small but has a large effect of how different careers are shaped. If there are no male teacher, young male students don’t see teaching as something they can do, just as young girls could look at their teachers and think, ‘This is what I’m supposed to do.’ Obviously, this isn’t a sure result, but a lack of representation of any group of people can limit what others believe is okay. The distribution of gender that we discussed in relation to our department here at Mary Washington is a fairly even divide between male and female. While I don’t think I’m getting a better or worse education by having a diverse teaching staff, it is something I take notice of. This is because having different perspectives of a subject can change with gender, just as they change with schooling, location they were raised, age, race, and many other defining factors. If we were all taught by only old, white men, that limits the perspective we are receiving as students.

Representation is key into creating a diverse, accepting, and better future for the world. Just because it doesn’t seem obvious or may not have an upfront effect, doesn’t mean it isn’t important. Little things go a long way with teaching people how to treat others, how to break social norms, and even just find new paths in life because something as small as having a male teacher, or seeing a female firefighter can open a world of possibilities for someone who could be key for the next generation.


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