Powerful Video Showing What Life Would Be Like If Gender Stereotypes Didn’t Exist


You’re familiar with the butterfly effect, right? The name of the effect, coined by Edward Lorenz, is derived from the metaphorical example of the details of a hurricane (exact time of formation, exact path taken) being influenced by minor perturbations such as the flapping of the wings of a distant butterfly several weeks earlier.

There are many versions of the butterfly effect that don’t just relate to weather. When we look at how sexual assault, rape, and violence acts are committed, there is a certain butterfly effect even to these issues. Often it starts with words, which turn into habits, which then become the “norm” and as a result become the reason many of the aforementioned crimes are sometimes excused.

One organization looking to change this cycle is the Texas Association Against Sexual Assault. In 2014 they released a campaign called Break the Box, but we feel this is a powerful and important message to share even today.

The campaign was focused on eliminating gender stereotypes forced upon girls and boys from a young age which can become a dangerous breeding ground for bullying and violence as they grow older.

“The Break The Box campaign is all about identifying and breaking free from gender stereotypes that can lead to sexual violence. But sexual violence isn’t just about rape or physical harassment. It begins when we hurt people through the words we use and attitudes we carry. Only by combating these stereotypes can we break free of the limits created by social expectations which are the result of strict gender roles,” said a description about the video below.


In the campaign video we see multiple scenarios that many young men and women can relate to. A girl being told she shouldn’t play football because “girls don’t play football”, a young boy being yelled at by his dad who tells him “boys don’t cry”, and a drunk girl stumbling on the street outside a bar being helped by a male friend which gives us the impression he may take advantage of her.

The TAASA has a three-fold actionable mandate to combat sexual assault: primary prevention, influencing public policy, and training for groups and other organizations to be able to prevent and detect signs of abuse and violence.

Since 1982, TAASA has provided statewide and regional trainings/conferences to over 100,000 Texans and provided over 6 million materials through rape crisis centers and community partners free of charge.

We have said many times in numerous articles on our site that gender stereotypes are not just harmful to women and girls, they hurt men and boys too. Men are expected to live up to a narrow ideal of masculinity of being tough, macho and powerful, but what happens when they choose a different path? Women are expected to be feminine and bold, but not too loud or it may come of as bossy or worse, bitchy.

This video is yet another reminder of why we need to be mindful of the words we say, the careless jokes we make, and the people we say them to, whether they be old or young.

Thank you TAASA for this campaign helping society break the box when it comes to gender stereotypes.

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