How gender stereotypes kill dreams


Her mother wanted her to take piano and ballet lessons and become a nurse instead of taking up a ‘dangerous’ sport


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Gender stereotyping can be suffocating.

Gender stereotyping is still alive and well in the 21st century. Take sports, for example. My mother thinks taekwondo is a dangerous sport that is unsuitable for girls, let alone make a career out of it. As a taekwondo fan, this is really sad. Instead of supporting my “dream”, my mother says taekwondo lessons are a waste of time. She believes that it is far better to attend tutorial classes, because I should be focusing more on my studies.

Thus, through my one-minute video, I wanted to tell a story where a girl decides to be herself and achieve her dream. In the clip, the girl’s mother forbids her daughter from attending taekwondo classes. Instead, she wants her to take piano and ballet lessons, and pursue a career in nursing.

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Needless to say, the girl is unhappy, because she finds it difficult to fulfil her mother’s wishes.

This kind of gender stereotyping can be very suffocating, so one day, she musters the courage to follow her passion.

I hope parents can reflect on what their children truly need. As society continues to progress, we should liberate our thoughts, and learn to accept certain things that society may not agree with. We only live once, so we should be truthful to ourselves and be happy. We should have no regrets.

Unicef HK’s Make A Video competition gives young people a chance to express themselves. The project is co-organised by the Hong Kong Arts Centre’s IFVA, with support from Hang Seng Bank and Young Post. Check out the videos here. Email your feedback to [email protected]

The Make A Video Contest 2018 is now open for applications. This year, the theme is “The value we embrace”, which aims to encourage young people to embrace their values as they grow up. Details can be found here.