Everyone acknowledges that there are significant differences between males and females, even if they are only physical.
Others see not only the physical but also the social, emotional and intellectual differences between male and female. Gender roles influence women and men in virtually every area of life including family and occupation, but are women and men subject to different roles or behavior expectations?Gender roles by definition are the social norms that dictate what is socially appropriate male and female behavior Tobias, 1997. In early American culture it was common for a women”s job to be a submissive homemaker in clear contrast to the males aggressive breadwinner role.The seventies marked the beginning of the Woman”s Movement and the end of the ideals we held on what it is to be a “man” and what it is to be a “woman.
” Gender roles in Western society have been changing rapidly in recent years. The transformation was created by evolutionary changes in society, including economic changes, and perhaps because people felt pressured to change; they felt the traditional social structure was somehow unjust or unfair.Gender roles are a part of the socialization process of human beings. These roles are influenced by the individual’s cultural and economic background.
They are initiated at a very early age, beginning at birth. From the time of birth our young are beginning to learn their gender roles. Society begins teaching them certain values and creating in them certain behavior patterns acceptable to their social roles. These roles have been in a state of flux in American society in recent years.
Men and women today can be seen as having expanded their roles in society, with women entering formerly male dominated roles and men finding new ways to relate to and function in the family unit.ROLES OF MEN AND WOMEN IN THE FAMILYClearly, circumstances of family life have changed in the modern era. Industry has been taken out of the home, and large families are no longer economically possible or socially desired. Women have made advances toward the equality they seek only to encounter a backlash in the form of religious fundamentalism, claims of reverse discrimination by males, and hostility from a public that thinks the women”s movement has won everything it wanted and should thus now be silent.
Both the needs of women today and the backlash that has developed derive from the changes in social and sexual roles that have taken place in the period since World War II. These changes involve the new ability of women to break out of the gender roles created for them by a patriarchal society.It would be a mistake to see changing gender roles in society as threatening only to males who dominate that society. Such changes also threaten many women who have accepted more traditional roles and see change as a threat.
“I don”t know how your mother does it all. . . I think time are harder for women these days.
. . so many choices.” This type of thinking is not new.
When women first united for the right to vote at the beginning of this century, they were opposed by women”s groups who wanted things to remain as they were. Many of these women were ladies of means and social position in society Tobias, 1997.The fact is that the family has changed and that the traditional family structure of homemaker, husband as breadwinner, constitutes only 10 percent of families. The role for women has expanded with more women in the workplace and with a variety of family structures with new roles for all members of the family.
Business has been slow to change and to acknowledge the new family, and for all the complaints about the women”s movement as anti-family, the movement has instead followed the trend of placing the family in the forefront of addressing family issues as vital to women Tobias, 1997.The roles of men and women in the home are becoming more co-operative than in the past decades. If a woman chooses to work or needs to work the duties that are expected of her should be talked about before she goes into the workforce. If children are old enough to contribute to the household, then they too should be utilized in making the family home run smoothly.
Everyone needs to pitch in to help take some stress off the mother. They must realize that she feels responsible for the family and their welfare.If the house is falling apart she may feel guilty for going to work. Today, it is not uncommon for a man to come home and fold a load of laundry while his wife is cooking dinner.
In successful homes, the roles of all family members are changing, the roles of mom, dad, and the children.ROLES OF MEN AND WOMEN IN THE WORKPLACEWomen still feel threatened when it comes to the workplace. The danger women feel has been fed throughout history by the practice of keeping women in their place by limiting their options. This was accomplished on one level by preventing women from gaining the sort of education offered to men, and while this has changed to a great extent in the United States, there are still inequalities in the opportunities offered to men as opposed to women.
However, in much of the world women are barred from advanced knowledge and technical training even in this 21st century.Yet opening the world of business with new opportunities for women does not dissipate much of this frustration because both men and women continue to be ruled by their early training, by the acculturation process which decides for them what sort of existence they will have. This can result in feelings of guilt when their reality and the image they have been taught from childhood do not mesh Lahey, 1998.While it is true men and women’s roles in the workplace are becoming closer in equality, there is still a great amount of room for improvement.
For example, woman in upper management should receive the same amount of pay as her male coworker receives for the same job. From a female perspective, I would say she deserves more pay than the male because chances are she still has to go home, prepare dinner, sit down and help both her children with their nightly homework, and work up a presentation she needs to give at this week’s PTA meeting. However, I am not seriously asking for more pay on the job just because I am a woman but it would be nice to know that we at least received the same pay for the same job.CONCLUSIONIn our society, gender roles are present but I feel they are not beneficial to either sex.
Women are portrayed as physically weaker, but that is because as a general rule they are physically weaker. It is not so much an evil conspiracy by “the man” but an observation of an obvious fact. It has been proven that gender roles are not something that society determines, but that nature determines. A 1997 Time Magazine story illustrates this point.
“John” was born a normal baby boy, however in a tragic accident his penis was damaged beyond repair by a circumcision that went wrong. The parents then decided the child’s best shot at normal life was as an anatomically correct woman and therefore the baby was castrated Gorman, 1997.This case became a landmark in sex research during the 1970″s, in that sexual identity exists in a kind of continuum and that nurture is more important than nature in determining gender roles. Experts thought babies are born gender neutral, catch them early enough and you can make them what you want.
What the doctors and the parents did not know was that the celebrated sex change success story was, in fact a total failure. “John” rejected anything remotely feminine. He refused to wear dresses, make up, and when the time came he tried to refuse to take any hormones that would give a feminine figure. “John” did not know that he was born a boy.
He only knew that, “â€¦something was wrong.”The fact that he instinctively tried to take on a masculine role, even when everyone in his environment was telling him to do the opposite, proves that there are undeniable differences between the sexes Gorman, 1997. These differences should be celebrated instead of being ignored.