In the past, men and women generally had their own roles to fulfill. These traditional gender roles were the norm back then and, to a certain extent, are still observed today. Men were seen as the breadwinners of the family, from whom the family’s main source of income was obtained. Women were in charge of the households. This meant household expenses, a child’s upbringing and housekeeping were left to them.
Now, however, these gender roles are increasingly being challenged.
The basis of the argument against fixed gender roles is that it is a product of past ideas which cannot apply to modern life. Men and women are created equal, save some physical differences, and hence specific roles for men and women apply. To suggest that men and women having different roles to play in modern society would seem to be challenging this notion of sexual equality. This, I fear, is open to argument.
True, the sexual equality revolution that has taken place has dramatically changed the workplace.
Where once women were rarely seen in areas such as the offices of major firms and government departments they have now become accepted. Women can do tasks just as well as their male counterparts and have earnings equal or above their peers. This change did not take place overnight, nor without women facing great trials and tribulations. The fact that women today have the option of earning their own keep is an achievement.
To explain, women were previously largely kept out of the workplace because of a lack of education and skills. This does not apply today because, unlike yesteryear, young girls are now allowed to go to school and fulfill their educational potential. Private companies and firms have begun to realise that the femal population is a valuable labour resource that is under-tapped. For instance, in Singapore educational qualifications for both men and women are generally equal. The country also faces a severe lack of capable people with the correct qualifications for high-post jobs. Imported foreign talent is only one part of the solution and more women with correct qualifications are being demanded. The female workforce i becoming more and more vital to the small island-state that has people as its only resource. This increased demand will coax women into the workforce through wages and fringe benefits.
At home the same gender role reversal can be seen. Live-in dads can take the place of the working mother and take the responsibility of caring for a child. Household chores are no longer seen as the sole responsibility of the wife, they are more likely to be shared between both genders. In countries like the
United States, this role reversal has been taking place for quite some time now. It has even found a way into mainstream entertainment. Adam, a cartoon strip, features a live-in dad as the title character. He is the “mother” of two kids and a baby. His wife is the main breadwinner of the family.
Yet, these role-reversals have not been as widespread as they should have been. Even today, men are still the primary breadwinners of most families and women generally take charge of the household. There seems to be a general reluctance for both males and females to switch places from their traditional gender roles.
In my opinion, the major factor stopping this role-reversal from taking place is the fact that both sexes tend to revert to their traditional gender roles when couples have children. There is no arguing with the fact that mothering is best left to the natural mother of the child. In fact, the first three months of a newly born baby’s life is mostly spent with the mother. The mother naturally has a special bond she shares with the infant, and this bond between mother and child will last until the child reaches his teenage years, when the father and other role models will shape the child’s life.
The father can assume the tasks and responsibilities of a mother, but he cannot recreate this bond. Most mothers, too, give their careers a lower priority compared to the child. Thus, with the mother accepting the child and household responsibilities, the father is left with the task of supporting the family. Thus the traditional gender roles remain intact.
If, in any case, the traditional roles of mother and father are not fulfilled, it will have negative repercussions on a child. Cases of wayward teens due to both parents being more occupied with work are all too commonly heard. In this case, neither mom nor dad fulfil the “mothering” role to the child, which may lead him to find bad peers as replacements. Having no proper upbringing suggests he has little moral values and a life of crime would more likely result than in the case of a child with a more proper family unit. The same goes for single parenthood where the single parent is burdened with fulfilling both gender roles. With survival and income being a priority, mothers often take a back seat.
Hence, men and women do have different roles to play in modern society-either as a working parent or a nurturer. However, the roles are not always specified by gender, i.e. the nurturer can be either male or female and vice versa. The point is that, in a family each parent has to take a different role or the family cannot function normally. Outside the family sphere, both men and women are equal and both genders can fulfill all the roles equally well.
Cite this Men and women have different roles to play in modern society
Men and women have different roles to play in modern society. (2017, Jul 22). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/men-women-different-roles-play-modern-society-289/