The cultural and individual perception
There are different perspectives and roles assigned to individuals due to their roles. The cultural and individual perception of an individual determines their categorization of the different genders and the specific elements that defined these genders (Wood and Eagly 699). In terms of roles and the way individuals are treated within set settings helps understand the beliefs of the people about the specific genders. This paper discusses the variations in perception in terms of the gender roles and definition about individuals within specific settings with culture being the main element of measure.
According to Zosuls, Miller, and Ruble (826), the community has pre-defined roles that increase the practice and indifference among the different genders within the society. Children either male or female are seen as different from each other even at the time of birth. The preparation and acceptance of the child’s gender even before birth set a platform that will be a measure of the way they will be treated. It becomes common for parents to start giving children different roles from an early age that separates the male from the female child. The sex differences among children start at an early age and are adopted all through until they become adults. Since the children are taught and treated differently, the male children start feeling different from their female peers at an early age and maintain the same all through.
Most of the countries that are ranked better then America have established positive and working policies that have increased the positions for women in various working positions. One of the metrics used in measuring the involvement of women is political empowerment, which is a measure of the number of women in political positions. Considering America, the rate is nearly zero with most of the women in the political arena being in positions that cannot be considered as an executive. Other metrics that have been considered in the measure of the differences between men and women include education attainment, economic participation and opportunities, and health and survival. In each of these metrics, America still lacks a positive and empowering environment that supports women and gives them a chance to be in the lead. Despite the increased number of women in various positions and professionals, there still is a shortage in the number of women in the different positions in comparison to the men working in the same positions in these sectors.
The implementation and management of policies
In America and globally, there are different opinions regarding the position and influence that women have in relation to their male counterparts. From an early age, the male children are given bigger toys while the girls are given a doll that could have been a little bit cheaper. As they grow, they get to understand that they do not equal in any way even in situations or opportunities where all of them have the same opportunity. In the job sector, women are given a background role with most of the women in sectors such as human resource, customer service, customer relations, which are not that much related to the implementation and management of policies within an organization. Women who are at the top management positions are very few in America and even from a global context since there are fewer opportunities offered to them for fear of not being able to lead or inability to commit to the work (Eagly and Carli 62). Similarly, most of the women in the management positions are either single mothers or a spinster, which makes it hard for companies to consider that women in the top management positions can separate the family commitment from work. As a result, fewer women are given these roles.
On the other hand, men working in positions that are considered as ‘feminine’ such as nurse and librarians are in many cases confused to be gay or to have an inferiority complex as compared to other men working in sectors such as engineering. The male nurses are in some cases avoided by other male friends and end up making closer ties with their peers at their work environment as compared to people in the community they see themselves as equals. Another work environment that does not respect the differences among genders is politics. Women are forced to act like their male counterparts; consequently, women politicians are forced to wear official clothes all the time in contrast to men who at times are seen with casual wear or even a mix of these attires. Women politicians and even the wives of the politicians have to appear official at all time as a symbol of modesty despite the variation of the clothes they could select from.
The major characters in the book ‘The Zookeeper's Wife’ are Antonina Zabinska and her husband Jan. Antonina is seen to do more than her common roles of tending to the house and the family (Ackerman 30). Through her early experience, she developed a connection with the animals in the zoo. Subsequently, she developed the passion and commitment, which she used in helping the Jewish friends who sought help from her and her husband. In the traditional customs of the Polish, the wife was to take care of the home and the family. But for Antonina, she understood her input in other chores and would manage the zoo on her own even without her husband at home, which was a change in role. She opened her home to strangers and even friends whose lives were in danger, which helped save lots of more lives.
Most TV shows and songs have sought to increase awareness on heteronormativity through playing continuously songs that insist on the love and attraction between the male and female as the only natural connection in relationships (Hubbard). Most of these shows and songs have idolized the way women are attractive through the constant commercials that some have gone an extra extent to expose women inappropriately. The shows with gay relationships also include a negative perception about the coming out of the characters that are gay. However, there are shows that have taken the theme of homosexuality as their major themes. One of these shows is Finding Prince Charming, which is a show where gay men are in a competition to win the affection of Robert Sepulveda Jr.
The gap in the pay reduces the morale among women working in the same working position as men. Since the women are paid less irrespective of the work that they do and the efforts that they put in attaining outcomes. This reduces the number of women who are interested in certain jobs. Despite the influence and belief in the ‘Bill Gates syndrome’ that many men consider to apply to them also, women are more empowered to become independent and providers in contrast to the past when women were only financially secure if they were married to wealthy men. Therefore, the increase in women attending college and even earning a master’s degree is based on their need to make a change for themselves and people related to them.
Establishing a more egalitarian society would involve changing the perceptions of individuals about the roles of individuals as dictated by their genders. One of the ways that could help attain this goal is promoting education that is more hands-on rather than the results. Many children are good in sports while some are good in practical skills. Therefore, through encouraging a skills or talent and increasing the platforms through which these skills can be harnessed or developed, people will come to see an equal society since some things are not only for the men or male children. Some can be done better with women or girls.
Ackerman, D. The Zookeeper's Wife: A War Story. New York: WW Norton & Company, 2007. 28-35.
Eagly, A. H. and L. L. Carli. "Women and the labyrinth of leadership." Harvard business review 85.9 (2007): 62.
Hubbard, P. "Here, there, everywhere: the ubiquitous geographies of heteronormativity." Geography Compass 2.3 (2008): 640-658.
Wood, W. and A. H. Eagly. "A cross-cultural analysis of the behavior of women and men: implications for the origins of sex differences." Psychological bulletin 128.5 (2002): 699.
Zosuls, K. M., et al. "Gender development research in sex roles: Historical trends and future directions." Sex roles 64.11-12 (2011): 826-842.
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