The topic, Gender roles is a wide and narrow topic that can be debated overages and centuries and still find a reason to debate still about it. This is a topic that has left many digging deep into the books, the internet and even consulting the experts so as to try and analyze different gender roles in our society. Its wise to define simple terms such as the word gender for proper understanding. The word gender has two meanings, the primary meaning, and the secondary meaning. Gender is the difference in biological characteristics by which male and female and other organisms are distinguished. Also, gender is a set of societal norms which helps in the judging the type of sex one is (Al-Ahmadi 149-166). The word gender was first mentioned by John Money in 1955 during his course of study so as to determine the different features that distinguish a male from a female. Both the man and the woman have different responsibilities in our society. Men are obviously expected to act as role models in the community, the head of their families; they are supposed to love to their wives (Francis 23-33). They are supposed to be looking out for their wives since the female species is considered a weaker species hence needs lots of protection from the other sex, and also, men are considered to be the perfect candidate to inherit their familys fortune and take care of it.
Women, on the other hand, have their roles that they are supposed to accomplish in the society. Women are expected to cook, clean, give birth, take care of the kids and please their men. These responsibilities have made the female species to be looked down upon and even discriminated by the male species. This is why today we get to talk about gender role paying attention to the female species. In our society, women are treated as inferior partners in marriage. This is seen during the decision-making process (Al-Ahmadi 149-166). The man will opt to consult an elderly man rather than consulting his wife who, they live with, and that decision will affect her either positively or negatively. Even if given the chance to speak out her mind, the man will still ask for some comments and clarification from his fellow men or an elderly man before implementing it.
In the job industry, women are looked down upon and given minor jobs such as cleaning, cooking, serving and even being nannies. The best rank that they can be given is a secretary or a customer care service operator. This is because they are termed as being illiterate and very shallow in the brain (Francis 23-33). The top ranks like CEO, manager, assistant manager and relation manager are given to men since they are believed to liberal minded and quick to making decisions that will benefit the company. The man is supposed to treat a woman as a helper. By this, the woman is supposed to be at home full time and make sure that when the man is home from work he should find everything in order. The woman is supposed to make sure that dinner is served right on time for the husband and also prepare his water to bath. This is well cited in the book of Genesis (Al-Ahmadi 149-166). In the African context, it is believed that main role of a woman is to get married. This affects the female species in that community since they are married off at a tender age to an old man so as to fulfill their role of being a wife to someone. This makes them run away and try to find greener pastures elsewhere. In the government sector, women are not supposed to vie for higher posts like Presidency, Vice President or even the next rank after the vice president. This is because it is believed that a woman cannot be in a position of leading lots of people and make accurate decisions for them. Instead, women are encouraged to vie for posts such as women representative or even being the councilor of their county or constituency. This has greatly affected the women confidence and made them lack the confidence of their species.
Men, looking at themselves as being the most superior species, always try to look for nicknames, mostly animal names and try to compare it with our IQ. They call us names like my little squirrel, my little lark, as seen in Henricks Ibsens book, A Dolls House. This is seen clearly when Torvald calls Nora, his wife, such names every time he converses with her (Al-Ahmadi 149-166). This tries to show that men think that we have low IQ level like that of an animal or even a baby when they call us baby or my little chick. Gender roles affect couples and lots of families. Women are left at home taking care of the house and the kids while the men go out to work. This makes the woman look like a parasite who only waits to feed on someone elses sweat and hard work. This, hence, makes the man not to have respect for the woman because he sees himself as the head of the family and its only him who can make decisions in the house (Francis 23-33).
Traditionally, women are viewed as only being good in the kitchen, household chores and taking care of the kids. While the male species are viewed as bread winners, financial providers, security providers and also a role model to their kids. This has affected the female species making them feel useless and unwanted in the community. Hence, living a care free life and always afraid of trying out new things for their betterment. In the work industry, slave women did not have a right to their bodies. Their masters would abuse and misuse them sexually with no apology or guilt debating that they pay them and also give them the work to do. This affects the women and forces them to comply with the demands of their masters in fear of losing their work. When they have kids, the kids are taken away from them and sold out by their masters. This makes them suffer both emotionally and psychologically.
To sum up, this paper focuses on the gender roles, mainly the once accorded to women. It tries to explain how women are looked down upon and given minor roles than the men forgetting that what a man can do a woman can do twice better. Also, they forget that behind every successful man theres a woman in the midst (Al-Ahmadi 149-166). The male and the female species should be treated equally and given equal chance both at work and also in the society and during the decision-making process. Everyone is capable of working smart and even better than the other one given the chance. A man can as well do the house chores as the woman does something else so as to be fair and save more time to doing other constructive works. As it is said, United, we stood and divided we fall, both sexes should be united for a better result.
Francis, B. "Is Gender A Social Construct Or A Biological Imperative? Family Futures: Issues In Research And Policy 7Th Australian Institute Of Family Studies Conference". N.p., 2000. Web. 1 May 2016.
Al-Ahmadi, Hanan. "Challenges Facing Women Leaders In Saudi Arabia". Human Resource Development International 14.2 (2011): 149-166. Web..
Ibsens A Dolls House.
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