An essay on stereotypes, gender roles and equality of women
The time had gone long when there used to be specific roles assigned for society’s men and women. Earlier, there were divided responsibilities and certified areas, which were supposed to be dealt with by specific genders. Traditionally, men were the home’s bread earners, whereas the women were accountable for handling the kitchen and other households. Also, women have been expected to perform, behave, speak, act, and dress according to specific cultural norms from ages. However, with the modernization of the world, the virtue of equality has been achieved between the tasks performed by men and women. Women have outshined men in many ways. Still, there are specific gender roles, which are imposed on the women of every society.
Gender roles refer to the professional tasks a gender can or should do and refer to the certain assumptions made towards every gender type. For instance, it has always been stereotyped that women are believed to behave softly, wear traditional clothes, conduct nicely, and speak politely with other people.
On the other hand, men have always presumed the liberty to speak loudly, act aggressively and stay bold. However, the gender roles and expectations from respective genders generally vary as per the cultural values of a person or a group. Also, these keep on changing with the passage of time and developments in a particular society. It can also be said that gender roles change with the evolution in the mindset of a particular society and the breaking of the stereotypes attached to it.
Stereotypes are defined as some general set of characteristics or preconceived notions that most people believe to be true for a particular type of person or thing. For example, when people think about women, they associate certain characteristics, such as motherly tenderness, emotional inclination, and accommodating nature. So, they expect women to behave in these ways, and when they don’t, they become upset and angry with them. They fail to realize that stereotypes are just assumptions that people have associated with certain things or a group of persons. These assumptions are not essentially true, and their credibility is subject to change from one person to another.
Further, stereotypes can be both positive as well as negative in nature. For example, all blacks are better athletes. It is a positive stereotype. It is not fair to consider that a particular group of people possesses certain kinds of characteristics. Many black men and women may not be good athletes at all. Such stereotypes rob them of their right to be different and unique individuals.
Gender Stereotypes are general views and set of characteristics that are associated with men and women. For example, women are considered to be kind, affectionate, and accommodating. In contrast, men are considered to be authoritative, influential, and silent in nature. Such stereotypes bind both men and women to behave in a certain way as they are expected to. But, a man doesn’t need to be silent (Ellemers, 2018). He can be talkative, expressive, and pleasant. However, if he tries to behave in such a manner that doesn’t align with the gender stereotype, he isn’t considered manly.
Further, a gender stereotype is extremely harmful when it limits men and women from realising their true potential and being their true selves. For example, in some parts of the world, it is generally considered that mechanical engineering is reserved for men. Women cannot become mechanical engineers as the course includes a lot of hard work and machine work. So, even when women have the caliber to become good mechanical engineers, people try to prevent them from pursuing mechanical engineering. As a result, many women who aspire to become mechanical engineers cannot fulfill their aim. This demonstrates how damaging gender stereotypes can be for people.
Moreover, gender stereotypes also associate different roles with men and women to play. For example, women are expected to shoulder most household responsibilities and take care of the children. In comparison, men are expected to earn bread and money for the family. But, nowadays, women have also started matching strides with men. They are also going out to earn for their families. However, they still have to shoulder the majority of household responsibilities alone. Very few women get help from their husbands in household chores (Ellemers, 2018). This is because men are generally brought up believing that it is a woman’s responsibility to take care of household responsibilities. This way, gender stereotypes prevent men and women from enjoying equality in their personal and social life.
Examples of Stereotypes:
Men are strong
This is one of the most common stereotypes. Men are generally considered to be strong. Right from their childhood, they are told not to cry because they are strong. As a result, they learn to hide their emotions and keep them piled up inside. This is not good for them as piled-up emotions lead to stress which further causes health problems.
Men are the backbone of the family
Another stereotype associated with men is that they are the backbone of the family. It is said so because they are considered the ones who fend for the family. But, this is no longer true. Nowadays, many women go out and earn for their families and help their husbands with financial matters (Mcleod, 2015). Although the situation has changed, this stereotype still exists, and even today, men are considered the backbone of the family.
Girls like pink
This is an example of a popular gender stereotype. It is considered that girls like pink. The situation is so sad that even little boys refuse to purchase a pink pen because they consider pink to be a girly color. Also, when people choose gifts for girls, they prefer pink color. But, this isn’t justified. Pink is just a color, and both girls and boys can like it.
Boys are messy and unclean
This is one of the most prevalent stereotypes associated with boys. They are considered to be messy and unclean. But, in reality, boys are not messy and unclean; they are just brought up that way. In many houses, when they are unmarried, their mothers clean their rooms and keep everything in a proper place. They are not often told to clean their room and their stuff on their own. This is because it is believed that it is a woman’s responsibility to do so, and his wife will do that for him after his wedding. As a result, they don’t inculcate the habit of cleaning things on their own. So, the problem is not with boys; the problem is just with another stereotype, leading to this one.
Girls play with dolls and soft toys
It is generally believed that girls play with dolls and soft toys. They don’t play with cars and guns. But, there are many girls who love to play with cars and guns. In fact, there are many famous women shooters in the world like Amber Hill. She won a gold medal at the ISSF final in Cyprus in 2015. Had she not been interested in guns, she would have never become a shooter. So, it is not justified to say that girls play with dolls and soft toys.
How do gender stereotypes affect people?
The very thought that only girls can do this or boys are not supposed to do a particular task binds a person’s psychology to a certain extent. It tells them that there is no space beyond these predefined notions. In true words, if the above-discussed stereotypes are taught to children from their very early age, it affects the growth of their minds badly. For example, if a girl child has been taught that women are weak and not supposed to raise their voice against men. In the future, such girls or women become prey to physical violence at home by their husbands. Because of the stereotypes they have been nurtured with, that affects them badly and reaps sour fruits for them. This does not stop here; it keeps getting worse, every getting passed on to the next to next generations.
One significant field where stereotypes have created havoc is sports. (Lucy, 2020) elaborated that societies in many ways have divided sports as per gender. For instance, women are not supposed to play games such as football or cricket. These are the games that have been created for men only. The women of any region of society are not allowed to take part in such games. This makes the woman suppress her dreams and act as per the views of others. This takes away her right to freedom.
Not only this, but the men also get affected by gender stereotypes. The high expectations of the family from the male gender and the organisational commitments generally put a lot of pressure on their shoulders. It is because not every man has the capability to earn financial support for the entire family. The very pressure to earn and keep feeding the family forever puts immense strain on the person's mind. This also forms the reason for depression in many men of society. In fact, the increased burden of work puts intolerable pressure on the person’s mind, and he tends to lose his senses. Also, in such families, the women are not supposed to work. Even if a woman tries to move out of home and tries to build a career for herself, then society tries to question the earning capacity of the man only. It is often the fear of society and the people’s viewpoint that a man stops the women of his family from progressing.
To bring a change in such things, there is a need to change to initialize change in the roots of the thought process of the people of society. The traditional and cultural gender roles need to be twisted with a modern approach.
Changing gender roles
With the change in society and the development of the world, people’s thought processes are changing. With countries getting developed at a fast pace, many communities are now adapting broad-minded thinking and changing the ideology of workforce planning. This also comes with the equal financial roles that women are holding the responsibility for in many countries. The evolution of women in every field of study and work has been a commanding factor to seek equality in all other roles. Along with being the bread maker for the family, now the woman is also the bread earner for the family. In families without men, one can see women single-handedly taking care of all the responsibilities. Moreover, there is no field of work left today, which is not jolted by women's power.
With this, a switch in the gender roles in the family can also be witnessed in many countries. Most importantly, during the present situation of COVID 19, a sense of equality can be seen practiced in every house of the world. During the lockdown, every man and woman has taken care of all the house chores and the work responsibilities together. There is no arena left where man has not offered his help, and in the same way, the woman of the house has also shouldered equal responsibilities towards the finances of the house. Moreover, when the children of such homes witness these changes, they also learn the lesson of equality. This is where the actual change in gender roles begins, in the minds of the children of the future children. It is when the children learn the values of equality and start treating their opposite genders softly, then the society of the present can in true terms head towards a positive change.
Women and changing gender roles essay
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Women- the flag bearer to the success of an economy!
A world without women is unimaginable, for life starts from the womb of a woman. Today, women constitute an almost identical share of the global population and are marching forward in all realms of life. It is now a thing of the past that women would settle for less or would snub ill-treatment and or oppression. In fact, even traditionally, disrespecting women and not treating them equally has always been denounced by every religion that is prevalent in the world. In every religion, women have a sacred place of sheer purity. Still, people from ages have disgraced the value of women and have treated them unequally to men. However, with the recent developments in time, technology, and human needs, the role of women has expanded manifold. From being the lady of the house to the income supporters of the family, the women are also the leaders of the society. They not only raise their children well but also support their country in ensuring the financial well-being of every family. This establishes the fact that women today are equally contributing towards the development of the economy.
Thesis statement The world today is witnessing constant and equal support from the women's power to ensure the stability of the various economies. There is no denying that women contribute equally towards the development of each sector of the economy. This essay supports the truth that it is both men and women together who are sustaining a strong endeavor towards the stability of the world economy.
The first and foremost thing is that women today are not only competing but have overpowered the intelligence of men in every sector of the world. Whether it is the task of teaching children to manage the finances of a corporate or even running an entire country, a woman has flagged her accomplishments in every working and nonworking sector (Hissong, 2019). In fact, women are said to be more creative than men. They are the artisans who give new definitions to every creative field. In fact, according to research conducted by music researchers, it has been found that the rate of women’s engagement in creative fields, including arts, literature, and music, is higher than that of men (Hissong, 2019). The same has been studied by a group of music researchers who explored the topic, “ structural and cultural differences in the work context of creative producers.” They came up with the results that women are more involved in the creative fields of work and have a stronger inclination towards creative ventures in comparison to men. (HISSONG, n.d.)
Secondly, women have proven to be better leaders not only for the companies but for the countries as well. It is much because of the compassionate and heartwarming nature of the women that they are easily able to connect with the other person. Also, the capability of women to easily put themselves in others’ shoes and form an understanding with them is yet another important quality of a leader. Furthermore, women have always been termed as good listeners as well as good influencers. The speaking and the convincing ability of women is, in maximum cases, better than the opposite gender. All these things together make a woman a much better leader than the men (King, 2020). Taking the example of the present situation, the spread of pandemic COVID 19. It has been clearly known that most systems of the countries have failed in fighting off the disease. Countries like the UK, USA, India have the maximum number of fatalities, and the numbers are still growing. However, there are few countries in which the cases are very few in number, and almost ignorable is the number of death cases. Few of the names include New Zealand, Germany, Normal, and Taiwan (King, 2020). One thing which is common in these nations is the leadership in the hands of women leaders. This proves the very efficiency of the women at the highest level of management.
Moreover, one significant fact which can never be ignored is the role of a woman in raising a human. Whether it is a man or a woman, it is the woman only who carries the child in her womb and then gives her the life of a true human. It is much because of the cultural values and the right attitude inculcated in the personality of a person that helps him grow into a successful person. The basic values of truth, honesty, love, and integrity are taught in the beginning years at home only by a woman. So, even if a woman is a homemaker, her role is incredibly important towards the making of a successful human being. Irrespective of gender, it is the woman who positively carves the path of positivity and achievement in the life of a person.
On the other hand, some people oppose the belief and state that women have no role to play in the betterment of the economy. They are still living with the orthodox thinking and faith that women are meant only to take care of the home chores and raise the family's children. She is the one who is responsible for taking care of the man, and she is always at a low status than the man. They possess the ideology that women have no identity of themselves and cannot stand equal to men in any respect. In fact, these are the people who have also derogated respect from a woman.
On a concluding note, it can be said that a woman is the most beautiful and intelligent creation of God. Along with giving her the strength to withhold a new life within her, God has also given her the power to control and govern the biggest of the associations. She is the leading lady who mesmerizes the workplace and the country with her charm and dignity. A woman is also intelligent and smart at the same time. As observed in the above paragraphs, she exhibits the perfect competence to stand true to every expectation that society holds from her. She is a perfect embodiment of companionship and leadership as she tasks care of all her responsibilities with ultimate care and concern. Thus, to let the woman emerge more and contribute even better to society, the people need to change their approach towards her. They need to adopt a welcoming attitude towards women empowerment and encourage every woman of the society to study and pursue their dreams.
Gone are the times when the people used to act as per the stereotypes. Now is the actual time to break them and bring an evolutionary change in the ideology of orthodox thinking. The people together need to step ahead and help the women to accomplish their choice of careers. Moreover, the traditional difference between the gender roles needs to shed now, and these need to be modernised with an approach of equality and acceptance towards women.
Essay samples to read
- Ellemers, N. (2018). Gender Stereotypes. Annual Review Of Psychology, 69(1), 275-298. DOI: 10.1146/annurev-psych-122216-011719
- Hissong, S. (2019). Finally, Research Suggests Female Artists Are More Creative Than Men. Retrieved 21 September 2020, from https://www.rollingstone.com/pro/features/research-proves-female-artists-are-more-creative-than-men-962899/
- King, M. (2020). Women are better leaders. The pandemic proves it. Retrieved 21 September 2020, from https://edition.cnn.com/2020/05/05/perspectives/women-leaders-coronavirus/index.html
- Lucy. (2020). Traditional gender roles and stereotypes: How they can affect children and young people. Retrieved 21 September 2020, from https://www.childrenssociety.org.uk/news-and-blogs/our-blog/traditional-gender-roles-and-stereotypes-how-it-can-affect-children
- Mcleod, S. (2015). Stereotypes | Simply Psychology. Retrieved 21 September 2020, from https://www.simplypsychology.org/katz-braly.html