Gender roles and the changing ideology in an essay form
An essay on gender roles, stereotypes and equality of women
The time has gone long by when there used to be specific roles assigned for men and women of the society. Earlier there were divided responsibilities and certified areas, which were supposed to be dealt by specific genders only. Men were the bread earners of the home, whereas the women were accountable to handle the kitchen and other households. Also, from ages women have been expected to perform, behave, speak, act and dress according to certain cultural norms. However, with the modernisation of the world, a graph of equality has been achieved between the tasks performed by men and women. In fact women have outshined men in many ways. Still, there are certain gender roles, which are imposed on the women of every society.
Gender roles not only refer to the professional tasks a gender can or should do but also refer to the certain assumptions which are made towards every gender type. For instance, women are believed to behave softly, wear traditional clothes, conduct nicely and speak politely with the other people.
On the other hand, men get the liberty to speak loudly, act aggressively and stay bold. 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 as 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 breaking of the stereotypes attached with it.
Stereotypes are defined as some general set of characteristics or an image that a majority of people believe to be true for a particular type of person or thing. For example, when people think about women, they associate certain characteristics with them such as motherly, emotional and accommodating. So, they expect women to behave in these ways and when they don’t they become upset and angry with them. They fail to realise that stereotypes are just assumptions which people have associated with certain things or a group of persons. These assumptions are not essentially true.
Further, stereotypes can be both positive as well as negative in nature. For example, all blacks are better athletes. It is a positive stereotype. But, it is not fair to consider that a particular group of people possess certain kinds of characteristics. Many black men and women may not be good athletes at all. Such stereotypes rob them of their right of being different and unique individuals.
Gender Stereotypes are general views and set of characteristics which are associated with men and women. For example, women are considered to be kind, affectionate and accommodating. Whereas, men are considered to be authoritative, powerful and silent in nature. Such stereotypes bind both men and women to behave in a certain way as they are expected to. But, it isn’t necessary that a man is silent in nature (Ellemers, 2018). He can be talkative, expressive and jovial in nature. However, if he tries to behave in such a manner which doesn’t align with the gender stereotype, he isn’t considered to be as 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 a course in mechanical engineering. As a result, many women who aspire to become mechanical engineers cannot fulfill their aim. This clearly 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 the majority of household responsibilities and take care of the children. Whereas, 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, still they 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 the stereotype 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 as well as 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. But, 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 to be 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 popular 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 at 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 to clean things on their own. So, the problem is not with boys, the problem is just with another stereotype which leads 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. Infact, 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 the psychology of a person 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 badly on the growth of their mind. For example, if a girl child has been taught that women are weak and they are not supposed to raise their voice against men. Then in the future, such girls or women become prey to physical violence at home by their husbands. It is 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 on getting worse every getting passed on to the next to next generations.
One very important field, where stereotypes have created havoc is sports. (Lucy, 2020) elaborated that the societies in many ways have divided sports as per the gender. For instance women are not supposed to play games such as football or cricket. These are the games which have been created for the 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 clearly takes away her right to freedom.
Not only this, the men also get affected by gender stereotypes. The high expectations of the family from the male gender, in addition to the organisational commitments, generally put a lot of pressure on his 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 mind of the person. This also forms the reason for depression in many men of the 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 many times the fear of the 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 initialise 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 the society and the development of the world, the thought process of the people is also changing. With countries getting developed at a fast pace, many communities are now adapting broad minded thinking an changing the ideology of the workforce planning. This also comes with the equal financial roles that women are holding responsibility of, 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 the women power.
With this, a switch in the gender roles in family can also be witnessed in many countries. Most importantly, during the present situation of COVID 19, a sense of equality can be seen practised in every house of the world. During 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 sameways 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 childrens 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 bear to the success of an economy!
A woman or lady, in literal terms is the female equivalent of lord. She is the one who gives birth to man and makes him experience life through her womb for the very first nine months. She is the life bearer and the life giver of every individual on this earth. Disrespecting women and not treating her equally has always been opposed by every religion of the world. Still people from ages have disgraced the value of women and have treated her unequal 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 power to ensure the stability of the various economies. There is no denying the fact 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.
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 managing finances of a corporate or even running an entire country, a woman has flagged her accomplishments in every working and non working 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 a research conducted by music researchers, it has been found that the rate of women engagement in creative fields including arts, literature and music is higher than that of men (Hissong, 2019). 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 the creative ventures in comparison to men. (HISSONG, n.d.)
Secondly, the 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 heart warming nature of the women, that they are easily able to connect with the other person. Also, the capability of women to easily put herself 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 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 very important 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. Adding on, 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 the gender, it is the woman who positively carves the path of positivity and achievement in the life of a person.
On the other hand, there are people who 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 children of the family. 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 mesmerises 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 the 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 the 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 upon as per the stereotypes. Now, is the actual time to break them and bring an evolutionary change in ideology of the 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 need to shed now and these need to be modernised with an approach of equality and acceptance towards women.
Essay samples to read out
- 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