Gender Roles Gone with the Wind

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Ghotikar 1
Malhar Ghotikar
Professor Reynoso
English 101
April 15, 2012
Gender Roles.

Gender roles refer to the set of social and behavioral norms that are considered socially appropriate for individuals of a specific sex in the context of a specific culture, and which differ widely between cultures and historical periods. There are differences of opinion as to whether observed differences in behavior and personality between genders are entirely due to cultural or social factors, and are therefore the products of socialization or to what extent gender differences are due to biological and physiological differences. Therefore this essay will talk about the controversial gender roles of the characters of Gone with the wind based on their femininity, masculinity behaviors. Femininity and masculinity are a set of behaviors, and roles associated with gender. According to Aaron Devor in his article Gender Role Behaviors and attitudes, the characteristics of femininity are gentleness, empathy, sensitivity, caring, compassion, tolerance. Whereas masculinity characteristics are dominant, independent, strong, aggressive and competitive.

In the above picture, Rhett holds Scarlett, her face upturned and upper body partly exposed, in a classic pose. This depiction of male dominance and female passivity is to show a romantic love in America. Aaron Devor tells in his article that a man who displays success and high status in their social group are considered exuding masculine. Similarly we see, Rhett appears in Atlanta as a swashbuckling blockade-runner, and successfully bids for Scarlett at a benefit dance. By showing the power of his money, he makes himself look more attractive amongst the women. Once one realizes that Rhett’s need to dominate Scarlett pervades their every encounter, the infamous rape scene. Where Rhett forcefully grabs Scarlet, kisses her and lifts her to their bedroom. That concludes the Rhett’s sexual aggression towards Scarlet....
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