Gender Roles in Ancient Egypt, Rome, and India

Topics: Gender, Gender role, Woman Pages: 3 (1015 words) Published: May 5, 2011
Prompt: Gender is not sex: gender has to do with the roles and expectations commonly ascribed to men and women, and these can vary from one society to another. Write an essay that explores similarities and differences in gender norms in ancient Egypt, Rome, and India.

Gender roles vary from place to place. There is not a set standard that applies to every place all over the world. Men are usually of higher position than women but not always. In this paper I will tell you specifically about the gender roles, mostly of women, in India, Egypt, and Rome.

In India, the women are controlled almost completely by the men in their families. They also have to pay a lot of respect to the men in their culture in general. The women must follow the commands of her father first, after him her husband, and lastly her son. Although she must obey these men the restrictions do not end there. After a woman’s husband dies she does not have independence and she is not allowed to remarry. In the movie Paheli there were very good examples of what the culture would be like among the gender roles in India. The newlywed, Lachchi, must her veil removed by her husband, Kishen. She is not even allowed to do this herself. While Lachchi and Kishen are on the way to Kishen’s house, Lachchi has some children go and fetch her berries from a nearby tree, Kishen scolds her and takes possession of the berries and does not let her ingest them. One part of Paheli that strikes me as interesting is the section where the men give the women colorful bangles. In this society the men spoil the women but they place such harsh restrictions on them. It states directly in the textbook, “A virtuous wife should constantly serve her husband like a god, even if he behaves badly, freely indulges his lust, and is devoid of any good qualities.” This is saying that he can do whatever he wants, cheat on his wife with whomever he pleases, and if he has nothing going for him or does nothing right. On the other hand,...
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