Gender Roles Then and Now
Osato Valerie Francis
April 21, 2014
Dr. Kathleen Dunley
Gender roles have always been a sensitive subject. Women came a long way since the days Suffrage and the Women’s Liberation Movement. Society is now seeing women as strong, independent, and fierce individuals who can do all that men do. Sometimes they do it even better. Now that roles have switched since the early days, problems such as discrimination, sexism, and chivalry still exit. By doing extensive research, Society is the reason this problem exists today. Society, mainly male counterparts, has not fully accepted this newly found independence of the new age woman. This paper explores not only the negative side of gender role reversal, but it also shines a light on the many accomplishments and accolades that women hold now. The goal of this project was not only to expose the unacceptable behaviors displayed by society, but also to enlighten the reader that women are much better off today than years ago.Gender Roles Then and Now Times are a-changing.” Bob Dylan quoted these simple yet powerful words. Are times changing? How are they changing? Are the new changes accepted? These are some of the questions that need a reader to use critical thinking to find the answers. The roles of a man and a woman have changed drastically. The roles of women have always been in homemaking, child-rearing, and all around “good” wife. With the Women’s Liberation Movement of the 1960s, women are becoming more dominant and affluent in modern day society. Women are holding high political rankings, playing Major League sports, and are CEOs of Fortune 500 companies. Women nowadays account for 12.6 percent of the highest officer positions, a boost from 11.6 percent in 2007 (Welch, 2013). Even though men have become more domesticated over the years than they used to be, there have been situations in the media and society that has confirmed that the gender roles change have not been accepted.
In the early history, the place of a woman was always in the home and cared for the children. This part was accepted and never questioned by a woman. This part was to be carried out and never compromised. Some stereotypes of women included being domesticated dependent, illogical, and private (Radek, 2001). With the Women’s Rights Movement of the early 1900s and The Women’s Liberation Movement of the 1960s, women were perceived in a different light. Women like Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1815-1902), Susan B. Anthony( 1820-1906), Elisabeth Freeman (1876-1942), Emma Goldman (1869–1940), Rosalie Gardiner Jones ((1883–1978), and Carol Downer (1938) women had a voice challenge the status quo and demand their rights. Both of these events brought out a side of women never seen nor heard. Women wanted to be more than a housewife, seamstresses, cooks, and nannies. They were ready to do the jobs and careers their male counterparts were doing. They wanted equal rights as men and were determined to do everything within their power to get those rights heard and granted. One would think with all the struggles, trials and travails that women endured being looked at as equals, women would think of with high morals and pedigrees. It is not the case in today’s society.
Today’s society sees women as mere commodities or objects of a sexual nature. While many feminists describe the sexual objectification as appalling and shameful, social commentators say that the modern day woman uses their sexuality as a “form of expression of empowerment over men.” (Barry, 1994). There are many illustrations of women being treated as sex objects. Some areas include music videos, song lyrics, and social networking. In an article called, “Sexual Objectification in Music Video: A Content Analysis Comparing Gender and Genre,” the two authors, who happen to be associate professors at various universities, did a study on the subject at hand. In the study, they concluded...
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