Social Stigmas and Gender Roles

Topics: Gender, Gender role, Transgender, Woman, Man, Gender studies / Pages: 9 (2185 words) / Published: Apr 16th, 2012
Social stigmas accompany every one of life’s categories – especially male and female. Gender-based stereotypes – existent since the beginning of time – help in both the advancement and hindrance of the sexes and of society. Gender roles helped create society. They generated a world in which the man went out into the world in order to work and provide monetarily for his family while the woman stayed in the home, working hardly to accomplish the couple’s domestic responsibilities and to raise the couple’s children. This traditional notion of the roles of genders enabled families to function in history; however, in the modern-day era, this notion only thwarts progress. As women travel out into the work place, they are not treated as the equals of men. The societal perception of the weak, lesser woman still remains, preventing women to become truly equal. On the contrary, gender stereotypes also inhibit the growth of men, causing them to feel compelled to follow the traditional definition of masculinity. Gender should be seen as fluid (with personality characteristics and preferred hobbies that can be demonstrated and admired by both sexes), rather than as a rigid set of characteristics needed to be met. Societal expectations of gender differences should not be forced upon people.

Gender roles played a big role in the formation of history. In prehistoric times, women gathered food near their home while their male counterparts hunted for game. While searching for food, the women took responsibility over the children and the cleaning of the house. These roles followed men and women into modern times. The man – venturing out into the world – was always considered to be stronger and worldlier, while the woman was considered to be innocent and naïve. During the nineteenth century, women were denied the right to vote because it was seen as something that would tarnish their innocence and disrupt the so-called Cult of Domesticity. Women were also denied the

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