The roles we are assigned as men and women are natural and normal
Critically analyze this comment in light of what you have learned about gender relations. Use at least two case studies to support your argument.
Gender roles are what we do as ???men??™ or women??™ that distinguishes us as such norms for example, what it means to be ???appropriate and properly masculine??? (Sorensen.2005)
Gender roles are set of behaviour norms that are defined as being the ???social definition??? of men and women in a particular society (Sorensen.2005, pg19). Due to the dynamic nature of society, the general public??™s views, ideas and values regarding gender roles have changes dramatically over the past hundred hears.
A persons gender role is composed of several elements and can be expressed through
clothing, behaviour, choice of work, personal relationships and other factors. There is a big differnent between masculinty and feminity. The way we behave in our daily lives detrmine our personality. Like women should behave in femine way this would be showing through out her personality, Emotions, cognitions body movement the way she speak etc all this would dertmine the different between the two genders. Also for men being the way they behave as masculine is showing by the way they dress ,movement, language , Emotions, cognitions as we see them more powerful than a women because women usally very emotional and men are aggressive.
According to Francisco (2006) article he discussed to be a man you are meant to be strong and tough within the society so you can be able to control any struggles or problems they might face ???Men are assumed to be naturally competitive and aggressive, and being a real man is therefore marked by the struggle for control, conquest and domination???.
Sorensen claims that ???gender roles are social construction framed around social constructions of biology and these sets of social constructions ??“although connected in diverse ways- are always in flux and differ from one social context to another??? (2005 pg16). Through socialising, we learn how to behave in a manner that is acceptable to society. As we are socialised we learn how to behave in a manner that is acceptable to society. As we socialising we learn what is expected of us and what it means to be a male or female (gender roles) . As soon as the child is born parents will influence their child??™s constructions of gender. Parents influence the Childs understanding of being male or female by what they say and what they do. They reinforce behaviours and activities that are gender appropriate and discourage those that are not (Firestone, Robert W, Firestone, Lisa A, Catlett & Joyce, 2006,pg 30) simple example is when adults dress girls in pink and boys in blue and present girls with dolls to play with and trucks for boys to play with.
Although there have been significant changes in relation to the role of men and women on in our society, there are still remnants of sexist views that portray men as masterful and powerful, and women as emotionally responsive and communicate yet childlike , helpless and incompetent. These sexist attitudes and sexual stereotypes can also influence our understanding of gender. If parents have sexist attitudes, their children will also gradually assimilate these views in negative manner (Firestone, Robert W, Firestone, Lisa A, Catlett & Joyce, 2006). Other example of typical stereotype include: girls considered to be more aggressive physically and verbally, and enjoy taking risks, (McRobbie,1992 pg 18). Due to these stereotypes, it can be said that men and women are still assigned gender roles in certain areas.
Nonetheless, the distinction between sex and gender has become more complex and destroyed. Society is now moving towards a more complicated view of gender and the self. We no longer consider the relationship between ???all men??? and ???all women??? as being based solely on ???patriarchy??? and ???oppression???. There are now slight changes in the way ???men and women see their bodies??? and ???the different ways in which men and women construct masculinity and femininity??? (McRobbie, 1992 pg, 23). Consequently, many men and women are confused about their gender roles, relationships, and sexuality, which have become an issue.
Furthermore, during the past 50 years, major changes have taken a place in the way men and women relate sexually. A number of cultural developments have contributed to this changes, including the feminist movement, the men??™s movement and the women continuos involvement in the workforce (Sorensen (2005,pg 42)Since the 1960s, surveys suggest that many men have become more sensitive and less detached, why women have became more self-assertive and independent, (Sorensen (2005 pg15)
Feminism lessened the problems of gender relationships in society. A great deal of the feminist movement in the late 1960s and early 1970s was focused on creating a model of women as oppressed by men. Feminists, such as Judith Grant argue that there is no universal experience of ???being a women ??? and ???being a man???, and support the idea of gender equality (McRobbie, 1992)
The feminist movement (a restoration of the first 19th century women??™s movement) has lobbied of improved child care, rights for abortion approval of the Equal Rights Amendment and has helped to perpetuate patriarchy. On the socioeconomic level, feminists have contributed considerably to women??™s goals of establishing personal freedom and equal status with men (Firestone, Robert W, Firestone, Lisa A, Catlett & Joyce, 2006 pg, 15). However, despite the improvement in women??™s rights, several studies and statistics show that women today still experience discrimination based on their gender. Women are constantly being shaped and directed by stereotype in negative ways that cause alienation between the sexes. Many feminists believe that there is still work to be done and all they need is time (McRobbie, 1992 pg 19).
While most women view feminism as a positive step to solving the gender relationship issues, other holds an opposing view. Akerman??™s article, ???Feminism dead: PM- Praise for younger mothers??? (2006) describes John Howard??™s view in regards to women and feminism. Akerman states that Howard??™s believes that young Australian women have reached a post-feminist era where they have ???moved on ???from the need to major their lives by sexist career. Howard believe have reached a stage??? where they don??™t sort of major their independence and freedom by the number of years they remain full-time in the workforce without having children ???. Howard is implying that women should think more about becoming mothers, and think less about successful career time-work. This article demonstrate the inequality between men and women and further support the idea that despite the recent changes, men and women are still assigned gender roles.
We always see men as a leader as most of the institution is filled primarily by men. the reason why is because we see men more dominant then a women and as leadership it requires to have a power to control everything around However we see a women in demotic roles and occupations that requires more emotionally expressive behaviour .The reason why we see them that way is because we don??™t see women as a high roles status that required from men.
The case study ???Boys bodies, pleasure and pain: interrogating contact sport in schools??? (Gard 2000 pg101) describes the pain and pleasures those young boys may feel when participating in contact sports. In football there is a large aspect of physical contact on the field, which includes not only tackling but close group contact when celebrating a win, for example. Why does this not happen off the field
With participating in a more rough, contact sport, you are seen to be more masculine, which leads to being more socially accepted amongst your peers. The article also mentions the negative attitude towards less contacting sports such as dancing and gymnastics. A boy who is a dancer would be seen as ???gay??™ and therefore on the outside of what is socially accepted.
During school sport, it is seen that people are categorised by how they participate. For example, being skilful or uncoordinated, being weak or strong etc. Boys then have an image that they need to live up in order to be accepted. This could then determine if you are ???man enough??? to participate. So we see a lot of pressures involved in just making sure you are not seen to be less than the ???ultimate male??™ or ???successful male??™.
One factor in the article was the risk of injury, though injury did not necessarily mean it came from hard bodily contact, but also from other aspects. One boy described injury as getting sun burnt at a cricket game. Every person had their own personal views. Though overall, if you could tolerate pain in general, you were seen to be more of a man.
Another aspect would consider where the line is drawn as to what is accepted as a ???masculine abiding??? sport. For example, a boy mentioned in the article that diving should not be seen as a ???sissy??? sport as you can actually injure yourself if you do not hit the water correctly, hence tolerating pain. So, in participating in these contact sports, boys get to show each other how masculine they are. They are trying to adapt an identity for themselves and yet conform to the standards around them.
Despite the changing roles of males and females, women today still experience a much more difficult time in greeting the same benefit wages and job opportunities as men due to the defined gender roles that both men and women were placed in hundred years.
The following statistics demonstrating that the number of women in the workforce in lower than men and that women generally earn less.
PROPORTION OF MEN AND WOMEN WHO WERE EMPLOYED
Problems women face in the workforce include job segregation based on the sexist stereotyping of their roles. Nonetheless, women have enhanced their power in the employment sector, as contribution has become valuable to the Australian economy. The legal system has acknowledge the changing roles of women and therefore, passed several discrimination acts, including the anti-discrimination and affirmative action legislations. These laws aim to protect women from being discriminated against based on their gender. Again, despite these changes, most women continue to be employed in lower skilled and paid jobs, hence the suggestion that there us an invisible ???glass ceiling???. The ???glass ceiling??? view is a concept that stops women from reaching the top of their employment status. Of course feminist oppose this concept and argue that women actually reach the same level as men (McCarthy, 2003)
In conclusion, due to the dynamic nature of society, the general public??™s views, ideas and values regarding gender roles have changes dramatically over the last hundred years. However, despite these changes, it is evident that men and women are not treated equally and that they are still assigned gender roles.
In addition women and men are not equal even though there is a lot of changes happened in the past years. The society still gives more right to the men??™s then it gives to women??™s.
Akerman,P. (2006) ???Feminism dead: PM- Praise for young mothers???, Sunday Telegraph, 31 December 2006.
Australian Labour force (2006, Australian Bureau of statistics:
Firestone, Robert W, Firestone, Lisa A, Catlett and Joyce. (2006) ???men, women, and sexual stereotypes???, American Psychological Association, p.15, 30.
Gard ,Michael & Meyen Robert, (2000) ???Boys, Bodies, Pleasure and Pain
Interrogating contact sports in schools??? (pg101)
McCarthy, Janet. (2003) ???community and family studies??? Excel book.
Sorensen, R(2005) ???shake your pompoms, women free to pander to yobbo mentality??? the Curier- Mail, pg,15,16,19,42.
???Men being men is a bad deal: Guys should evolve beyond masculinity??? October 8, 2006