The Early Tidings Of Gender Roles
Men and women are prescribed their own separate roles by the society they reside in. These roles are based on the different expectations that individuals or groups from their communities have from them, based on their sex. Moreover these gender roles are manifested through the interactions between an individual and their environment, therefore with these roles in mind, every individual finds out about what behavior is considered appropriate for a particular sex in certain social, professional and personal situations. These roles are supposedly divided into masculinity and femininity. For instance, masculinity traits refer to being aggressive and having strength. Whereas being feminine means being nurturing and submissive.
Gender Roles – The Basic Fundamentals
By looking around the world, it can be observed that every culture has its own set of appropriate gender roles for both men and women. An example of this is that in Middle Eastern and South Asian countries, it is not considered appropriate for women in the families to go outside alone. Instead they are expected to maintain and be confined to domestic tasks. Though this belief is constantly evolving with each passing year, women are still expected to be submissive and slightly dependent on the male beings. On the other hand, in Western countries, women have no such limitations.
In many parts of the world, women are considered ‘the weaker sex’, because they are physically weaker than men. At the same time in other parts of the world they are considered ‘the prettier sex’ regardless of their physical strength. Also with being called ‘the prettier sex’ there is an expectation from women to keep their sense of dressing style feminine to live up to their societal roles. They are expected to the Shakespearean definition of a damsel in distress. In a nutshell, the exterior of the woman is expected to live up to the stereotypes that were introduced centuries ago. The same rules apply to men.
Men are told from a very young age that it is inappropriate for them to show emotions because it makes them weak. Rather the society encourages men to show action using their physical strength. Men are encouraged to depict their power, dominance and demand respect based on fear.
Thus, gender roles have always been defined by society as appropriate and desirable. However, with time these barriers are being broken and reinstated with more freedom that allows both genders to live.