Gender roles are both cultural and personal.
Determining how males or females should think, dress, act, and speak shape a big part in society today. Many people recognize the dangers of gender stereotyping, yet continue to make these types of generalizations. Various groups, most notably the feminist movement, have led efforts to change aspects of prevailing gender roles that they believe are oppressive or inaccurate.
From birth, children learn gender stereotypes and roles from their parents and environment. In a traditional view, males learn to present themselves as objects to be viewed. In the selections, “The Men We Carry in Our Minds”, “Pink Think”, “Saudi Women”, and “Wife of Bath’s Tale”, male and female roles are described in different point of views. In many parts of the world, attitudes toward women’s roles in society have been changing over the past several decades due to changes in laws regarding women and educational systems among other significant factors. Interest in attitudes towards women and in measuring such attitudes goes back to many decades. Men had different positions and based on those positions was the level of work they had to put in. “Warrior and toilers: those seemed, in my boyhood vision, to be the chief destines for men” (Sanders 135) Even though many people think it was Hernandez 2easier to be a woman back then, women felt a lot of pressure too. Many women wanted to work and have more freedom career wise.
Some people believed women wanted everything. “Women feel such pressure to be everything, do everything. Career, kids, art, politics. Have their babies and get back to the office a week later. It’s as if they’re trying to overcome a million years’ worth of evolution in one lifetime” (Sanders 131).In some parts of the world, women are still not allowed to some rights other women have around the world. One of these places is Saudi Arabia.
One of the many things that they are not allowed to do is drive. As we all might know, driving is really helpful in different situations. With the use of social media, Saudi women noticed the injustice they were going through and decided to protest.
The protest against the longstanding ban was far smaller than initially anticipated. “I woke up today believing with every part of me that this is my right, I woke up believing this was my duty, and I was no longer afraid” (MacFarquhar and Amer 123). Mrs. Qahtani who had quoted the previous line, had brought a change of clothes and a prayer rug just in case she was detained. Women were scared to protest but they knew it was worth it.
“We want women to keep fighting this fight and to be free, it will help to liberate the entire society” (MacFarquhar and Amer). Ms. Sharif was one of the Saudi women who got arrested for this protest. This incident was one of the main reasons why most women didn’t take action during the protest. All these events led to a huge impact on women which ended up changing Saudi women rights for the better. Ideas about gender differences were derived from classical thought, Christian ideology, and contemporary science and medicine.
Men and women were thought to inhabit bodies with Hernandez 3different physical make-ups and to possess fundamentally different qualities and virtues. Men, as the stronger sex, were thought to be intelligent, courageous, and determined. Women, on the other hand, were more governed by their emotions, and their virtues were expected to be chastity, modesty, compassion, and piety. Men were thought to be more aggressive; women more passive. In marriage, men were expected to rule over their wives, and all property. In the selection “Wife of Bath’s Tale”, it was different. The queen, and other ladies too, implored the king to exercise his grace. So ceaselessly, he gave the queen the case and granted her the prisoner’s life, and she could choose whether to show him mercy or refuse.
“Yet you shall live if you can answer me: What is the thing that women most desire?” (Chaucer 79). The prisoner had a year to figure out the answer. “A woman wants the self-same sovereignty over her husband as over her lover, and master him; he must not be above her” (Chaucer 82). And there was the answer most women would agree on.
Traditional gendered roles view the man as a “pro-creator, a protector, and a provider,” and the woman as “pretty and polite but not too aggressive, not too outspoken and not too smart.” Pink think is more than a stereotyped vision of girls and women as poor drivers who are afraid of mice and snakes, adore babies and small dogs, talk incessantly on the phone, and are incapable of keeping secrets. Pink think is the belief that one’s success as a woman is grounded in one’s allegiance to such behavior. “Femininity” is sometimes used as a code word for this mythical standard, which suggests that women and girls are always gentle, soft, delicate, nurturing beings made of “sugar and spice and everything nice” (Peril 140C). The pink think of the 1940s to 1970s held that femininity was necessary for catching and marrying a man, which Hernandez 4was in turn a prerequisite for childbearing—the ultimate feminine fulfillment. This resulted in little girls playing dating games long before they were ever interested in boys.
Pink think permeated popular books and magazines aimed at adult women, while little girls absorbed rules of feminine behavior while playing games like the aforementioned Miss Popularity. Meanwhile, “Prescriptions for ladylike dress, deportment, and mindset seeped into child-rearing manuals, high school home economics textbooks, and guides for bride, homemaker, and career girl alike”.(Peril 140C).
In conclusion, Gender roles may be a means through which one expresses their gender identity, but they may also be employed as a means of exerting social control, and individuals may experience negative social consequences for violating them. Children learn gender roles from a young age which is why we have the existence of gender roles in our daily life. In the selections, “The Men We Carry in Our Minds”, “Pink Think”, “Saudi Women”, and “Wife of Bath’s Tale”, male and female roles were described in different point of views.