Gender Roles

Society believes there are specific characteristics that define female and male and the way they should act.   This helps to dictates how gender roles play out.  In most cases, the gender norms are clear and more importantly, they are expected to be followed. When constructed gender roles are broken, there are various consequences depending on the severity of the rule broken. For example in a book I was recently reading the narrator is “black and gay” in turn he is ridiculed for this throughout his life. He is referred to as “white washed” and a “lady”. They associate the fact that he talks proper with being “white” and how he acts with being “feminine”. These are both seen as socially constructed by society and norms that we feel the need to follow.

Our society expects women to act in a certain way as well i.e. loving children not using harsh language, overall acting “lady like”. Whereas they expect the man to be strong and capable, Women are typically expected to the housework such as cleaning, cooking, and dealing with the children whereas the man is socially known to bring home the paycheck. The only housework the man is expected to do is those jobs that require the use of tools. It is similarly seen with children, girls are expected to play with dolls, and play house. As opposed to boys who are expected to play with trucks and video games.gender

In the first link provided about sex and gender Judith Butler argues: “That belief (in stable identities and gender differences) is, in fact, compelled “by social sanction and taboo”. This is an opinion that I believe to be true.

In this world it is very hard to define exactly what traits make one feminine and which traits make someone masculine. If a woman is very assertive or competitive she is seen to have masculine traits whereas if she’s gentle and loves children she’s considered feminine. women can have qualities of both men and women without being chastised by society whereas men would be mocked if they were ever to be feminine. Gender roles are a huge social construct that we were supposed to follow from birth throughout our lives. The second link includes a video as well as an in depth look into how these roles were constructed.

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