It’s a pleasure to be able to share with you all yet another blog this week. This week I felt I share something a little bit secular. I want to share my thoughts more in a manner of internal dialogue and discussion as opposed to a thesis or dissertation standpoint. There are many views and opinions on gender roles today; some are viewed as archaic, some as modern and some as probably too futuristic. The common denominator to all three is that they are based on people’s opinion and everyone seems to have one these days.
We also live in times when people get triggered by almost anything, and if it is possible I feel people will get triggered by someone else just existing. What am I driving at exactly? My point is at the end of the day we all have to do what works best for us without causing discomfort to other people or living beings. Gender roles have a very huge impact on our society and for some reason whether we accept it or not there are positive impacts from each model. The “application” of these roles can be pinpointed effectively in a traditional Man-Woman relationship. So let’s have a quick look at this model; simply put the Man is the breadwinner, he provides, protects and professes his love and care for his female partner and family by seeing that they have all they need. He works and the Lady takes care of their home and kids.
The second model which is the modern model (I have given them these names for ease of description), is what we have more of these days. The Man and Woman are both providers, they both share the duties in the home and they are both working professionals.
Last but not least is the futuristic model (which is slowly gaining ground now), where no one is “expected” to do anything designated to a gender and everyone does what they can to help the relationship, so, for example, a Man who earns less than his wife could decide to stay at home full time to take care of the kids while the woman is the one working and providing. So far I haven’t spoken about the pros and cons of the three models so that we have a general idea and no bias before reading through all of them.
Pros and Cons of the traditional model: let’s look at the pros first; the woman is always protected as she doesn’t have to deal with job stress or sexual harassment at work. She is able to be a teacher for kids who have her full attention and undivided time since she’s at home with them in their formative and first years. The Man is rest assured knowing that his wife is at peace and the chances of her being exploited by people or a job are next to nothing. An extrapolation of this model will be to set up a venture that she can run from home if she expresses boredom etc.
The cons; the lady might feel like she’s not allowed to pursue a career and as such this might lead to feelings of frustration. If the Man loses his job, the family is hit for the period it takes him to get a new one. Surviving on one income these days might be tough especially if the couple does not live within their means.
Pros and Cons of the modern model; As per the pros, there is double income which means leverage to do more within the home, if one person suffers a job loss there is some cushion from the other partner’s income pending when things are solved, each partner has the chance to pursue a career they like, etc. House chores are shared and this can make the load easier.
For the cons; there is little or no time left after a hectic day to spend with each other, they both return from work exhausted and neither can really offer the other support emotionally because they are both drained. Work decisions can supersede a home decision especially if money is involved, and this may cause a rift in the relationship as a partner might feel their opinion is not being respected. Usually, each partner is more answerable to their work “boss” rather than to their partners. For example, a Man might want his wife to do one thing but if the boss gives a work order that contradicts it she might lean more towards it because that’s where she gets her income. Kids are sent off to daycares at a very early age and miss the chance of being around their parents in their formative years. The lady is exposed to sexual harassment either at work or simply in her commute. Feminity and poise become something a woman has to wear and take off like makeup because at work she has to be “aggressive” and “competitive” with her male counterparts. Usually this “aggression and competition” doesn’t limit to the workplace, after a while it becomes second nature and it creeps into the home, creating subtle competition with one’s spouse.
Eating at home becomes inconsistent since they both return tired from work and there tends to be more of a lean towards eating out. This is usually more expensive and unhealthy as it is difficult to track the hygiene or dietary standards of a meal cooked outside. Fulfilling financial obligations towards kids because a priority placed over nurturing and mentoring with love and care. I guess this should suffice for now.
Pros and Cons of the futuristic model; This model is quite similar to the modern model in pros however an additional positive is that no one is stereotyped into doing something just because of their gender.
The cons; there is a lot of confusion and disturbance in the balance of society and I’ll explain how. The Man is expected to open doors, pull out the seat in a restaurant, handle the check after an outing, protect the lady, stand up and offer his place on public transportation if a lady steps in and there is no place for her to sit; these and more are the traits of a traditional model. In the futuristic model, this doesn’t exist, mostly because feminists say that gender roles try to show the superiority of one gender over another, “so what a Man can do a woman can do better”. So “some Men” as a response to that now refuse to do all that is listed above and say that well women can do it too since there are no gender roles.
So now on a date, you see a Man will ask the lady to pay for their meal, he won’t open any doors for her, forget about him pulling out a seat, even if a pregnant lady has to stand for a 15 mins bus ride, Men now refuse to give up their seats. The most degrading on is the golden rule “never hit a Woman, even if she hits you”. Now Men are seen hitting ladies who hit them back because there is no expectation of how a Man should act since we are all equal, so the argument is if you hit me I’ll hit you back.
This, of course, has infuriated many Ladies who feel that chivalry is lost in Men. Those of the futuristic model, still want Men to act as in the traditional model, but allow women to act as in the Modern model. This is where the confusion and imbalance to the society come in. At this point, my readers may feel that it seems like I lean more to the traditional model or the modern model, however that is not the objective of this blog. My objective is to offer some food for thought and allow my readers to formulate their own hypothesis, theory, observation, tests and conclusion (in no particular order). Look at the society as we know it now and as it was before and ask deep non-sentimental questions about the state of our progress so far.
I hope this sheds some light on this topic and I’ll greatly appreciate it if you all gave your comments. Till next week, read, share and follow for more.