GENDERROLES IN SOCIETYMrs. B. Rajalakshmi B.
ed Mathematics,Loyola College of Education, Chennai –600 034. ABSTRACT: Thispresentation is regarding the Gender roles in society. This presentation covers howtraditionally the gender roles have been set in pupil minds and the impactsthat it is causing because of the gender roles in the society.
How to eradicatethe issues caused by the pre determined gender roles.INTRODUCTION: Gender refers to the socially constructed characteristics of women and men – such as norms, roles relationships of and between groups of women and men. It varies from society to society and can be changed.
World Health Organization “Gender refers to the cultural,socially-constructed differences between the two sexes. It refers to the way asociety encourages and teaches the two sexes to behave in different waysthrough socialization.” Browne, 1992Robert Stroller, in the 1960’s has saidthat ‘Gender’ to be used inconnection to the behaviour and cultural practices of men and women.Gender roles in some societies aremuch more rigid than those in more open-minded countries. In some Arab countries, for instance, a woman’s gender role is as the homemaker, they are obedient to men and arenot given certain freedoms such as driving.
ThusGender roles are the roles that men and women are expected to occupy based ontheir sex. An ecologicalperspective on gender roles suggests that gender roles are created by theinteractions between individuals, communities, and their environments.Thus Gender roles are the product of interactions betweenindividuals and their environment, and they give individual cues about whatsort of behaviour is believed to be appropriate for which sex.Gender Roles can be linked to expectations of males andfemales in realms outside of the family as well, such as work (Williams 1995) What areGender Roles?Elderly people at home generally prefer to watch oldmovies. In olden movies, Woman is always portrayed like obedient to husbands,home maker, prepare dishes for entire family and takes care of everyone athome. Men are portrayed like breadwinners of the family,dominating women, doesn’t take care their own children, reads newspaper,decision makers. Not only in movies but life has operated like this for manyfamilies.
TraditionalGender Roles:In olden days, gender roles are played in families like howthey showed in olden movies. But there is a drastic change in the presentsociety. Even men take part in taking care of household work, baby sitting,asking for women’s decision. Lot of female employees are noticeable in anysector of any types of organization.1. The breadwinnerTraditionally speaking, it wasthe man who had to ensure the financial aspects and stability of the family.However, the gender roles have somewhat shifted in the modern era as more andmore women build themselves a career and they fulfil the financial needs oftheir families.2.
Controls the relationshipMen just have to be in control,right? In the past it may have worked for everything to be controlled by men,but in our days women are just as efficient when it comes to handling problemsas men.3. DominanceIn the past it has been normalfor the man to be the dominant party in a relationship. Since then women have beenopen and have found the strength to be the leaders of their family. As a matterof fact, in many cases women seem to make better decisions than men.4.
The nurturerYou may have heard it many timesthat the place of a woman is in the kitchen. They are supposed to care for thechildren, their husband, and for the household without worrying about any ofthe financial aspects.5. Masculinity and feminityMen are supposed to have shorthair and women are supposed to have long hair and wear dresses. However, sincethe women role in society has changed greatly, the traditional markers ofmasculinity and feminity don’t apply anymore, giving individuals more freedom. TraditionalGender Roles – Do They Still Apply to Modern Society or They Do More Harm ThanGood to Today’s Relationships1.
The breadwinner and theprovider of the familyFor sure youhave heard that the man is supposed to bring the money home. He has to work fortheir family while the woman is supposed to stay home. However, the genderroles have changed in the moment when women started working and building acareer for themselves. They can make just as much money or even more than theirpartners.
Although this is something that men should be happy about, in somecases it could cause trouble in the family. As the breadwinner, a man had acertain status in the family and in society and this has been taken from them.The women rolein society has changed as well and many of them are more focused on theircareer than on raising a family. This is something that some men find difficultto accept.
They may also feel threatened by a woman who makes more money thanthem. This is because they might feel like their manliness is taken from them.2. Controls the relationshipand everything elseWhen thinkingabout traditional gender roles in marriage, for sure you have heard theexpression “the head of the family”.
Since men have been the head of thefamily, they had the power to make all the decisions and control the relationship.Traditionally women’s role has been a more submissive one. Nowadays, however,the situation has shifted and it is common for women to make some of thedecisions, especially when it comes to money. Nonetheless, in order to have abalanced relationship, it is best for the decisions to be made by bothpartners.Again, sincethis is a role that has been taken by men, in some cases they might not agreewith the woman having a word to say in the relationship. Like it or not, womenare demanding a change in the women role and they are willing to take moreresponsibility. If you are an independent person, most probably you can’taccept other people making decisions for you and this might lead to argumentsin relationship.
3. Dominance over therelationshipThis one of theexamples of traditional gender roles is closely related to the man being incontrol of the relationship. As it has been mentioned before, in the past theman has been the dominant party in the relationship while the woman has beenthe submissive one. While the same structure might be found in numerousrelationships, more and more women get fed up with this woman role.
They leavetheir old relationships behind in search for a new one in which they would bean equal party.As open mindedas they might be, some men still have some episodes when they think they shouldbe the dominant party. This usually leads to arguments as women don’t want togive up their new found power. The best thing you could do is to talk thingsthrough and reach a compromise.
You should give up some of your dominance andso should the partner. 4. The nurturer of the familyMost probablyyour grandmother or great-grandmother has been a stay at home mom. She tookcare of the children, looked after the household, and took care of her husband.Although this can be a rewarding role, most modern women wish to shift awayfrom these traditional gender roles in America and they want to have a moreactive life from a professional point of view. This is why it is common forwomen not to have children so they can focus on their career.
The moretraditional people might judge these women, but let’s not forget it’s theirlife.If you come tothink of it, it is not fair for the woman to care for the family alone. If shehas a career, just like her husband, it would be only fair for the two of themto share the chores. However, the truth is that most men feel like it’s nottheir duty to do household chores and this could lead to numerous arguments.Women might feel like they are working two shifts to perform at their job andto keep their home clean.
5.Masculinity and feminity – all the traditional aspects:There arenumerous gender issues in society and one of the most common one is what thetwo genders should look like. People expect women to have long hair, femininetraits, and wear dresses or skirts. On the other hand men are supposed to haveshort hair and wear trousers. But what happens when the two worlds collide?What if women wear pants and men have long hair? While such an idea has beenconsidered preposterous in the past, luckily in our days these are accepted.
Still, there aresome men who consider their female ideal a woman having long hair and wearingdresses with heels. While there are some women who feel comfortable that way, itisn’t fair to expect it from all women. HowRoles Are Learned?Gender roles are passed onthrough generations. From the age of three, children are able to start becomingaware of the differences between girls and boys based on the actions of theparents and the nature of their environment. Girls maycontinually be dressed in pink, purple, and flowery outfits while boys aregiven blue and gray ones. When girls atkindergarten picks up a truck to play with, her teacher may say, ‘That’s forboys.
I’ll get you a girl toy.’ As the children grow a fewyears, they start learning what behaviour is appropriate and expected. Girls noticethat their mother cooks for the family, so she pretends to cook for her dolls. Boys get a toylawn mower to use in the den, so he can be like his daddy. The behaviour is reinforced whenthe parents praise or reward their children for their actions. They can also bepunished and challenged to change, if it’s considered inappropriate. When a girlpretends to cook, their mothers may tell them, ‘That’s great , one day you willbe a great cook for your family.
‘ Conversely, whengirl takes a toy from her brother and he starts crying, his father may tellhim, ‘Now, stop that. Boys don’t cry.’ Children are also encouraged toserve different roles in their interactions with the outside world.
Boys areoften encouraged to exert themselves in physical activity, and girls aretypically given more attention to how they look and present themselves Gender Roles in India:Jayaji KrishnaNath, M.D. and Vishwarath R. Nayar wrote in encyclopaedia of sexuality: “thehusbands are breadwinners; the women generally take care of the householdactivities, besides bearing and rearing children.
“However, due towidespread educational programmes and improvement of educational facilities forgirls, women nowadays are accepting jobs outside the home, and thuscontributing financially to the family budget.Constant effortsin making women aware of their rights and importance of their involvement inday-to-day family matters, the status of women has increased significantly. Dueto all these, women nowadays actively participate not only in family affairs,but also in social and political activities in the communities. The occupationsand professional courses which were earlier monopolized by men are graduallybeing shared by women. Due to rapidsocial and technological changes, it is observed that in the recent period,traditional gender-role differentiation is breaking especially in the fields ofeducation and workThe purdahsystem of, the sati, dowry, child marriages were very much predominant in preindependence period.
However all these have changed in post independent period.India has seenmany famous film stars, both male and female, achieve political prominence. In1966, IndiraGandhi became prime minister of India, at a time when few westernnations would have accepted rural men have traditionally done heavy work suchas plowing, clearing trees, building homes, as well as planting and sowing,while women have done the harvesting and gathering. Men often use sometimesshoulder poles to carry things while women carry things on their head. And yetIndia remains a very male – dominated society. Gender Roles in Society:Family: Family is veryimportant in India. Since independence joint families have become smaller.
Parents strongly decide on the career and mairage for their children withoutgiving a choice to their words. Family obligations are strong. If theirchildren don’t have a proper career, parents support them until they move tothe next step. Men and Women and Relations between FamilyMembers:Rural men havetraditionally done heavy work such as plowing, clearing trees, building homes,as well as planting and sowing, while women have done the harvesting andgathering.
Men often use sometimes shoulder poles to carry things while womencarry things on their head.Traditionallythe bond between mother and son is very strong while that between husband andwife is often relatively weak, in some cases below that of siblings. Daughtersand fathers have also traditionally had strong bonds.
The relationship betweenmother-in-law and daughter-in-law is often bad. The mother-in-law often ordersher son’s wife around, in part because the same thing happened to her when shewas a young wife.Caste: Inthe olden days they were following the Varna system. It was divided into 4varnas and each one was given their role of jobs. Kshathriyas Vaishyas Shudras Brahmins: priests, scholars and teachers.Kshatriyas: rulers, warriors and administrators.Vaishyas: agriculturalists and merchants.Shudras: labourers and service providers.
In India intercaste marriages are not allowed. Even recently when a couple had done intercaste marriage without parents’ permission, the girls dad had done the honourkilling of the couple in front of public. Where is the world heading to? In rural areaseven today the caste system is prevailing predominantly were lower class peopleare not allowed to enter into the streets of upper class people. Afterindependence, the untouchability and caste are being abolished. Steps are takenin such a way that Scheduled Castes gain access to education and governmentjobs.Religion:India is a landof diversity. There are various types of religions in India.
Hence key beliefof each religion has its impact on gender roles which changes from time totime. Some religions suppress women’s rights.”Be a younggirl, young women, or even be an old one, nothing must be done independently.
In childhood a female will be obeying her father, after marriage should listento husband after child to her son- a woman is never allowed to be independent. In the preambleof the constitution of India, gender equality is ensured as an actual fundamentalright.Culture: Culture is shared by agroup of people, and all these traditions, values, ideas are transmitted acrossgenerations. Gender role can change over time with within the culture and it isdifferent in different countries.
Media:Media as anentertainment as lot of influence on society’s way of thinking. It is in theform of advertisements, commercials, and billboards.Inadvertisements, Women are shown as doing household woks or taking care ofchildren, Etc.
, whereas men will be watching TV, reading news paper.Popular culture:Gender roles arenot biologically determined; they are culturalyproduced.Gender inequalitiesresults because men and women are socialized into different roles. Popular Culturespreads through media or technology and one of the biggest concepts is “gender”.Law and the state:The Indian constitution provides rights to citizens as well as putsforward definite rules and regulations which are binding on the citizens.The rights that are provided are called the constitutional guarantees.Some of the constitutional guarantees:Ø Article14: Equality before lawØ Article 15: Nodiscrimination between citizensØ Article 16(1):Equality of opportunities for all citizens relating to employment orappointment to any office under the state.
Ø Article 16(2):forbids discrimination in respect of any employment or office under the stateon grounds of caste, religion, race, sex etc.As per constitutional guarantee all women enjoy same rights as men inthe society. Emphasis is given on equality, no discrimination and equalopportunities. How to eradicatethe issues?Children need to be given the proper general roles in society frominfant stage. Equal treatment of men and women has to be imbibed fromchildhood. First step for this should be from the parents end when they bothrespect each other and treat each other equally the child will also follow thesame.
As teachers equal treatment of boys and girls needs to be done, equalwork to be allotted to the children.All the laws should be aware by the common people as we are thecitizens of India. CONCLUSION:One of the key aspects is significance of gender roles insociety. Eliminating the gender roles stereotype from infant stage will avoidlot of issues that might arise. When at the initial stage the usage of genderroles is defined clearly we will not be facing the other issues that are createdat present in the society.
All the laws must be known to people of all grades.Teachers are the stepping stones to success, hence will have to inculcate thehabit of treating both the gender kids equally thereby eradicating the acidattacks , suicide cases, rape cases etc. and will thereby eliminate the socialevils of the society. REFERENCES:Williams Christine. 1995. Still a Man’s world: Men who do “Womenwork” Berkeley university of California, Press.
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