Differences between gender behavior and roles have existed for centuries. Women in the United States during the 1800s to early 1900s were looked upon as housewives and caretakers, and usually stayed at home while men worked and made money. However, as time has progressed, the fight for women’s equality has constantly been changing our society’s gender roles. The path to social reconstruction and the struggle to achieve it has shown a positive result of activists’ attempts to mend the social gap. By looking at past events, both successes and failures, understanding and recognizing the path to equality will bring light upon the issues that have taken place in the United States.
Despite oppression women have always resisted. Women have resisted oppression in many ways. Women have responded to their multiple sources of oppression of sexism, racism, heterosexism and colonialism. Women resisted oppression by standing up for their rights. Women have been left out of the discussion of oppression for centuries.
Gender roles have been a popular yet sensitive topic for thousands of years. It has seemed that since the earliest of days, men always had more rights than women, but was that always true? Has equality between men and women gotten closer or only spread farther apart through the years? History has taught us that in certain civilizations and/or tribes, women had just as many rights as men did, or they had no rights and were only seen as a man’s wife who had to cook and clean after him. The Native American group, the Algonkians, proved that gender roles translated into economic, social, and political power.
Gender issue has been a controversial topic around the world since forever. As our world develops, women have gradually realized their value in the society and start to fight for their rights in all aspects. However, men and women’s status have never really been equal, especially in developing countries with long history. For example, in China, women were treated as properties and slaves in the past. Although people are trying to change the society’s attitude toward women, it is hard for a country with more than four thousand years of history to change the rooted concept in such a short time, which is that women’s duty is to serve their husband and to reproduce.
“Nobody will ever win the battle of the sexes. There is too much fraternizing with the enemy.” (Kissinger) Since the beginning of time, men and women have been rivals in the clash for superiority. The combat zone for these gender-focused battles include the workplace, modern education, the media, and society itself.
America has her problems with inequality when it comes to women’s social conduct in which they belong in society. Does a women gain importance from being independent and financially competent in society or do women who aren’t a part of the female work force less of a human than her fellow women. The 1950s society was split on the issue of where women actually fit in our society after their liberations in the 1920s with gaining their right to vote, they began to have a voice in society without much progress in the 1940s had the liberation of being working and having a disposable income for the first time in their lives and being told you need to be in the home with the children this created a tremor before the feminist earthquake. Two major theories that abide with women’s rights these are functionalism and feminism. The first theory inhibits functionalism this discusses what the roles of women in 1950s society.
I remembered when I was young, there were plenty of movie that has girls play dolls and boys play football. These movies were popular among children that day until now, girls were meant to be soft and boys were meant to be powerful and strong. Then one day, I’ve watched a movie that has a girl play in the football team and I were surprised because it’s the first time that I’ve seen a movie that shows girl can be both femininity and masculinity. This movie has a huge impact on young children behaviour and has influenced children in constructing gender roles in the society. ‘Little Giants’ has shown the characteristic of the main character to be abnormal and changing the gender stereotypes in young audiences’ perspective.
Gender roles are what society thinks is considered “normal” for a person based on whether they are male or female. These roles are programmed into our brains from the day we are born, and continue to develop throughout our entire lives. Gender Norms are what each gender is expected to act like. These norms are used to determine what each gender should be like mentally, physically, and emotionally. These norms were developed over time to ensure that each gender had some sort of “code” to live by.
In several parts of the world, women are still treated as subordinates to men. This been accompanied by several issues of oppressions, humiliation, discrimination, control, exploitation, and violence. Women are being treated unequally when it comes to their basic rights to food, education, healthcare, and employment opportunities. The men make all the decisions when it comes to the control of productive resources in the society, they hold the most powerful positions, and they look down to women because of their gender differences. Gender based discrimination has been on the spread as they have become more accepted in modern societies.
Over generations, the role of women in society has shifted and changed immensely, improving upon many aspects of rights and values that women have. The changes occurred gave women opportunities to provide ideas, to have the same rights as men, giving women freedom, leading to many contributions of many significant and valuable events. But from current roles of women being equal to those of men, how women stood in ancient society significantly differs and contrast with ours today. Throughout history, the role and significance of women were always outweighed by the dominance and influence of men. The role of women in ancient times varied throughout, depending on the place and area in the world, in which women had different roles and impacts on their own society.