Gender Roles: The Role Of Gender Conformity In Society

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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. Gender Conformity would be conforming to those norms. This would be an example of a person who wants to fit into society as a whole and wishes to be accepted by others. Gender Nonconformity would be refusing to conform to those gender norms. These people…show more content…
Masculinity is meant for males who want to be seen as “manly.” This entails being independent, non-emotional, aggressive, and competitive. For example, a “manly man” would not cry when they are upset, rather they would act tough and stay strong. They would not want to display any emotion at all. If they did show emotion, they could be seen as weak, which is not a very masculine trait. It is for this reason that young boys are not supposed to play with Barbie’s, which is seen as a toy for girls. Those who play with Barbie dolls are seen as sensitive, which is another trait that is not desired for males. In Sula by Toni Morrison, there are many stereotypes as to what men do versus what women do. This is demonstrated through the following quote: “Then I really would act like what you call a man. Every man I ever knew left his children” (Morrison 143). In this novel, the stereotype for men was that they won’t stay to raise their kids. Morrison says this to explain that men do not care if they hurt others. They don’t care about the emotions of others. This was a norm of gender in the…show more content…
We developed these gender roles through the environment and people surrounding us. These factors combine to prove to people what they should be conforming to be like. Femininity and Masculinity are both extremely important in gender roles, as they display what each gender should be like. Men should be masculine—tough, strong, and self-confident—while women should be feminine—graceful, weak, soft and self-critical. We see examples of both of these throughout the works of Morrison and Woolf. Both were great novels written to show how gender roles affected society in their respective time
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