Thursday, August 9, 2012

Gender Roles: Does such a thing exist?

There are some things i have been wondering for quite some time now: each individual is born into two very specific genders so are their role in life clearly defined? does each gender follow a specific and rigid role based on peoples expectations? if so how does it all originates? its still puzzling to me. During my time learning in history classes it stunned me that civilizations from various cultures in ages past seem to have a universal role when it comes to gender where you see woman taking up arms in ancient Greece and man raising their children in some African cultures i have read about. But it seems to me that modern society in general seems to assign specific roles in regards to gender and they have to follow a strict code of conduct that fits the category of a masculine man and a feminine female. Sometimes i just find it funny and amusing when people disregard people based on gender i have heard of really unnecessary taunts of things like the following "youre a woman! , you should wear skirts and behave like a woman" or things more disrespectful as: "youre a man so man up! stop acting so soft like a sissy". Im sure some of you heard it or experienced it before. So what do i think in all of this? personally i find these kind of roles stupid. I believe that individuals should be privileged enough to develop their own personalities and means of expressing their selves, just because they don't fit in in the modern and accepted roles of gender does that mean they are any less than us? It is my belief that traits associated with gender should be questioned because i don't think it ever benefited us as a society in any way either than promote gender discrimination.

I can still process the fact that certain jobs are associated by masculine attributes while some are associated with more feminine qualities and each sexes are assigned different roles and may not deviate from it. Where does it all come from? in one of my sociology classes i was taught the notion of social stratification where society gives roles to groups of people in order for a society to function properly an easy example would be we cant all be managers since we need workers for a company to function. I can understand that if these were occupations since competition exists where one could be socially mobile in the structures of society some come out in top while others don't some have privileged some simply don't (one of life's great irony's). But i don't believe if these things apply to gender! people should be judged by their abilities not by their gender. People use to believe that women cant be leaders but we all know the inspiring heroic stories of joan of arc a female general who led France in the battle with England, Queen Elisabeth who made the British empire one of the greatest in the world and queen Hatsheput in Egypt a very successful ruler of ancient Egypt and the fact that men's role is not in the kitchen but now we see that most of the successful chefs are male. So is there any reason for things like gender role to exist?

People regardless of gender should be allowed to pick roles function in society it should be a matter of competence instead of the fact that you're either male or female for me those kind of views are really outdated and misleading and i think society as a whole will function more properly if people were more judged by their skills and competence its funny to think that even in the modern world peoples liberty to self determine themselves are limited to an age old belief that some jobs are exclusively male and some jobs are exclusively female. So i still wonder to this day human tends to view each other in terms of what particular group an individual belong in whether based on gender, religion, race, skin color, political affiliations, sexuality etc instead of highlighting the facts that were all still human. These kind of broad division will only create economic strife and resentment so why bother having them in the first place?

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