Welcome back to Blogtober, the website with a blog post every single day during the month of October and I am your hostess with the mostest, Dani! Wow. I really sound like some sort of announcer or something lol… I digress. Today’s topic was supposed to be my October bucket list and I thought that was rather dull of a topic so I changed it yet again.
Today’s topic is…. DRUMROLL PLEASE.
Gender roles in today’s society. I am sure most of you are thinking that this topic is more boring than my fall bucket list, however. I am going to write it from a different perspective and I think I have written about this topic before but I don’t remember what I wrote so at the very least, this should be interesting.
Disclaimer: I will be discussing US gender roles/ “norms” rather than those of other nations or societies.
It seems to me that every time a society strives to progress as a whole, parts of that same society regress. A lot of that has to do with people who are unwilling to change because change is different and difficult to process. I think a prime example of this is our evolution of technology. Most folks embrace the new phones, the lighter computers, the faster wifi, but then there are people like my dad who is repulsed by this evolution and craves the good old days of the flip phone. And dad, if you’re reading this, all trends come around again and they now have smart phone flip phones.
Another example of the society progressing and regressing at the same time is with gender roles and gender expectations. My best friend who is a male said it’s harder to be a woman in this society because we are so repressed. However, I disagreed with him. I stated that men have it harder because in my personal experience, no man likes change. And the needs of a man are relatively simple too, but they feel as though their manhood is in jeopardy when women come into power and men feel as though women are taking over.
I know that in most relationships I have been with and trust me, I have dated the rainbow… most men like a woman who can cook, clean, rear children (or pets), and take care of their sexual needs. Now this isn’t to say that all men want this or even need a woman or other partner to do these things, but it is what society exemplifies as the ideal relationship; white picket fence male and female couple with 2.5 kids a dog named Fido and the above traits. But even if a man doesn’t admit to liking these things, most men have different love languages than women.
Why are love languages relevant? Well for those who don’t know, there are five different traits that can display and show our love for one another which then in turn make us feel loved and appreciated. There is acts of service, words of affirmation, physical touch, gifts, and quality time. I personally love words of affirmation and quality time and that’s how I feel loved. But I would go and guess that most men like to receive acts of service or gifts of some sort. Which goes hand in hand with men liking their partners to cook and clean, serve them, and take care of them.
So how do men have it harder than women? I think their cultural expectations of being a “strong man” or lack thereof has a lot more of an emotional toll than being called a shitty housewife. In that specific case, I am being called out for my actions not being called out as a bad human being whereas men have these expectations to be the bread winner, to be strong, to be fit, to be smart, to have a good job, have friends but make time for a wife and kids. It’s a lot. Not to say that women don’t have similar expectations but we are socially allowed to cry and express our emotions.
It’s also why male suicide is higher than female suicide and most cases of depression are found in females because they can talk about how they are feeling whereas men feel like they have no where else to turn. I think it is pivotal that men show emotion because for one, they are human, and for two it makes them stronger.
By discussing gender roles and creating conversations, we are able to end the stigma and biases we have about each gender and talk about what works for us in our partnerships and relationships. If you want the 1950’s dynamic, go for it. If you want the female to be the bread winner and dad stays at home, great! Through conversation, we can change and as a society we can move forward.
Thanks for coming to my TED talk.