Isn’t today exceptionally nice out? Well, maybe not, but a day it is nonetheless. Anywho, I wanted to get away from politics today, and yet that is so difficult with how nonstop this election has felt. I mean seriously, just when we thought Trump couldn’t get any worse, that Access Hollywood tape came out. Now look at where we are. Anyways, today I’ve decided to steer away from politics as much as possible, and instead talk about something different.
Today we’re going to talk about gender roles. However, I am and have been very anti gender roles for most of my time writing on this blog. Specifically about the objectification of women and the role of a “passive woman.” Which I think is totally fair, but I realize that it’s important to look at how gender roles can be good sometimes too. So I’m going to try to put aside how manipulative, unfair, and cruel they can be and see what is positive that we can take away from them.
So what is good about gender roles? Well, although it devalues women as a whole, gender roles do in some ways provide a greater respect for women. For example, while professionally men are held higher, women often get a leg up socially. Phrases like “never hit a woman,” or “daddy’s little princess” come to mind here, in which the female life is being looked out for more than a male life. Women also harbor some more power in their sexual lives because they are not pressured to have sex constantly, which can allow for a greater separation between sexual desire and professional achievement.
For men, gender roles provide avenues in order to succeed. If nothing else, a man can always work hard. He can work, get money, and have a family. Men get to be socially lazy, which permits an exploration of hobbies during their free time (since the gender role for women is to cook, clean, etc.). Men also have a sexual freedom in the sense that they don’t have to worry about being “impure” for excessive sexual indulgence. These can allow for a greater sense of power and freedom, which can relieve mental stress.
Which I think is a good segue into my counter points, which is that I’ve used the word “can” a lot to describe these scenarios. Often times, they do not lead to positive outcomes, and that is the problem with them. While the goal of gender roles are respect when it is not given and freedom of self when it may not be otherwise available, these method cause for pigeonholing people into binary systems that do not work for everyone. Likewise, of respect and freedom are the goals, these can be achieved by actively taking a part in being a better person to the world. Simply working to treat everyone with respect, and helping create programs that provide an avenue to freedom is a wonderful way to promote the core concepts of these roles while not restricting people to them.
What do you think? Is it crazy to say gender roles are productive in this way? Are the aspects I missed? Let me know!