The Role of Women in American Society Essay

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The Role of Women in American Society

Women and men are nestled into predetermined cultural molds when it comes to gender in American society. Women play the roles of mothers, housekeepers, and servants to their husbands and children, and men act as providers, protectors, and heads of the household. These gender roles stem from the many culture myths that exist pertaining to America, including those of the model family, education, liberty, and of gender. The majority of these myths are misconceptions, but linger because we, as Americans, do not analyze or question them. The misconception of gender suggests that biological truths no longer dictate our gender roles as men and women; they derive from cultural myths. We, as a nation, need to do severe critical thinking about this delusion of gender, how has limited us in the home, media, and education, how it currently limits us, and what the results of the current and future changes in gender roles will be.

Throughout history, the roles of men and women in the home suggested that the husband would provide for his family, usually in a professional field, and be the head of his household, while the submissive wife remained at home. This wife’s only jobs included childcare, housekeeping, and placing dinner on the table in front of her family. The roles women and men played in earlier generations exemplify the way society limited men and women by placing them into gender specific molds; biology has never claimed that men were the sole survivors of American families, and that women were the only ones capable of making a pot roast. This depiction of the typical family has evolved. For example, in her observation of American families, author Judy Root Aulette noted that more families practice Egalitarian ideologies and are in favor of gender equality. “Women are more likely to participate in the workforce, while men are more likely to share in housework and childcare (apa…).” Today’s American families have broken the Ward and June Cleaver mold, and continue to become stronger and more sufficient. Single parent families currently become increasingly popular in America, with single men and women taking on the roles of both mother and father. This bend in the gender rules would have, previously, been unheard of, but in the evolution of gender in the family, it’s now socially acceptable, and very common.

What i...

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...s. A woman in the office no longer takes messages, makes coffee, and runs off copies for her male boss; she represents top clients, holds important business meetings, and flies across the country for professional conferences. A man no longer spends 85% of his time working to support a housewife and kids; he can stay at home, and run errands and raise children and not risk being put to social shame. Couples on TV sleep in the same bed rather than separate twin beds, with or without wedding bands, and not necessarily man and woman.

American society needs to break from the mold of the myth of gender, which suggests that society and culture dictate our roles as men and women, as can only restrict us into unnecessary conformity. The opinion of society should no longer decide who we are, what we do, and what we’re capable of doing. We, as Americans, need to deeply analyze and question this fallacy of gender and the way it restricts us at home, in the media, and in the classroom. If we continue to follow the invisible guidelines of in invisible rulebook, we’re destined to hurt ourselves and our future generations by remaining nestled into our cultural cocoons and never shedding them.

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