Womenand Gender in the Modern World
Womenand Gender in the Modern World
Thestudy pertaining women and gender have over time offered some of thekey, vital and innovative ideas into the issue facing women in thesociety, as well as challenges that has faced women in from the earlytimes. Innearly all societies, men and women have different status as well asplays differing roles. Over time, there have been differences betweenmen and women in the society. Such differences entail behavior,dressing, different attitudes and interests, and diverse approach toleisure activities. Similar interpersonal process and social,physiological process has been adopted in modern day to explainingthe past gender relations and assumptions relating to men and women.Research in modern times has depicted that, ‘common knowledge’ orgender stereotypes undergoes changes slowly than the material change,this in turn brings along natural lag, and people are more oftenguided by traditional gender beliefs.
Despitethe traditional belief that the differences between men and women arebiologically or genetically determined, modern study has revealedthat they are to a large extent socially based with reference togender (Brettell& Sargent, 2012). Genderrefers to socially determined characteristics of women and men. Thesecharacteristics are dynamic and have evolved in the modern world. Inevery community globally, women are related to social roles andexpectations. This paper examines the concept of women and gender inthe modern world and the effects it has on women.
Thedivision of labor in our modern society is based on the sex of theindividual at birth. Women are given roles such as taking care ofchildren, cooking and house care. Some careers are seen to be morefeminine than masculine and therefore are taken up by more women.This includes occupations such as nursing, secretarial, schoolteachers at elementary and middle levels, cashiers and waiting staff(waitresses). Politics and leadership are primarily seen asmasculine, but feminism has led to a shift in transgender politicswith leadership positions being given to women. The decision on whichjobs are done by men or women is socially constructed. The societyaccords these roles once a child is born of either sex. Race, class,economic circumstances, age – all of these influences what isconsidered appropriate for men and women. The gender issues areinseparable from race, class, sexuality and ability (Crow &Gotell, 2008).
Accordingto Crow and Gotell (2008), the modern societal roles accorded towomen result from the feminist critique and enlightenment. Initiallythe gender roles accorded to men and women used to be a basis forgender inequality. However, feminism has led to the fight for women’srights and the achievement of equal cultural, political, economic andsocietal rights for women. Many women now perform tasks that wereinitially reserved for men such as leadership (Crow & Gotell,2008). Shopping is considered to be work as it requires the settingapart of one’s time to do it. It also requires skills in order tobe able to identify the best products. Shopping also needs mental andphysical effort. Mental effort is used in deciding what product tobuy among many available in the market as well as planning for theamount of available funds to suit the items to be bought. Physicaleffort is required when the shopper moves to the stores and shoppingareas. Some gender stereotypes exist around the area of shopping.Women are considered to love shopping more than men. They aretherefore accorded the task of shopping for most of the items in thehouse, including groceries, food, and laundry. Men on the other hand,shop for electronics such as TVs and phones as well as cars. Thisshows the way shopping is determined by gender in our modern societywith each gender having specific substances to shop for.
Richwomen work when they shop. They need to familiarize themselves withthe market trends and products available in the market. As a resultof their richness and availability of funds to shop, most rich womenare considered to work more in terms of shopping than poor women.However, the poor women still work only that the work is limited bythe amount of funds available for shopping. For the women on socialassistance, the help accorded to them by the state can be consideredto be husband in nature to them. The gender role of a husband or aman is the provision for the family and the woman look up to him. Theman is also responsible for the protection of the woman as she isconsidered to be physically and emotionally vulnerable. The stateplays the role of a husband to such women on social assistance byproviding to them. It also protects them from economical strugglingtogether with their children.
Ithink the work of women is devalued in comparison to that of them.This is evidenced by the tendency of people to value work done by menmore than the work done by women. Biases that favor the work of menexist as opposed to the work of women. This is even evident in thenaming of our streets with most being named after famous men asopposed to women despite there being women who did tremendous jobs.Some tasks are general and can be done by anyone in my householdwhile others are more specific to gender. My mother, for example,does more of the household duties such as cooking, laundry andironing. Most of the work that requires strength is done by the dadfor example fencing. However, sometimes dad cooks for the family andmore so during special occasions. Most of the bills are paid by mydad with my mum’s salary going to the purchase of householdcommodities.
Inconclusion, women in the modern world have an increasing role in thesociety (Ward & Edelstein, 2014). Most of the tasks that weretraditionally viewed as inappropriate for them and meant for men arebeing done by women. This can be attributed to the rise in the callfor feminism by different organizations as the empowerment of womennot only benefits them but the society at large. The issue of womenand gender sensitivity into the current times has in turn contributedto the enactment of diverse ways to address the issues of genderinequality that has over time been a challenge to the community. It’sclear that, the role of women has over time changed in the society.With reference to the scenario given, roles in homes are dividedbetween men and women even without agreement or any form ofallocation.
Brettell,C. & Sargent, C. (2012). Genderin cross-cultural perspective.Boston: Pearson.
Gotell,L. & Crow, B. (2009). Openboundaries: a Canadian women`s studies reader.Toronto: Pearson Prentice Hall.
Ward,M. & Edelstein, M. (2014). Aworld full of women.Upper Saddle River: Pearson.