Our fight with gender roles starts as soon as we arrive in this world when first mentioned by our doctor with the words, congratulations, the baby is a boy/girl
Gender role perceptions in the current generation
As we progress, our society paints a picture of how a male and female should differentiate themselves in terms of their behavior, attitude, dressing sense, responsibilities, so on and so forth. Many of us might not even think of gender roles in everyday life or question as to why a particular gender should be looked at in a specific way. But we do follow the societal rules and want to be accepted by others.
What are the most common gender role perceptions and how have they changed?
- Dress for yourself and not to please others – A male wearing a skirt might have been looked at differently before, but now creates a fashion statement. Makeup being used by men was not acceptable earlier but now boasts of a vast range of products. Women who only looked cute in dresses and skirts can now also wear a pair of baggy pants and hooded pullovers.
- Everyone earns their bread – Fathers who take care of children and help with house chores are more in number now as compared to mothers. Traditionally, women were considered fit only to take care of domestic duties and raise kids. Income is earned equally by both men and women now and professions like aeronautics, forensics, or engineering are not just confined to males anymore.
- Your emotions are not only yours – Traditional people presumed that a male has a heart made of rock. So they always needed to be strong and not be vulnerable. But emotional or weak men are not considered any different these days, and there is nothing wrong when a woman can tackle something severe, all by herself.
- Adventure and hobbies are for everyone – Women too can carry heavy equipment. And men love to design and decorate home interiors. Men are not considered weak if they do yoga and do not go to the gym anymore, and women don’t need a superpower to drive cars fast.
Gender role perceptions have thus evolved from their old notions. Today, people are more open to all gender types and the complexities that accompany them. It has reduced a lot of hate crimes and allowed people to be themselves rather than living a life of pretense.
Special thanks to Dr. Madhuri Mehendale (MBBS, DGO, DNB- Obstetrics & Gynaecology) for the expert advice.