Gender And Gender Roles

1078 Words 5 Pages
Culture determines gender roles and what is masculine and feminine. One’s gender includes a complex mix of beliefs, behaviour, and characteristics. A gender role is a set of societal norms dictating what types of behaviours are generally considered desirable for a person based on their actual or perceived sex. A sociological perspective towards gender roles suggests that masculine and feminine roles are learned. Gender roles are passed on through generations. From the age of three years, children are able to start becoming aware of the differences between girls and boys based on the actions of their parents and the nature of their environment. Gender roles stereotypes still exist today, but to a lesser extent compared to the past. These …show more content…
Before WWII, women were restrained to housework rather than outside work, the jobs they did were the occupations considered to be “feminine” such as sewing, teaching, and cooking. Women were preferred by the society to work in their own households. Women were expected to be in charge of running the household. They took care of the children giving them care and attention which was required. Whereas, men, however, were considered responsible taking care of the family financially and economically. Men did not do household chores and spent most part of the day outside of the house, men were the breadwinners for their family. They felt the need to be “strong” and refrained from displaying emotions. To prepare for, and during the war, women were brought into the factories including the war material factories. Prior to that, the majority of the women were dependents on their fathers or husbands to support the family. Women used to work which was considered unskilled or semi-skilled, and for which they were “naturally” suited. During the war, many women took a wide variety of civilian jobs that had once been filled by men, “Out of a total Canadian population of 11 million people, only about 600,000 Canadian women held permanent jobs when the war started. During the war, their numbers doubled to 1,200,000” (Women). Gender …show more content…
At this point, the social atmosphere began changing and women started exerting more independence. Which expresses the sociologist, Durkheim’s idea that customs and organizations control one’s self and one is not free to be what they desire. In this case, the women had previously kept away from jobs which were thought to be best suited for men; but when the government demanded more factory workers and farmers, having no other way, called in women for work. After the war when men returned, women were sent back to their previous roles as housewives. This explains Durkheim’s idea of how society functions and how organizations control humans. Humans are social beings and exist in social environments. Through socialization, women had learned how to think and act, what traits are associated with women and how to follow them, but the World War II had changed the gender expectations of women, breaking the traditional norms in the West. “As women were forced out of their wartime occupations and into the domesticity of the new American nuclear family, many women felt disenfranchised… Organizations like the Woman’s Club of Winter Park were areas where women could associate with each other and were crucial venues for feminists.” (Gender Roles). The feminist group seeks cooperation with other

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