Gender Roles And Ideas Of Freedom Essay
“Why I Put My Wife’s Career First,” A Doll’s House, and On the Subjection of Women
Women have historically been relegated to domestic roles, while men have been designated for more public roles. As a means of helping women in the struggle for gender equality, nineteenth-century Western writers began to detail the faulty factors that contributed to the problem. Some authors, including John Stuart Mill with his book The Subjection of Women, argued that women had proven themselves capable of handling similar pressures to men in both the workplace and the home. Writers such as Henrik Ibsen also explored the ways social rules affected women as they attempted to exert some power in the public sphere. A general modern view of the nineteenth-century societal system is that it is antiquated and its lack of equality and the freedom of people to self-determine have been solved. However, while society has attempted to compensate for the conventional expectations of gender roles identified by Mill and Ibsen in the nineteenth century, Moravcsik demonstrates that there are still improvements to be made, namely regarding men functioning in an unconventional role in society.
While in agreement with Ibsen and Mill that an egalitarian approach to both marriage and parenting would be ideal, Moravcsik argues that this concept is impracticable when dealing with the challenges life presents. Ibsen criticizes the vastly unequal…