Essay on Gender Roles : Women 's Rights Movement

1372 Words Dec 15th, 2015 6 Pages
When a country is in wartime, gender roles are directly affected. Gender roles are defined as “A set of societal norms dictating what types of behaviors are generally considered acceptable, appropriate or desirable for a person based on their actual or perceived sex”. In history it is easy to see the larger changes to gender roles that occur during wartime. The Women’s Rights Movement would pick up the most speed during times of war. Women could get jobs and do something with themselves besides raise children and look pretty. It was thanks mostly to World War I that women pushed for the 19th amendment and got the right to vote. Because of all this, it is easy to overlook the outcomes that the war had on gender roles for men. During wartime, gender roles on women were relaxed while for men they were tightened. Hypermasculinity was a concept developed during wartime. Men were expected to “be a man” and everything that came with it. There was a large emphasis on their strength mentally and physically, their aggression, and sex. However most of this extra testosterone filled macho-ness was really just an attempt for men to hold on to the little masculinity that they had left. Women were starting to break out of their gender roles and so men, in turn, tried to hold on to theirs even more then usual. Even when men were not directly in war, they were being taught how to be over masculine and take that masculinity and try to dominate the women around them.

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