The Debate Over Gender Roles And Norms Essay

1113 Words May 1st, 2016 null Page
The debate over gender roles and norms has become increasingly prevalent in the public eye. Discussions regarding the wage gap, North Carolina’s anti-LGBT law, prevalence of rape on college campuses, legalization of same-sex marriage, and similar events have encouraged a political and social redefinition of male and female and of masculinity and femininity. Opponents of such changes claim they violate tradition or “family values,” which to some extent is true. Many social constructs of masculinity date back to antiquity, while others were created or more firmly established later in history. The modern Western idea of masculinity includes traits consistent with ancient Greek masculinity, such as aggression, dominance, and virility, and thought of femininity as the inverses of masculine characteristics. However, men were not ostracized or considered inferior if they did not conform to these ideals or deviated from the norms of sexual orientation or gender identity.
Odysseus, the main character of the Odyssey, serves as a role model for the masculine traits of heroism and bravery. After a perilous journey home from the Trojan War, he finds that he has been presumed dead and various suitors are competing for his wife. He conceals his identity and participates in an archery contest designed to pick the best man, then shoots one competitor in the throat. The suitors realize it is Odysseus and are terrified that they, too, will be killed. He shows them no mercy: “shrewd Odysseus…

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