Gender Roles In Judy Brady's I Want A Wife

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“Boys don’t cry” and “act like a lady”, adults direct those phrases towards children often. They are usually heard during childhood, when the children are growing and starting to form their own thoughts. But what do they mean? These phrases are just examples of gender roles that society makes the public conform to. Gender roles, which are ways your gender is supposed to act, have been a part of society for a long time, and only in the recent years has the topic been discussed in greater detail. Problems with gender roles include the promotion of judgement, oppression of females, and erasure of male emotions along with the need of being masculine. Many people oppose to the breaking of gender roles, saying gender roles exist for a reason, it …show more content…
To paraphrase what Judy Brady said in her satirical piece I Want a Wife: “I want a wife who keeps track of the family’s appointments, has her own job but must also attend to the needs of the children at the same time, to take care of the husband’s physical needs, keep the house clean, does the grocery shopping, can be replaced in the event the husband finds a better wife…”(539-541). Women are expected to perform their roles by first becoming a wife, then doing everything listed above as her role has now been changed to “wife.” She could have other roles, such as her job, but society simplifies and traces her role back to just being a wife. The reason men are not tied to their role as a husband is because of the sexist societal gender roles. As children, the boys were taught that many household roles are for girls, they just need to find a wife who is able to do all of them. This results in men getting what they want while women are trapped in their role as their husband’s …show more content…
Gender roles that causes problems for men are often overlooked because society basically tells them to “man up.” This not only glazes over the problem but also leaves the men to deal with the problem by themselves. Men are pressured into keeping their struggles to themselves because, to society, a man reaching out for help is seen as weak. Men are taught that crying and letting out negative emotions means they are weak, not manly. Which brings up another problem, the need to be masculine. Masculinity is a frail thing, even more so because it is pounded into the heads of almost every boy. Starting at an young age, boys will try to one up each other to show off their masculinity. However, as they grow older, some of them will realize that some things or activities that are “masculine” are not for them. Sports, for example, is viewed as a very masculine thing to do (only the tough and sweaty ones though). But if one prefers reading or the fine arts over sports, he is considered feminine. It is considered feminine because the gender norms say these activities are for the females, who are supposed to like doing reserved things. Without being able to express themselves, many boys hide their passions and try to fit in with the others. Society can not improve itself if it has large amounts of people hiding their interests just so they will not get called out for liking something that is unconventional for their

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