It’s a universally accepted fact that gender roles exist, and have been passed on from one generation to another. It has been exhibited in various aspects be it particular representation of choice of color or to the competence extent of gender, everything has been set by the society.
But now it’s a whole new era, we are the people of 21st century where things are changing steadily, as it is very well said “change the only constant” let`s see how things are revamping and if we are making progress or not. But before that let`s commence from scratch and see the evolution. (Kantola, J. and Outshoorn, J., 2007)
What Are Gender Roles?
Gender roles are the predefined norms that are been set by society. It can also be considered as different attributes that are set according to a particular sex. A female is considered to be fragile, innocent, and feminine whereas, a man is considered to be brawny, aloof, or a breadwinner. There are certain roles that are been set, from how a woman is supposed to demeanor, work, or take care of things and how a man is supposed to grind.
That is not it, there are set colors that portray the masculine and the feminine outlook. That is, pink or subtle soft colors are for females or blue or harsh colors are for men.
For a very long time, it is quoted that “women belong to the kitchen” or a “man is the head of the family” these are roles are been employed in accordance with the particular gender. For e.g. A female or a woman is taught cooking, cleaning, and taking care of the family and a man is supposed to earn, take up the arduous jobs that involve fixing things or anything that is strenuous.
These roles are inculcated, forced down, or passed down for several decades so, in order to know more let`s see different variants through with people are biased. (Eisend, M., 2019)
Gender Norms: The Stereotype
Gender stereotype refers to generalizing certain rules that are meant for a particular gender. It is very well quoted by Lillie Devereux Black, “people share common nature but are trained in gender roles” Everyone has been said to do things a certain way because one belongs to a particular sex. From clothes to food, there isn’t a single aspect wherein gender norms have not been enforced onto us. There can be several ways through which these stereotypes are solicited onto us. Let us see a few gender stereotypical beliefs.
Men Don’t Cry
This is one of the most common stereotypes. when it comes to a man showing his emotions, they are often shunned down by stating “real men don’t cry” or “you are not a man if you cry” , and are pushed to act macho. Due to this, men usually tend to lose the sense of emotion that takes a toll on their mental state.
There are certain circumstances or several such industries wherein women are paid less as compared to men or are not given certain opportunities as they belong to a particular gender. Be it the education or a certain post. This leads to women not being able to portray their capabilities or potential. On the other hand, men are lent great responsibilities and are pressured to do things a certain way. (Francois, P., 1998)
Cook, Clean, Take Care Of Everone Repeat.
As previously said women, in general, are considered as the “dishwashers” and are given all the responsibilities that are restricted to household chores. Where on the other hand, men are supposed to be the earners of the family. These stereotypes thus lead to discriminating depression in women and men to certain gender roles. (Poloma, M.M. and Garland, T.N., 1971)
However, in today`s generation things are changing. Along with upgraded lifestyles people`s perspective of the gender roles is also developing, here is how-
Equality: Treating Humans According To Their Capabilities And Not Gender.
As this decade is moving forward, there are sundry changes that are taking place in society. There are several laws and terminologies present that favor gender equality.
- ARTICLE 14 that states that everyone is equal before the law and the state cannot deny that.
- ARTICLE 39 states that men and women would have equal rights regarding sustenance, wherein equal payment will be provided to men and women and even the materials and resources will be distributed equally regardless the gender.
The Criminal Law Amendment Act.
Any kind of harassment will be punishable regardless of gender from sexual harassment to stalking.
- ARTICLE 15 according to this article no discrimination will be done on the basis of caste, sex, race religion and hence, provides equality to all.
Several other moments favor equality grounds.
There is a huge misconception when it comes to feminism; there are several people who have a negative interpretation about it and have a mindset that it only favors women, however, feminism is a vast concept that brace equality based on gender. Where in, all the people are considered equal, promotes equivalence on all the bases, and hence, promotes gender equality.
Other than that, there are people standing up for themselves and trying to make a change or rather be the change. There are certain such powerful people who stood up in order to make awareness about gender equality they are namely:
- TRISHA SHETTY a human rights and gender equality activist has unbarred a non-profitable organization called “she Say” that helps women act against sexual harassment and provides the people with legal, medical and educational support and creates awareness as well as supports the survivors.
- ABIY AHMED an Ethiopian prime minister who stood up for gender equality and brought development in his cabinet, which earlier included the members in the ratio of 4 females for 24 males.
- DEEPIKA BHARADWAJ is a female activist who fights for men`s rights, it`s not about males or females it`s about humans, she believes. Deepika acts as a voice for that violence, abuse that is been happening with the men.
- BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH one of the greatest Hollywood actors who has mesmerized the audience with his acting and charm does not work with payment gaps wherein the male gender are paid more, he believes that all the genders should be paid according to their capabilities and not their gender.
Thereafter there are several presidents, prime ministers who are bringing change in their countries favoring equality.
These activists have been an uprising in today`s generation revolting against the wrong. However, we are still very far away from what we need to achieve on the basis of gender equality, there are several changes that are yet to be brought and implemented that might bring us a step closer to abolishing the gender norms. (Ward, T., Gannon, T.A. and Birgden, A., 2007)