Gender Roles in Society
Suggested roles of all types set the stage for how human beings perceive their life should be. Gender roles are one of the most dangerous roles that society faces today. With all of the controversy applied to male vs. female dominance in households, and in the workplace, there seems to be an argument either way. In the essay, “Men as Success Objects”, the author Warren Farrell explains this threat of society as a whole. Farrell explains the difference of men and women growing up and how they believe their role in society to be. He justifies that it doesn’t just appear in marriage, but in the earliest stages of life. Similarly, in the essay “Roles of Sexes”, real life applications are explored in two different novels. The synthesis between these two essays proves how prevalent roles are in even the smallest part of a concept and how it is relatively an inevitable subject.
Warren Farrell is a well educated man who focuses his attention on gender. In his essay “Men as Success Objects,” he writes about gender roles in male-female relationships. He begins, “for thousands of years, marriages were about economic security and survival” (Farrell 185). The key word in that statement is were. This implies the fact that marriage has changed in the last century. He relates the fact that post 1950s, marriage was more about what the male and female were getting out of the relationship rather than just the security of being married. Divorce rates grew and added to the tension of which gender held the supremacy and which role the individuals were supposed to accept. “Inequality in the workplace” covered up all of the conflicts involved with the “inequality in the homeplace”(Farrell). Farrell brings to attention all of the unconscious titles and inferences made towards men and their stereotypes based on the idea “men are jerks”. He explains that society tells males that they need to be the successful ones in the family and accept the role as the primary bread winner, and there is no other choice. Suggestions that females usually only “marry up” and don’t bother contemplating marriage unless the man they are dating makes substantially more than them (Farrell 187). The idea of success is brought in at an early age, even as early as Junior High. Farrell asks, “is there an invisible curriculum for girls and boys growing up?” The question is left open for interpretation, but based on Farrell’s view point on gender roles it becomes apparent how he believes society raises all children.
In the essay, “Roles of the Sexes”, a more submissive-leader approach is taken into consideration regarding gender roles. The role of the female and the role of the male are easy to distinguish in this piece. Females are raised to comply to their husband’s needs and “men are raised to lead and take charge”(“Roles”). This essay focuses on the two stories, “The Hand” by Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette, and “Eveline” written by James Joyce. Although neither was...