Are Gender Roles Still Applicable in Modern Times?
Q1: Describe your role in the family and society in general, please.
A: Well, I am a wife and mother of two sons; I have been married for 19 years. I have had a career since graduating and I am a daughter, sister, Aunty, etc.
Q2: How has the gender role changed for you over the years?
A: My role has changed slightly as our lives have changed. My husband used to help me a lot more on housework when we first married but as he has become busier he helps a lot less, he helped 50 % with housework and bringing up children and now it is 30 % because he has taken on more work earning money. I am lucky in that my husband is the modern man, he helps with everything.
Q3: How did your gender role vary at home, school and work?
A: As a child my gender role was no different to my brothers as my father was an advocate of equality among the sexes, we both carried the same amount of shopping home, I was taught to change a fuse wire, wire a plug, etc. Because those days lots of immigrant men worked night shifts and my father did not want me unprepared in the future. As my brother was older and went to work, he did less housework and we adopted traditional gender roles but due to my father's views of equality my brother still had to help a little.
At school we were very traditional except my history teacher who was a staunch feminist, we were given skipping when the boys played football in primary school, and the secondary school taught Home Economics instead of Technical Drawing. I campaigned and won the first football magazine in a girls' school. At university we were treated as equals.
At work there is definite bias towards men and towards friendly attractive females. I overcome such barriers all the time by having a thick skin, positive attitude and hard work, and have got promotion sometimes over men in the 16 years I have worked for the Inland Revenue as a tax inspector. There is a lot of stereotyping and being a small sized female people underestimate me, for example in meetings my older male staff is looked at as the boss, only to be told with a smile that the little lady is the boss!
Q4: How is your role different from your mother's?
A: My mother is 63 years old, she also had a family and career, my father helped very little, she was a teacher and she did more traditional female roles at say 90 % compared to my 50 %, so the roles are slowly changing. It depends on the woman's career. Women are taking on more challenging roles, especially the traditional male jobs are more demanding and these women do less of the traditional female roles because they earn more and demand the man do more to help in the house.
Q5: If you were a housewife, would your role be different?
A: I think my husband would do less and probably I would do more traditional roles, but being a modern woman I would still expect him to help more on housework than my father did because times have changed and attitudes to traditional roles have changed, thank God.
Q6: How do you see your role develop as you are getting older?
A: As I retire, I will probably do more of the housework if I am at home, but he will always help because we are set in our habits. It will depend on health more than anything, who is capable of doing what rather than gender roles.
23. Read the information and then discuss the advantages and disadvantages of gender roles in education:
During colonial times, girls and boys were educated differently. Girls went to "dame" schools where they were taught how to read and write. The "master" schools (similar to today's high schools) were for boys. Girls could attend the master schools, generally during the summer when boys worked and only if space was available.
In the 1800s, prospects for women in education began to improve. High schools and colleges for girls were established. Some colleges and universities that accepted only young men began to accept young women. In 1833, Oberlin College became the first higher education institution for young women and men. At the beginning of the 20th century, more than one third of all college students were women.
According to present-day statistics, girls have got higher grades and are still rocketing high up the educational ladder and are still achieving more than boys. This reflects the world's attitude to women succeeding rather than failing now. Everyone expects girls to do better, so moving on girls will be having better jobs in high positions and everyone will be hiring women now as they are more capable than men. A long time ago society had pushed and in a hypothetical way bullied woman to become house wives or do minor low paying jobs if they were lucky. So this shows us that the gender roles of previous centuries are being challenged rather than reinforced, so the gender discrimination has changed in the likes of education.
The females are now dominating the world in education. The females have always been getting better results than boys after the Educational Equity Act. The women of the past were never educated due to the tyrannical belief that men were superior to women in many ways. They considered the females' rightful place was at home.
However, despite this women have shown us that they are equal maybe even better than men. This has been shown from long time ago when great, great women have changed the world by their exceptional discoveries and leadership.
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