The world is constantly on the move, and so is society. Back in the 19th century, it was hard to find a woman having a typical “masculine job” or a man spending time with his children all day long. The gender stereotypes, together with gender roles expectations, made life more complicated on the one hand, and much easier on the other. Benokraitis (2018) describes gender as the “learned attitudes and behaviors that characterize women and men. Gender is based on social and cultural expectations rather than on physical traits” (p. 161). Thus, culture is the key point to the gender issue.
As any human being, I faced the culturally accepted standards for both genders and witnessed an unfavorable attitude towards them. In my family, these beliefs were subjected to critical analysis and careful contemplation. Both my grandmother and grandfather were educated and open-minded. In her youth, though, my grandmother was rather skeptical about the gender roles exchange. Her family was poor, and they could live only with their father working at the plant and their mother taking care of them. However, while growing up and communicating with diverse people, she learned that gender does not define them or their roles in society. Being open to different lifestyles, my grandparents inculcated these values to my parents, and then – to me.
Fortunately, most of my colleagues have never experienced gender violence nor faced gender-biased behavior. Although some of them adhere to the “traditional” distribution of roles – men are working, paying for the women in restaurants, are considered to be more intelligent and proficient, while women are the caregivers and dependents. However, the majority of people I communicate with allocate the partners’ responsibilities according to their schedule and possibilities without looking at the gender expectations. Some of my colleagues pay separately for their receipts and stay at home with children depending on their working schedules. I have rarely heard them speaking or implying what men’s and women’s duties should be.
Benokraitis, N. V. (2018). SOC. Introduction to sociology. Cengage Learning.