Do Gender Roles Still Exist?
Gone are the days when women were fighting for their right to vote or getting a man’s permission to take out a credit card (yep, that was a thing). But roll on 2020, are gender roles completely outdated? Or do they still exist in today’s world? Alishba and Lucy, take it away.
Alishba: Gender roles do not affect women in the UK
Gender roles do not affect women in the UK anymore because women can now work in many, many different industries. Women feminists have campaigned against stereotyping to make sure that women are treated as fairly as men. There is no longer a gender pay gap as both men and women are paid equally for the jobs they do. Women who have become politicians and soldiers have proved that women are academically and physically strong.
Furthermore, we are no longer living in a world where women are expected to stay at home doing domestic work and preparing food for when their husband and children come back home. Some women are self-employed as they have become businesswomen, whilst others have casual day to day jobs and others have made their name through campaigning and working in media roles.
From experience, I have seen that many women have become teachers and have an important job of looking after, teaching and supporting children. In my opinion, they are more valued than men because they have personal attributes when teaching and supporting children.
There are also many successful women who have become famous for their work and they have been awarded a CBE. For example, Karren Brady was awarded a CBE in the 2014 New Year Honours list for her services to entrepreneurship and women in business.
To conclude, there are many examples of women who have become successful in achieving their dreams. So, others can follow them as role-models by using their skills and knowledge to make changes in the world. They can do this by starting small and introducing their work to the public.
Lucy: Don’t roll over just yet - why we still need to fight against gender roles
Although women aren’t dressed in aprons and learning point-stitch in school anymore, gender roles have become far trickier to pin down and define with each progressive revolution we’ve spearheaded. Yet, double standards are a tricky, unavoidable web woven carefully by the hidden hands of the patriarchy.
Tragically, a lot of it can be pinned down to socialisation. Gender-reveal parties end in a puff of pink or blue, yet like awkward glitter under your nails, that colour lingers with children all through school. Plastic pots and pans are presented to girls while their brothers are scolded for looking side-ways at a Barbie doll.
Go back 100 years and pink was as masculine as cracking Mountain Dew open with a sharp jawline, it only shifted when propaganda and media deemed it appropriate to do so.
These small little things we associate with men and women may start off as thoughtless jabs, but ultimately set down the building blocks for career paths and household roles. At what point have we allowed girls out-performing boys in school to translate to men out-earning women in employment sectors?
Yes, there are differences between men and women. I’d like to see a man try and go through labour or the average woman thrive in a hunter-gatherer society. But the existence of employment inequalities and favouring of women in divorce courts can’t really be due to a couple different genitals and minuscule volumes of hormones, right?
That’s what’s consistently argued- biology, biology, biology. At what point do we give the whole nature vs nurture argument the finger and start addressing the inequalities present in society? We’ve evolved beyond primal needs; medieval laws no longer apply to 21st century postmodernism.
Fortunately, times are changing. We’ve seen a huge rise in the shattering of the glass ceiling, and more and more single fathers are getting the support they deserve. But that’s just what we can see- feminism is far too complex to pin down to local politics.
Legally, female equality seems spick-and-span, but that doesn’t stop gender-based prejudice preventing mothers and women of colour being hired for those high-paying CEO jobs, leaving men statistically outweighing women in positions of power. There are still millions of women outside the comfortably blissful bubble of Western Culture whose only prospects are marriage, children and dependency on men.
So, no, we can’t stop fighting, because the world is far larger than bickering over clothing colours and the wage-gap. Solidarity is a powerful thing, and it just might help us finally get over this.