Gender Roles in Todays Marriages
A gender role is a behavior in accordance with the set of certain social regulations. People are addressed by society depending on their sex. This attitude is manifested in the appropriate behavior or gender appropriate appearance, such as speech, manners, gestures, and spheres of activity. Starting from biological and psychological especially-traditional feminine gender role prescribes that women have to be caring, emotional, sensitive, and show interest in problems of other people. Masculine gender role requires action, aggressiveness, domination, and ambitiousness (Neuman). Despite the fact that many studies and social campaigns on the gender roles in family have been conducted, it still remains true that certain stereotypes of feminine or masculine behavior have a firm ground on which they are based (Grossman 747). The issue here is that gender role in marriage affects the well-being and routine of both parties in all aspects of life, starting from the opportunity to be engaged in social life of the community and possibility to enjoy the style of life preferable to the person in their family life.
Origins of Sexism
In the most ancient world religion Buddhism a woman and her husband, in general, are recognized as equal. However, there is an unspoken tradition that secures the spheres of high spirituality for men and defines the destiny of women, first of all, as support of the family and caring for the daily meal (Marks et al., 223). Cultural-historical analysis allows making the conclusion that the current problems of attitudes towards women in society take their origin in the patriarchal religious heritage. It is in religions that wives are under undivided male domination in the public and spiritual spheres, as well as the majority traditional prejudices in the perception of women, assuming a limitation of their activity in life and existing of different rights and opportunities for men and women (Marks et al., 223). Therefore, certain aspects of the gender roles issue are connected closely with sexism in the society.
Modern woman, who has to perform both household and professional roles, is extremely burdened. Completely new roles were added to traditional family-household roles, including the manager of the budget, psychotherapist, and a chief educator (Neuman). The difficulties associated with combining professional roles and family roles, in many cases, affect women as they are not enough represented in creative and rationalizing activities and in the work of public organizations (Neuman). The same difficulties often generate conflict situations in the family. Women traditionally are supposed to take care of children and keep the household clean. This perception, of course, hinders their versatile cultural development and leads to a decrease in their social activity.
At the same time, a family man is also supposed to be involved in the family and household matters, but observably less than his female counterpart. Nevertheless, it puts a pressure on the husband of the family as well, since he has to continue supporting a wife and provide for all the needs of the family. Prior to women working, any income in the family came from the husband and was appreciated (Grossman 749). With women working and fulfilling their feminine role in the family at the same time, the man has to manage to earn more than his spouse, since the opposite situation, although becoming more common, is still considered untraditional. More often the situation is noted that the two parties of the marriage do not even merge their earnings, although that is more likely to be the sign of not being in commitment to each other (Neuman). Nevertheless, the new and more liberating role of the female in marriage opens a discussion on who is supposed to provide for the family. Therefore, both parties suffer from gender stereotypes related to their roles in the marriage.
The most complicated and urgent current issue is that even though women are accepted as an equal part of the society, they still struggle to demand equal rights within their homes. A stereotype that only a wife should be doing the household duties is increasingly vanishing in the mind of a modern woman. Only insignificant share of working women considers that her spouse should not be burdened with the household responsibilities (Grossman 758). The social roles of women and men are becoming mutual and equal, and the change of the former is inevitably entails a change in the latter and vice versa. Nevertheless, it is still quite common that women would be raising the child, cooking, organizing all sorts of family events, and cleaning the house (Marks et al. 227). It means that although demanding unprejudiced attitude from a stranger in workplaces or social events has become usual, the same is not applied in everyday family life.
How to Overcome This Issue