Gender Roles

2055 words 9 pages
Gender Roles

Children learn from their parents and society the conception of
"feminine" and "masculine." Much about these conceptions is not biological at all but cultural. The way we tend to think about men and women and their gender roles in society constitute the prevailing paradigm that influences out thinking.
Riane Eisler points out that the prevailing paradigm makes it difficult for us to analyze properly the roles of men and women in prehistory "we have a cultural bias that we bring to the effort and that colors our decision-making processes."
Sexism is the result of that bias imposed by our process of acculturation.

Gender roles in Western societies have been changing rapidly in recent years, with the changes created both
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. . In much of the world women are barred from advanced knowledge and technical training

Yet opening the world of business with new opportunities for women does not dissipate much of this frustration because both men and women continue to be ruled by their early training, by the acculturation process which decides for them what sort of existence they will have. This can result in feelings of guilt when their reality and the image they have been taught from childhood do not mesh.

It would be a mistake to see changing gender roles in society as threatening only to males who dominate that society. Such changes also threaten many women who have accepted more traditional roles and see change as a threat.
"I don't know how your mother does it all. . . I think time are harder for women these days. . . so many choices." This response is not new. When women first united for the right to vote at the beginning of this century, they were opposed by women's groups who wanted things to remain as they were. Many of these women were ladies of means and social position in society:

The main burden of their argument was that woman suffrage placed an additional and unbearable burden on women, whose place was in the home. . .
These arguments are heard today from religious fundamentalists who believe that the women's movement is a threat to the family. The fact is that the family has changed and that the traditional

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