A Fine Line Essay

938 words - 4 pages

James WesterMitchellEnglish 505 October 2014A Fine LineFor the last hundred years there have been many changes to the roles that are to be expected between a man and a woman; stereotyping of genders is the result of the popular culture. I have recently spent some time learning about this phenomenon from several classes that I have taken- psychology into human sexuality and cultural anthropology. My Human Sexualities class taught me that gender roles are synonymous with gender stereotype, in that it is based on the assumptions of societies expectations of how men and women should behave based on their physical gender. In Cultural Anthropology I learned, ethnocentrism: belief in the superiority of one's own ethnic group. This shows that what is a normal activity for one person could be barbaric to another. In our culture, for instance, we believe that it is normal to see a man providing for a woman, in the kingdom of Dahomey in Africa from around 1700 AD till 1900 AD the role of a soldier was filled by women. This kingdom is now modern day Benin. Many of these changes occur not only place to place but from time to time. Our countries history for the last one hundred years has seen many changes. Three areas I would like to focus on are the 1950's, 1960's, and 2000's. I believe these three points show the most changes in expected roles between genders.In the 1950's we see what is known as a nuclear family which has a father, mother, children and a nice white picket fence. The idea of that time period, according to Pam Stickles of whom I interviewed for this essay, was the man was to work and provide for the household and protect the family; the wife was to stay home and clean the house, make food and care for children. This, for example, is reflected in the TV shows that aired during the time period, one such show is the "Ozzie and Harriet Show," which was the first scripted sitcom aired on TV to reach ten years. This show depicted a family, based on real people, who live their lives day to day ever showing the expected values of a good 1950's family. The dad Ozzie Nelson, played by him; his wife Harriet Nelson, played by her; and their children David and Eric nelson, both played themselves. This TV series aired until 1966 when the values and ideals became an outdated notion.The 1960's arrived with a change of thinking. Woman's movements were on the rise, such movements consisted of the Women's Liberation Movement, Woman Civil Rights Movements and Women's Equal Rights Movements to name a few. During this time period women began speaking out about the male driven society and pushed to get out...

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