"I will never let a man dominate me!" That was what I stood by the majority of my life. The idea of men being the superior and more entitled sex was, to me, ubiquitous in our society. I believed gender roles were a detriment to women and I wanted no parts of it. However, once I acquired certain experiences I learned that gender roles served an important part in male/female relationships. Many would consider this idea outdated or sexist mainly due to the feminist movement of the 1960s through the 1980s. But I believe the implication of gender roles is vital because they create harmony in a relationship, build strong communities, and help form healthy identities.
Gender roles assist in creating harmony and happiness within a relationship. It is commonly known that opposite poles always attract. Male/female, masculine/feminine are complimentary. Where one is weak, the other is strong. Thus, knowing another person is more capable in certain areas is ...view middle of the document...
Therefore, tailoring roles around natural gifts, interests, and behaviors can be effective in achieving a harmonious relationship.
Every successful civilization in history has made use of gender roles. A community starts with a single individual. How that individual relates to another, builds the foundation of a community. Gender roles provide a bonding and enriching experience among men and women. One common tradition is a rite of passage. Usually, members of the same sex participate in a ritual to earn their place in a society. This creates a sense of belonging, which is an integral part of building a strong community. Children are also important to the community largely because they are the leaders of tomorrow. The state of the parents' relationship greatly aids or hinders a child's development. A child who observes healthy gender relations can more easily assimilate into the culture. Bonding, belonging and order, which gender roles provide, are all necessary in building a strong community.
Developing a healthy identity is probably one of the most important aspects of human development. Gender dissociation, while uncommon, is a very painful experience. Gender roles can guide behavior and relations, helping to prevent such occurrences. What it means to be a man or a woman is an idea that needs to be developed and nurtured. When men and women are acknowledged for who they are and what they provide, it helps build a sense of pride and acceptance. For example, a man who identifies with his manhood and knows he is valued for it, usually creates wonderful things. The same goes for women. Furthermore, children who identify with their boyhood or girlhood, tend to have more healthy and stable childhoods. These roles are crucial in identity development.
Gender roles have been in place for thousands of years and are usually upheld or despised. Having gone from one side to the other, I believe I have a better understanding of their purpose. While I do not necessarily believe everyone should have the same role regardless of preferences, I do believe gender roles offer a healthy template. Not only do they provide harmony, they contribute to building strong communities and developing healthy identities. Gender roles always have, and will, serve the community.