Gender Roles in Alice Munro’s Boys and Girls

1473 Words6 Pages
Whether it is the past or the present, there have always been gender roles in society. In most homes, it is the woman’s responsibility to take care of the house. This includes cleaning, meal preparations, raising and taking care of the children as well as the husband. Compared to the men who take care of the more physical activities, such as yard work. It was known throughout many years that it was a woman’s responsibility to stay in the house while the man would go out and look for work to provide money for his family. Although the intensity of gender roles has changed, it still exists.

In Alice Munro’s short story “Boys and Girls”, the author explains the transition from being a tomboy girl to becoming a woman. The protagonist is sceptical about becoming a young woman; she would much rather work at the farm with her father. When he would ask her to complete a task, it would get done well because she would do anything for him. “Nevertheless I worked willingly under his eyes, and with a feeling of pride.” (774) Set side by side with her mother, the narrator would hate working in the house. Therefore, when it came to her mother, the girl thought that she was plotting against her; all to keep her away from working with her father. “She was plotting now to get me to stay in the house more, although she knew I hated it (because she knew I hated it) and keep me from working for my father.” (775) Many would say that it was a woman’s duty to work inside due to her being soft and delicate compared to a man’s duty to work out in the yard because of his physical strength. The narrator did not know the difference between working inside the house or out in the yard. All she knew was that she wanted to work outside with her father becaus...

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...ymore, but that she has to become something more than that. For instance, she will have to work inside the house, such as cooking, cleaning, and doing laundry, compared to the work she use to do out in the yard for her father. When all is said and done, she knows what is expected of her now, and will have to take on the responsibilities that go with it.

After women have fought for their rights, society has changed. Despite the fact that today’s society is more opened minded then it used to be, there are still some gender roles that we are judged by. Instead of the women staying at home taking care of the house and children while the men are at work, it is more likely that both parents have a career and share the duty to take care of the house and children. All in all, it is not right to judge women because of the past. Nowadays, most of them are equal to men.
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