The Gender Roles Of Women

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The world was a very different place sixty years ago. The men came home from the war to take back the work force from the women and sent the women back into the home to follow traditional domestic roles. All aspects of life had to be cookie cutter perfect, to include the gender roles. The roles of both genders have been portrayed by the BBC Television show, Call the Midwife, as they use to be in the 1950’s. The men were the breadwinners of their family by working arduous hours, protect their family and home, and have zero contact with feminine things and activities; the women were expected to get married early, always look their best, and never indulge in their aspirations for a career outside of the home unless they were single. The war engrained men to be the defenders of their nation. As they came home, that role spilled into their everyday lives. Men became the protectors of their home and family by working hard to put food on the table and a roof over their family’s heads. Men were criticized and their masculinity questioned by society if they could not meet the needs of their family or keep them in line. In the first example, which in Episode 2, Series 3 of Call the Midwife, a husband found out that his wife cheated on him after she gave birth to a black baby (Episode 2, Series 3). His reaction was violent one as her betrayal threatened his role as a man and a husband. In another example, the Christmas Special of 2013, a married couple lied about the husband’s shell shock to keep up the appearance that he is providing for his family even though the wife is the one holding them together. Her husband was full of shame from the fact that he was not living up to the male expectations of society. He was suppose to be strong and u... ... middle of paper ... ...d as just a mother or wife. Due to lack of birth control, having kids was an inevitable part of married life, as seen in Episode 5 of Series 2 (Episode 5, Series 2). Creating and nurturing children was looked at as the most important thing about being a woman. Abortion was still an abomination to the female role. 1950’s women strived to become the perfect picture of domesticity and their perfect looks, all while having to settle for a home-life if they wanted to be married. The men had to be the masculine, sole income earner for the family without having to deal with any of the nasty bits of life that comes with a family. Luckily for men and women alike, the 1960’s brought the women’s rights movement where they could finally regain control over their own lives. Kids and husbands became optional as they became free to express themselves in ways they could not before.

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