“The most complex, demanding, and all-involving role that a member of society must learn to play is that of female or male…It is an assignment that will last one’s entire lifetime and affect virtually everything one ever does” (Eitzen et al. 2012:244). Gender roles are imposed on people even before they are born. They are continually reinforced throughout childhood through toys, clothing, advertisement and children’s entertainment. Limiting gender roles are ingrained in our language, customs, religion, and family structure. While women have made considerable strides, the Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution, which would prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender, has yet to be approved (Sullivan 2007). To this day, men and women do not have equal rights under federal law. Gender roles infiltrate every aspect of our lives and have very serious and very real consequences. Understanding the social construction of gender roles and how they contribut...
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...f magazines, hypersexualized in advertisements, and in movies. Women have to walk a very thin tightrope and the expectations for a good woman are contradicting (Newsom, Scully, Dreyfous, Redlich, Congdon, and Holland 2011).
History can be a great instrument, it can provide insight and make society aware of the current ideologies of gender. Many patterns exist in history. Repeatedly, when a historically oppressed faction has fought for equality or more rights, the dominant group overwhelmingly perceived that effort as a loss of their own rights. Every time there is a progressive move forward, there is a backlash that follows. It is far from oppression when a subordinate group gains rights that the dominant group has always had. Ultimately, society must never purposely disregard the bigger picture. Gender roles hurt all of society by limiting both men and women alike.
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