What are the roles of gender and how did it begin?
We wanted to explore the way that gender roles are seperatted and how it came about. At first we believed that the roles of gender were divided into what was physically possible for the way that men and women were built. Men were physically bigger and stronger and therefore naturally did things such as the hard labour which required a lot of physical stamina and strength for example cutting down trees, a trait women naturally didn’t begin with. Women were seen as more capable of smaller, less labour intensive jobs like cooking and cleaning. Men were always thought of as the more powerful and in charge sex.
We decided to research this and link it to the development of American society’s views on this and this is what we found: “A gender role is a set of societal norms dictating what types of behaviours are generally considered acceptable, appropriate or desirable for a person based on their actual or perceived sex.” We found this on Wikipedia and thought it related to our point of view on how it started.
THE BEGINNING OF OUR RESEARCH
As we understand it the gender roles were designed as something that was purely based on physicality, but As society grew and developed, we became more educated that in fact women and men are capable of doing the same tasks as one another and shouldn’t be divided, this is when we started to see change. According to this timeline that we have found, 1893 Colorado became the first state to allow women to vote. This already shows that women, while not nearly enough, were beginning to be looked at more seriously and were granted the acknowledgment to have their opinion be valued. After this, it only became more and more positive as other states were also granting the right for women to vote. You can view the full timeline here: http://www.infoplease.com/spot/womenstimeline1.html
As we looked into this further we decided to find any videos on the right of women to vote and found a video on youtube. In the beginning it is very interesting and says “voting was considered a privilege not a right. Men could vote, women who owned property could vote, most didn’t “. This leads us to wonder why they would choose not to vote and we believe that in that time it was probably looked down upon for women to take charge and express their opinion, something that has carried on throughout the years, leading to gender inequality. The video then goes on to say that “after confederation in 1867 all women were excluded”. This is not surprising as most women who did have the right to vote didn’t, which suggests that not only did men look down upon women, women didn’t think highly of themselves. The video quotes from the bible that “The man was not made for the women but the women for the man”. In this time religion was very important and something almost everyone lived by and because of this the Christian views here was valued and seen as the only way to live by resulting in women being taken as the less powerful gender; “thy desire shall be to thy husband and he shall rule over thee”.
THIS RAISES THE QUESTION, HOW DID THE WOMEN START DEMANDING EQUALITY?
In the video it explains how the women’s rights movement began and says something that stood out to us, “that women’s suffrage was in with the times”. Here is the full video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8n65Y8itAcg
As society grew and developed, we became more educated that in fact women and men are capable of doing the same tasks as one another and shouldn’t be divided, this is when we started to see change. According to this timeline that we have found, 1893 Colorado became the first state to allow women to vote. This already shows that women, while not nearly enough, were beginning to be looked at more seriously and were granted the acknowledgment to have their opinion be somewhat valued. After this, it only became more and more positive as other states were also granting the right for women to vote. You can view the full timeline here: http://www.infoplease.com/spot/womenstimeline1.html
A SEXIST VIEW ON WOMEN
As our research grew we came across another video from youtube,it is a comedy skit making fun of the extreme ways women used to be treated, we found it to be very offensive as it makes fun of women and the fact that they were expected not to be smart and are only there for the men to use them, which links back to the history of women’s rights movement video and how they said the quote from the bible that the women were for the men.
HAS THERE BEEN ANY NOTICEABLE CHANGES?
After this video we researched how the role of women has changed through the years because we were interested in seeing just how much change has actually been made and found the website hub pages.com, here is the link to what we found: http://hubpages.com/education/change-in-roles-of-women. This blog tells us that there has been a noticeable change in the way that women are viewed ever since the 1960’s where feminism started being in the public eye. But it also states that although there has been change, there is still evidence of gender inequality around, “Nowadays women are generally treated equally to men although some would argue there is still a long way to go.” In our everyday world we noticed that this is clearly evident in the media that surrounds us that view women in a sexual manner and men are usually dominant. We found an advertisement of a hugely popular brand in the U.S. as well as all over the world. It is an advert for Kelvin Klein Jeans that was released in 2010 using well known celebrities:
As you can see here the man is dominating the women in a sexual way, showing they have more power in these situations,which once again links back to the quote “The man was not made for the women but the women for the man.” Here is a video that shows different adverts that sexualise women: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4lXyCSsIOjU
WHAT WE HAVE GATHERED
Through our research we have concluded that although there has been change towards equality in the gender roles, the American society is still viewing the roles of women as less superior to men and change still needs to happen more evidently.