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Gender Roles

Discussion in 'Relationships and Sociology' started by Blase, Apr 20, 2010.

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  1. Blase

    Blase Regular Poster

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    After a somewhat reckless hypothesis I posted about feminism, I figured a new approach would be more appropriate. I've encountered several people in my life who find themselves to have an understanding of what a man "is" and "isn't", "should be" and shouldn't be" etc. 9 times out of 10, I do not relate to these stereotypes and generalizations. In my eyes, the feminist movement seems like a productive means for women to defend themselves from being forced into unfair gender roles, but it seems as if men like me have no such outlet. Of course, I'm not trying to fight for "men's rights" or anything, I just feel like there must be some way I can combat being wrongly stereotyped or pushed into a gender role. If I try and say "no, not all men are like that" then people just look at me as less of a man, and I have no movement or ideology to back myself up with.

    What should I do? Should I just stop whining and "take it like a man"? What's your own experiences with and opinions on gender roles and stereotypes? And is my perception of feminism totally off?


     
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    #1 Blase, Apr 20, 2010
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2010
  2. slant

    slant Roll with the punches
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    Why don't you want to fight for men's rights? I am assuming that you are in fact a man and therefore, you should have rights. One of these rights, depending on how it is looked at, could also possibly include the right not to be stereotyped falsely and pushed into a gender role. If you do not like the system, why are you so hesistant to fight it? Because you might be considered 'less of a man'? That people may think you are whining about problems that a man would just 'suck up and take'? These are questions for you and only you to answer.

    But I push you to reason that maybe the reason you are so hesistant to fight for these rights fall under several categories:

    #1. There has been so little influence of change of these roles that you did not know they existed or were possible
    #2. The stereotypes and gender roles you were raised in oppose this sort of activism and is forcing you to feel like, because of conditioning, while you have a problem with it you shouldn't do anything about it.

    These are just a couple of theories. On the last thread I proved that the masculism movement is in full throttle and there are a variety of issues that men should and are fighting for. A lot of the time, I think that the reason feminism is so popular versus masculism is because women tend to be a lot vocal in nature, and it is accepted that women will cry and scream about things. Men, on the other hand, tend to be more silent and their emotions and concerned are inherently surpressed. This is the reason that I personally attribute the lack of activity with many men, that while they may have a problem with it they are too scared to use their voice because it's not what they were raised to be like.
     
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  3. OP
    Blase

    Blase Regular Poster

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    Honestly, I don't care if people think I'm "less of a man", since if they come to that conclusion they hold an incorrect view of what a man is. I've tried to argue my stance on several occasions, but whereas many people are familiar with the successes and the views of the feminist platform, they just don't comprehend the other side. They assume that all men want to fit the male stereotype, and those that do not are some sort of failure. I don't think my inactivity in this area has to do with hesitation, but more so a sense of fatalism and futility, due to point #1 like you mentioned. Not only was I unaware that these movements exist or are possible, but most people I encounter don't know of them either. Though I still do what I can, I feel relatively powerless to combat such widely held views as a one-man army. I think women are fortunate to have an advantage, in that anytime a woman defends her rights or refutes a stereotype, most people are familiar with the clout that the feminist movement, and this lends support to her position. Although some men's rights movements exist, they havn't made nearly as strong as an impact, and are far less known by the average person.

    Thanks a ton for all that info, I'm definitely going to start looking into it.

    watch your gender stereotypes ;)
     
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    #3 Blase, Apr 20, 2010
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2010
  4. Chenoa

    Chenoa Newbie

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    Hey,
    I was wondering if you could clarify a little. What are some examples of stereotypes you agree with and why? That being said, I agree that there seems to be more societal emphasis on fitting into a prescribed role based putely on gender. Where does this leave someone who is transgender something like that? I also agree that the stereotype of women generally crying and screaming to try and get what they want or express very strong opinions on a subject should be avoided. To me, this seems to be the very kind of generalistic gender-based viewpoint to which the threadstarter was referring. Personally, I abhore it when women seem to think that bombarding others with their strong emotions is some sort of birthright. To me, it's equivalent to guys who run around thinking that getting physical with people is the best solution to a conflict situation. I think there are inherent gender differences, but I don't think that those differences automatically assign the same basic qualities to everyone. Not all men are "macho" and not all women are driven to be mothers. I guess that kind of went off on sort of a tangential rant, but this topic is interesting. Thanks.
    Chenoa
     
  5. Flavus Aquila

    Flavus Aquila Finding My Place in the Sun
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    This isn't my thread, but here are some stereotypes I agree with:

    Men order Martinis:
    [​IMG]

    Men must not order Cosmopolitans:
    [​IMG]
     
  6. OP
    Blase

    Blase Regular Poster

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    I personally do not like sports and competition, I don't have very good hand-eye coordination or athletic ability, I'm not very strong or flexible, I don't enjoy drinking excessive amounts of alcohol, I don't think sex is the greatest thing in the world, I wouldn't date a girl based only on her appearance, I'm not aggressive and assertive, I prefer to be able to express my feelings and emotions, and I have high regard for the feelings of others. I dislike it when I'm considered any less of a man for any of these reasons.

    There's many people who don't enforce gender roles, myself included. I suppose those who don't can disregard the opinions of those people who do discriminate. But is it something innate and natural that will always be part of humans?

    Animals for instance compete for dominance for the role of alpha male. Does this mean that athletic competition, physical strength, aggressiveness and assertiveness are justifiable measures of masculinity? Animals also look for certain attributes in choosing a mate. Are women justified in refusing to date a man who carries a purse? Is it ok for men to say that they wouldn't touch a girl who doesn't shave her legs?

    Perhaps gender roles and stereotypes are natural and permanent, at least for a portion of the population. Or is it human responsibility to transcend such animal behavior and treat all equally? Is it fair to those who don't fit stereotypes to be discriminated against? Should those who are discriminated merely write off the opinions of their discriminators, or do they not deserve this unmerited criticism? Or are these judgments not considered discrimination?
     
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    #6 Blase, Apr 20, 2010
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2010
  7. Gaze

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    Maybe we're are looking at stereotypes narrowly. Do stereotypes not serve a purpose? How do we make sense of people if we don't fit them into some form of category? Is sex a better classifier than gender? Who determines what is or isn't a true representation of gender? Don't we have to first determine what is gender difference and the way it is shaped or constructed, it's social role in the culture, to determine whether or not it is predictive or restrictive?

    A related issue - Isn't motherhood a unique experience peculiar to women, and doesn't it imply a difference of perspective on issues such as birth, life, pregnancy, parenthood than men, who don't bear the responsibility of pregnancy and birth? Can men and women equally occupy the same gender roles when they're reproductive capacities are differently constructed?

    Additionally, why are gender roles definitive? Is the definition of a role, an assigned place, necessarily native or natural? If roles can be occupied, can't they be switched? Can't we occupy roles without allowing them to define who we are? If we can occupy a role, can't we unoccupy it without harming our sense of self or identity? Must roles naturally be restrictive or is it the belief that the roles must consume our identity which creates the concerns about perceptions of gender difference we experience? Is our view of "roles" more restrictive than roles themselves?
     
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    #7 Gaze, Apr 20, 2010
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2010
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