Feminist Friday: Gender Roles

Friday, November 28, 2014

Photo Credit: http://casheefoo.deviantart.com/art/Sweet-summer-sunset-133070306
 Gender Roles

Ah, the holidays.

A time for family, friends, and most especially food.

In my family, it’s also the time when the women slave away in the kitchen while the men congregate in front of the television to watch the game. I once asked my mother and grandmother why we didn’t ask the men to help in the kitchen, and they blinked at me like I was speaking a different language.

“We want things to get done.” They answer.


“We want the food to be edible.”


“Can you really see the men in here cooking/cleaning? Ha!”

But why is that? Why can’t we count on the men to cook and clean and do anything besides drink beer and scream at the television? Is it just my family that seems to be stuck in the gender roles of the 50’s?

Gender roles are a serious problem in our society. Gender roles are what teach girls that motherhood and marriage are the only aspirations a girl should strive for, and teach boys that work and domination are the only things to care about. Gender roles turn girls into irrelevant emotional beings while turning boys into fireballs of anger who aren’t allowed to cry. Ever.

Gender roles are ridiculous, dangerous, and dehumanizing. 

I’ve got a long way to go before gender roles are erased from my family tradition. This morning, my mother has spent every second cleaning and cooking while my father watches the recaps from yesterday’s game. She asked him to run a simple errand, and he refused because he wanted to “relax.”

Obviously, gender roles aren’t disappearing any time soon.

But they need to.

Why can’t boys play with dolls? Why can’t girls play tug-of-war in the mud? Why can’t the men cook/clean and the women relax? Why can’t boys like pink? Why can’t baby girls be dressed in blue? Why do we continue to let gender roles exist?

It’s time to get rid of gender roles.

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