‘Modern’ society still imposes gender roles

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‘Modern’ society still imposes gender roles

Marlene Rivas / The Advocate

Marlene Rivas / The Advocate

Marlene Rivas / The Advocate

By Marlene Rivas, Staff Writer

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This month serves as tribute to women everywhere for all that they have done and continue to do.
Throughout history women have played multiple roles. They have been caretakers, warriors, activists and workers. Women have stepped in when men were not able to perform their duties.
And those same women raised the men to begin with. However, even though women have proven themselves capable, again and again, they continue to be seen as inferior to men. Perhaps the issues of equality are not as severe as they once were.
 It is thought that we are now in a modern, better time. People are more open minded.
Technology has advanced greatly and social issues are almost a thing of the past.
But no, this is not the case.
Women are still considered incompetent for some jobs.
They are sometimes paid less than their male counterparts. All the while, they are quite normally expected to produce and raise a family.
The social stereotypes and expectations set on women have managed to stay alive throughout centuries and continue to be passed down to new generations today.
We continue to tell our little girls that they cannot join in with the neighborhood boys in sports or other activities because “it’s not a girl’s game.”
Girls are expected not to rough house, even at a young age where it is normal. They are pushed toward baby dolls, pretty Barbies and dollhouses. Their play toys are not often construction toys, toy doctor kits or footballs.
As they grow older it is drilled into their minds that they will be the co-head of a household, never truly in charge, because the concept of “the man of the house” is still around.
Although it is now encouraged that everyone go to school and pursue higher education in order to be professionals, women are constantly being pushed for other things.
We are expected to raise a family and from a young age are taught to do domestic chores seeing as we will someday have to care for our children, as well as a full grown man.
I always hated when my mother would put emphasis on the fact that I had to know how to cook or clean because I am a girl. That would usually be followed by my grandmother scolding me and saying I couldn’t just lay around like a boy.
The thought of a woman not bearing children continues to be foreign and strange to others. People often tell my aunt, who is childless and closing in on forty years old, that she “still has time.” Even though she has decided she does not want children.
In certain cultures, due to the machismo that is alive and well, it is males who are more privileged, often very unequal in comparison to the girls in their family.
I saw this often with my friend whose father always put his son, although younger and rebellious, before his three daughters in terms of material possessions, chores and discipline.
The fact that women are still considered less than men even though they are also doctors, lawyers and soldiers fighting alongside in wars and impacting the world as much as they are, is terrible.
It is not understandable for me and I don’t think it should be accepted.
This mindset in society is ridiculously outdated and although there is still much to change before we can consider it improved, it is things like women’s history month that remind us of the power that women hold.