In America, we pride ourselves on being an extremely “progressive” society that allows all our citizens to excel in whatever dreams they wish to pursue. But in reality, how truly accepting are we of those individuals that go against the socially accepted roles for each gender?
Do we applaud those who go against the norms of our society, or do we chastise them for doing what is considered unacceptable based on gender?
The truth is wetend to look down on those who don’t fit into the proper gender-role categories that we have constructed for them.
But what is keeping these ideals in place? If we are as progressive as we claim to be, then why are these antiquated social norms still around?
Though we’re living in 2008, it seems many people live in the 1950s mindset. This is when women were allowed to work until they got married and had children, at which point their main focus in life would be to raise a family.
Granted, there is nothing wrong with focusing on raising a family, but to expect women of 2008 to follow such old social roles is unrealistic.
These gender roles aren’t only a female issue either; even men must deal with the hardships of taking on a role that isn’t socially acceptable by our culture.
It doesn’t take a nuclear scientist to realize you can’t totally progress as a society until you begin to bend and mold the societal norms of the past to fit the appropriate time period of the future.
Women shouldn’t be expected to forgo the careers they’ve strived so hard to achieve, just to move to the suburbs to raise a family by 25 because that’s what was expected 40 years ago. Men shouldn’t be expected to skip college and head right into the workforce after high school so they can support a family.
Times change, societies change, occupations change – so why wouldn’t gender expectations evolve as well?
The country is all about progression, but change still frightens us.
What if a woman were to become president of the U.S.? What if marijuana were to become legalized?
What if there was no ban on gay marriage? Would the world come to an end?
We all know the answer, but we’re afraid to acknowledge that the world has undergone a change. So should these ancient gender-roles that we expect our “proper” citizens to adhere to.
For some reason, we hang onto the “white picket fence/full-time housewife/Leave it to Beaver” ideal for dear life, even though it’s basically extinct in our society.
Mike McLafferty is a senior magazine production student from Port Charlotte. He can be reached at McLafferty@t-mobile.com.