Gender roles in modern society/double standards
Hey I wanted to get people’s opinions on gender roles in society today. There are double standards everywhere, especially in the sex and dating scene. Examples: it’s okay for men to sleep with 10 girls, but if a girl does, then she’s a slut. Or women (rightfully!) demanding equal rights as men, but still managing to hold the man responsible for restaurant bills and other things like that. It’s interesting to see how people assign gender roles, and why.
I honestly it’s the way people were brought up. Those old ideals of men supposedly being “gentlemen” are still lingering around. So people remember those things because they’ve heard something like “this is how things are suppose to be” from either a parent or friend who has those ideals.
I think with the newer generation that those ideals are starting to fade and the relationships are on an equal level between both men and women, but there will probably always be that hint of the whole “men always pay for the meals” and “women are expected to be loyal to one man”.
People enjoy placing each other in categories and labeling them and expecting certain things of them/ridiculing when they don’t fulfill expectations because they need a way to make sense of the world. A lot of people freak out at the notion that there may be some things they don’t understand, or that not everyone is predictable. I call this being lazy and misguided, and instead of hating these people like I once did, I pity them. All we can do is be living examples that stereotypes are bullshit. I surprise people all the time.
Haha, I like that Ellie.
@Alexander, yea I see what you mean. I just find it interesting that in all the relationships around me, women expect men to be the breadwinners still. Even though men and women both work and in some relationships, a woman might have a better job than the man.
It’s instinct to act our gender roles, it’s in our biology and neurochemistry. Men are the protectors, providers, leaders. Women raise the children, emotional support, community, social connections that sort of thing. It’s just how we’re made. We’re not bound to them but obviously it’s going to show up in behavioral patterns, especially in those less educated and more primitive (and therefore instinctive).
I have to disagree. ‘Sex’ is biological. ‘Gender’ is created by humanity. The reason why girls wear pink and boys wear blue isn’t based on our biology and neurochemistry, it’s based on what society has deemed right for male and female.
@Lauren I’ll agree with that. And to add to your response earlier. Maybe you’re just hanging around the wrong types of people! Haha, but I get what you mean. I know a few people that are like that as well. When I get into relationships, I like both the me and the female to be of equal expression and importance in all aspects. Obviously, biologically there are going to be differences, but as far as emotions and interactions. I feel like the need to be on the same level, it works better to, because you can understand each other more and there is no hierarchal warfare going on.
I don’t know about that, I don’t think it came from nowhere. I would say that it’s formed from ancient neurological patterns in our brain. Animals behave according to their gender roles (although sometimes reversed, but still). I wasn’t talking about what colours are associated with different genders (though that could probably be explained by evolution as well), but certainly we do behave animalistically at some level.
Men and women are equal, but not the same.
Hmm I’m not sure we’re all talking about the same thing here. I’m talking about gender roles – men being protectors, providers and leaders, and women being the child-raising, emotional side. This is not formed by men simply forcing this on women, it came from evolution. It’s necessary for a species to have counterparts, ying and yang. We will never be the same as each other, but we are of equal importance. We have a right to do the same things – work, raise children, be who we want to be, but you can’t possibly suggest that we are the same underneath our social conventions.
But to juxtapose that, couldn’t it be said that society has changed what roles men and women are biologically meant to portray? Hence men being metrosexual or women being the main source of income for the families or something of that sort. I think it’s a very skewed line on that subject. I don’t nescassly believe that men are meant to be “protectors, providers, and leaders” and women being “child-raising, emotional side” beings. Especially in today’s generation, it could easily be flipped or both roles could be shared.
That’s what I’m saying that, both male and female roles in life seemed to be more shared nowadays, rather than it being “Men are this way, and women are that way”. I feel like there is much more grey area than just black and white. (If that makes any sort of sense.) hahaha
@Alexander, yea I agree completely.
@Nic, I think that is what I’m suggesting. I think to say that men and women have these roles hardwired into them is a provincial thought, not to offend. The fact that I work out and also have 2 jobs is evidence that I can both protect and provide. The fact that many women don’t want to have children in this modern society is evidence that we have other desires, that we aren’t instantly programmed to want to have babies. The fact that there are single parents out there, doubling up on the responsibilities shows that we aren’t limited nor predestined to fulfill certain duties. And as you said, some animal’s responsibilities are switched. What makes us act the way we do? I think it came from long ago, when men clearly dominated the scene, deciding that since they’re bigger and stronger, they decide who does what.
My boyfriend cleans the apartment most of the time (mild case of undiagnosed OCD) and I’m the one good with directions.
Matt J, men also call women sluts. Personally, I 100% disagree with that word. Someone else’s sexual habits are no business of mine or anyone but the parties involved, for that matter. I think if people should be made fun of for anything it should be stuff like judging someone else’s sex life.
I think the mere fact that this is a discussion is evidence to why the thought of a “double standard” was created. If we were all just following our base animal instincts maybe us men would be out screwing every woman we could and women would be caring for our offspring in order to further our species. The fact that we have a consciousness is the reason we can actually reflect on where our society is, where it has been, and what we wish our roles in our society to be. Maybe the actual double standard is we all want to have our cake and eat it too. We all subconsciously have that natural need to fulfill our gender duties but our conscious selves battle with those instincts because we are actually able to think about what we want and how we want to live.
Personally, I still feel weird not paying for a meal or something like that but I still have the utmost respect when the girl says “No, I’m paying” and follows through. We also have these ideas of chivalry and romanticism wired into our brains that we are also battling like men pay, open the door. . .so even though we want equality, it is still nice when a man acts like a man and a lady is treated like a lady, but not entirely necessary anymore. People who use the word “slut” or anything to that effect are just judgmental children who let their jealousy an ignorance get the better of them.
Disclaimer: I am a pretty chicken guy when it comes to fighting. Totally a “turn the other cheeker”, more than most guys I know so this isn’t meant to be boasting –
One May many years ago, I was walking on train tracks in the middle of the night with a friend of mine, a girl. We heard some noises from the hillside beside the tracks, thought “hey maybe we’ve got company”. Then, there were several coyotes just a few feet in front of us, baring teeth and snarling. May is when coyotes have pups in the den so they were most likely protecting their pups, otherwise I think they would have left us alone. They meant business.
The cool moment was discovering that Nicole had positioned herself directly behind me, and I had taken a big rock in one hand and a heavy stick in the other. I don’t know where I grabbed them from in the dark and “turn and run” never crossed my mind, my mind was in fact totally empty. There was no “I’m going to save my friend” logic – I had no interest in being any sort of hero. But I was ready to literally throw myself to the wolves to protect her. We slowly backed away and everything worked out fine.
When we talked about it later, she didn’t even remember getting behind me, either. Adrenaline and instinct just took over.
I believe that society (and parents) do way too much programming as far as what girls and boys are “supposed” to do. My wife and I cook together and we do home repairs together, and our son and daughter participate in everything. But I was surprised to learn how deeply encoded “protect the female” was in my DNA.
Why not just treat each other as human beings? What does it matter about someone’s sex/gender role….?
If you are a man and you open a door for a woman or give your seat up on the bus for a woman, on the premise that she is a woman, then you are demonstrating a very basic sexist/genderist attitude. An action that basically says “You are not strong enough to open this door” or “Here have my seat, you are too weak to stand while on the bus.”
If you are a woman, should you be offended by this?
How about doing these things just because you want to be polite and help other people with doors? Or giving your seat up because another person (not a gender) looks like they need to sit down on the bus instead of standing?
On the double standard: Suppose there is a key that can open every lock in the world, that’s a pretty good key right? Now suppose there is a lock that can be opened by every key in the world, that’s a pretty shitty lock right?
(I saw this on a internet meme comic so you know it’s true)
Seems a lot like nature to me. Look at various animals, I can’t think of an animal at the top of my head where in a pack or herd where there is 1 female and 10 males in it. Often it is the other way around where there is 1 male to 10 females. Then if any danger comes of the females the males usually defend them. Look at birds, male birds are very colorful and do some sort of ritual to attract a female, not the female attracts the male. Just throwing out comparisons. Maybe it’s the whole idea of early human times where it was necessary to have many children so there was a higher chance that they would have some of the children survive infant deaths. In order to have so many children all you needed was one man and many women and that idea is an underlying reason men look at having sex with a lot of women a positive thing. Hard to say.
Keenan I’ve gotta call you out on saying we should all treat each other like human beings, regardless of gender, and then comparing dicks to keys and vaginas to locks. You are making a huge distinction there. I know it is just a joke/internet meme but it reflects a lot of real attitudes that only reinforce the polarization and double standards.
If you care about society’s roles at all, you’re just messing with yourself. You decide your own role, don’t care what others think. The old ideals are dumb, the feministic ideals are even dumber. When two idiots fight you don’t pick a side, you mind your own business and let them take care of their shit, don’t sink to their level.
There are natural roles though, and most of society’s roles are based on these. The reason why promiscuous men are praised and promiscuous women are not is due to our biology. Humans work in groups, they have a hierarchy, there’s an alpha couple etc. just like most other mammals. A man can impregnate lots of women in a short time and stays fertile for most of his life, a woman can only get pregnant roughly once a year and she becomes infertile when she ages. The most resourceful male gets to mate with the women he chooses, just like with any other animal, this is nature’s way of making sure the best genes are passed on. It’s our nature, we can’t hide from it. I’m not a chauvinist, and I agree that women should have as much sex as they want, but most people who think so completely ignore the fact that we have natural gender roles.
The whole slut thing is ridiculous too. Women call eachother sluts and hate on eachother for their sluttiness, some boys do this to women too. Men don’t. Well, I call some women sluts but there’s nothing negative about it. A woman who fucks lots of guys is a slut, that’s the truth, but that’s not a bad thing. It’s completely neutral, everything else is just opinion. A slut is a slut, that’s the way it is. If you wanna be a slut, be a slut and enjoy being a slut. If you don’t, then enjoy that, don’t judge other people’s choices. Mind your own business :)
You are who you decide to be. That’s the only role you will ever have. While your body and your core is either man or woman, your mind is whatever you want it to be.
If I go by what Manimal says, guys need to stop calling women choosy ice-queens and hard to get. Biologically speaking, if you’re going to commit a few fertile years to carrying out and then nursing a specific male’s offspring, you better mind your choice well. Especially that there are only so many babies a woman can birth before she wastes away and doesn’t recoup, (whew, especially in today’s world). She better pick someone who will make sure she isn’t running away from a lion while breast-feeding a child and killing a hare on the run for a later supper, while she’s at it. So, I don’t think its natural for men to just freely disperse their seeds. This creates a notion that moms are the only parent fully responsible for the child’s welfare and males are just males. Mother nature intended for men to cooperate towards the baby’s upbringing for about the same amount of time as the mother. This sticking to the impregnated/ nursing partner (which also shows as a natural pheromone bond of optimum two years or a bit more) leaves males with roughly the same amount of times to have sex as their female partner. Both partners are ready to go and funky time new mates after that (assuming their baby isn’t going to be an deviant jobless teenager in the jungle, unable to get with the program of the tribe and not walk into lions). So, there isn’t a natural male license to dispense sperm like an irrigation system. I can see how that is convenient though, since they don’t leave with a responsibility of a large and kicking baby hump or a screaming pink infant and two heavy breasts. I get it, males are naturally drawn to optimal amount of distribution of “possibilities”, but naturally-speaking there shouldn’t be a large ratio difference between amounts males and females having sex. Males *might* be biologically more preoccupied with sexual partners which is normal since its up to females to be instead occupied with the pick-the-right-partner-with-the-right-character, naturally speaking. And, if humans were like animals with the whole males sexin’ and females nursin’, we wouldn’t have very involved and evolved children since they wouldn’t be raised very properly at infancy and wouldn’t develop those crucial connections that leave some neglected human babies as permanent “feral children” (or Mouglis, “naturally-speaking”). : )
Matt J – Those situations are different. You want the women and children to jump first from a sinking ship because women have a higher biological value and risk for producing offspring. If something has a higher biological value, when it is lost it does greater damage to society.
Ellie – Sometimes its fun to post intentionally contradictory statements so as to see a contrast of views. In reality, men who have a lot of sex are just as big of sluts as women who have a lot of sex.
I think the truth may be somewhere in what Manimal AND Woodsy said.
Question: If I have casual sex with a lot of people that I happen to have very deep and meaningful friendships with, does that make me a “slut”?
Yes. Close your legs already Keenan ;)
But in all seriousness, by the definition of the word, yeah it would. I don’t know if any of you have heard of the “slut walks” but it’s basically about women reclaiming that word and trying to get rid of the negative connotation. There is a phenomenon called “slut shaming” where people who have sex are made to feel guilty about it. It’s absolutely nonsensical, and just another excuse to judge others and try to put yourself above them. I have always said I see nothing wrong with sex as long as no deception is involved, whatever the quantity and variety of partners there are.
Well we’re pack animals, the mating male will mate with women of his tribe rather than those of other tribes. You want to keep your close ones, well, close. Especially your lovers and offspring, the male and female that had sexy time chose eachother for a reason and will stay together. That’s how a pack works. This means the father will still be around (as will other males) when the child grows up, the whole idea of a lack of father is based on the notion that primal society was like our current fucked up society. Of course it wasn’t, primal society was sane and functional, just like the people in it. It’s the way of nature, it’s what we’re optimized for.
The mother is the one that is responsible for the main raising of the child, she does it best and the father has other things to do. Like defending the tribe and hunting, the things that make the very raising of children possible. Men and women are very different, we’re optimized for completely different tasks, we complete eachother perfectly. Two spoons aren’t as practical as a fork and a knife. Nothing to cut with, nothing to skewer with, just two dull identical utensils that are simply the wrong solution.
It’s a fact in a group of people, the females are most attracted to the same guy. The guy that has the best traits that she’s hardwired to desire. This goes along with the fact that a woman get pregnant and give birth to one child, then has to wait for her body to revert to normal before she can get pregnant again, while a man can impregnate women continuously. This is so the best traits will be carried on. Of course group dynamics change, which means that the state of “most desired” male or female is passed on to others. This makes sure there’s plenty of variety and no inbreeding, and it helps keep the group connected.
This has been perfected over millions and millions of years, it’s ingenious and so flawless. Trying to change something like that is the calamity of our current society, the ego based cravings to manipulate things, things that are already perfect. Men and women are perfect when they just relax into what they really are. Men and women are equal, because of our differences. Take away the differences and you’re ruining the balance. This is why we have misogyny and sexism, people value the trait of one sex (usually male) higher than the other. We’re perfect by nature, we complete eachother. That’s why we love and desire eachother.
@Ellie Yeah! Sluts shouldn’t be ashamed of who they are. Sluts just like sex very much, and sex is awesome, how could any sane person hate on that?