Gender And Gender Roles

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Why should your gender determine how to live your life? Throughout my whole existence, I’ve been told to act and dress like a “girl” by most of my family. I never understood why it was such a huge deal, until I was much older. Gender expectations are still around today and they still continue to be affect the way men and women are treated. A man that acts within his own gender role is praised, but a woman is forced to stay in a certain limit within her role. Men and women shouldn't let their gender define themselves and it should not pressure them to live up to a certain standard created by society.

One of the major ways why gender expectations have a huge impact on our lives is through family. Parents tend to teach their kids the importance of their specific gender. Sometimes, there comes a point when it takes it a step too far. Sandra Cisneros talks about her own personal troubles with her father in “Only Daughter”. Cisneros was the only daughter in her family of six other brothers. Her traditional Mexican family made it even more difficult for her to express herself, since Mexican families are known to strongly believe in gender roles. She was always overlooked among the rest of kids, since she was the only girl. Her father believed that her future was already planned out for her, so he didn’t worry about her. Even when she told her dad about her plans for college, it seemed like he was excited for her, but “ I didn’t realize that my father thought college good for girls- good for finding a husband.” (Cisneros) If that doesn’t lower expectations of girls, I don’t know what does. The only thing she was fighting for was her father’s support. Everything she has ever written was aimed for him. She needed her father to value her just as much as he valued his sons. Fortunately, she got her father to read her story and he asked her for more copies for the family. Cisneros didn’t let the label of being “the only daughter” stop her from getting what she wanted. She wasn’t going to allow her gender to define her aspirations and goals.

The biggest thing that identifies gender expectations is what happens within a relationship or a marriage. It was always decided that a man should be the one with a job and to make

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