Essay on Gender Roles

2053 Words Oct 16th, 1999 9 Pages
Gender Roles

Children learn from their parents and society the conception of
"feminine" and "masculine." Much about these conceptions is not biological at all but cultural. The way we tend to think about men and women and their gender roles in society constitute the prevailing paradigm that influences out thinking.
Riane Eisler points out that the prevailing paradigm makes it difficult for us to analyze properly the roles of men and women in prehistory "we have a cultural bias that we bring to the effort and that colors our decision-making processes."
Sexism is the result of that bias imposed by our process of acculturation.

Gender roles in Western societies have been changing rapidly in recent years, with the changes created both
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As women entered the early 1990s, they faced a number of problems.
Most of these problems have been around for some time, and women have challenged them and even alleviated them without solving them completely. They are encountered in the workplace, in the home, in every facet of life. Women have made advances toward the equality they seek only to encounter a backlash in the form of religious fundamentalism, claims of reverse discrimination by males, and hostility from a public that thinks the women's movement has won everything it wanted and should thus now be silent. Both the needs of women today and the backlash that has developed derive from the changes in social and sexual roles that have taken place in the period since World War II. These changes involve the new ability of women to break out of the gender roles created for them by a patriarchal society.

The desperation women feel has been fed throughout history by the practice of keeping women in their place by limiting their options. This was accomplished on one level by preventing women from gaining their the sort of education offered to men, and while this has changed to a great extent, there are still inequalities in the

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