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Gender Roles in Utopian Societies Essay

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Although Utopian societies create an ideal sense of what society should be like, not all Utopian societies share the same beliefs when it comes to overall gender roles. The male may come off as the stronger, wiser individual, whereas the female is the more fragile character in the background. We wonder if the roles could reverse or how can these roles differ in certain societies. In Sir Thomas More’s Utopia, males play the dominant role when it comes to society, whereas in Looking Backward by Edward Bellamy focuses on female-dominated aspects of society. Utopia by Sir Thomas More depicts men to be the deciders when it comes to creating a family of their own. In the section Of Their Slaves and Of Their Marriages, More begins the idea of…show more content…
It is interesting though when More says “Yet if either of the injured persons cannot shake off the love of the married person, they may live with them still in that state, but they must follow them to that labour to which the slaves are condemned” (92-93), meaning that if the person who was cheated still loves the cheater, they can go off and be a slave with them. More’s Utopia may give off the stigma of males being the typical person in charge, but Edward Bellamy’s Looking Backward switches that idea around. Julian West wakes from a deep sleep to find out his society has completely changed; Doctor Leete, who found West in his sleep, updates him on all the changes. At one point, West asks if female roles have made any changes; Leete tells him that their roles have evolved. Leete tells West: “…‘Our women, as well as our men, are members of the industrial army, and leave it only when maternal duties claim them. The result is that most women, at one time or another of their lives, serve industrially some five or ten or fifteen years, while those who have no children fill out the full term’” (Bellamy, 267). Women are now working and making their own decisions; they can still be mothers when they need to be. And if the woman does not want to get married, she doesn’t have to, whereas in Utopia, a woman or man was imprisoned
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