The gender roles in my household and many of my friends’ households were stereotypical due to conservative beliefs. My family and many of my friends either held Christian or Mormon beliefs, so traditional gender roles were the standard. Both of my parents went to work although some of my friend’s moms stayed at home and took care of the household. I do not personally think that stereotypical gender roles are wrong, but just a way of looking at the spectrum of roles that anyone can take. Will I want a wife that falls into the traditional pattern? I think I will because I have grown up in a social circle that promotes that and I personally take the beliefs of my parents. There has been science that shows that children usually grow up to be similar to their parents and have similar biases. Preferences for roles that men and women take in society are no exception.
I am happy with the way traditional roles affect men and women, but there are some uncomfortable and ugly aspects to these roles. Since my perception of myself does not perfectly line up with expectations of men; my role can never perfectly align with traditional roles. I am not a strong man, I am not a loud aggressive man, and I do show my emotions. I do not like the way stereotypical gender roles force the man to be aggressive towards his own partner and dominate them solely because they are a man. I do not want to be exactly like the adults that I grew up seeing. I want to more equally take into account everyone’s opinion when I am trying to make a decision and if I have to, defer to someone else to make a challenging decision that I might not be able to make. Men admitting that they do not know how to do something is not seen as stereotypically masculine.
I am aware that women are usually seen as more willing to help out and do the house chores but I was shocked at the differences and problems this causes for women. I was shocked to see that women who do not help do “office housework” are seen as less than men who do not help around the office. If the work was split up more evenly then women could contribute more to a company which allows for more diverse ideas being heard. When men contributed to fetching water from the well, overall greater community prosperity ensued. This same concept is applicable to all the businesses in operation today. I was also unaware of the sexual harassment that occurs in STEM fields. It is hard to care about something that I have never seen happen in my entire life, and I have never had anyone tell me that this has happened to them.
The main things I took away from the readings were mostly just opening my eyes to just how prevalent sexual harassment and misallocation of monotonous chores are. It makes me want to pursue more equality in housework by communicating openly about how everyone feels about the work. Some people might like housekeeping and stay at home so obviously having a fair even split does not make sense. Sexual harassment needs to stop, but I have never been a witness to it so there really is not anything I can do at this point. I am more aware of the inequities that face women and awareness is the first step to solving the bigger problem.