jdeena

Never settle for what is…come tomorrow it will be what was

Month: April, 2015

The Evolution of Gender Roles

So lately I’ve had multiple debates about the roles of men and women in today’s society. Take a step away from cultural roles, because that’s a topic in itself. I am talking about the roles men and women play NOW, in 2015. It may seem that we have come a long way since the early 1900’s, and even towards the end of the 20th century women were starting to rise as powerful, professional members of society. But now, in 2015, with the possibility of a female president in our next election, I have seen many people (men and women alike) who have already started to advocate against Hillary as president. Their reason? She is a female, and therefore she should retreat into the role she was meant to fill: mother, wife, and respectable citizen of society- let the men run society.

It frustrates me when I hear these comments on radio, TV, and scrolling through my timeline on Facebook. Why shouldn’t she be president? Politics aside (because I don’t want to open that can, and I don’t want people assuming I do or do not support her), I think it is unfair to say that today, in 2015, we should not consider it an option to have a female president. Some excuses I’ve heard are: women are too emotional, she won’t be logical in her decisions, she will be neglecting her family, and she will give other women the idea that they can run for politics.

Well, DUH!

We need more people like Hillary. We need more women who are willing to step over that “line” that was drawn to segregate the genders. Why shouldn’t a woman be the CEO, the VP, the Senator, the President….if she is, in fact, perfectly qualified to do so? Just because she has certain anatomy that differs from that of a male, she should be punished? I never understand what people are thinking when they say things like “that’s not a role for women.” What is, then?

And, for that matter, who decided what role women should play in society? Who decided that women should be home taking care of the kids? Why is it not seen as masculine when the man stays home to raise the kids while his partner works? Or is that seen as noble and progressive? And if it is, why then when a women steps out of the home to work and pursue a career she is seen as selfish?

Our view of gender roles needs to change if we ever want to progress as a society. The sooner people realize that women are just as capable as men in holding a career and excelling at it, the easier it will be for people to sustain long-lasting, healthy relationships. One of the biggest obstacles I hear from females wanting to meet someone is that their life is unconventional from those who were married ten years ago, and so they are viewed as being unrelenting and difficult. But why? Why can’t the male be seen that way NOW, and for the last 100 years? And yet, when a woman decides to follow her goals, she is now being judged? Seems a bit unfair.

I met a girl who is a doctor, and she said that while she was studying to become a doctor, she was judged by people for being to driven, and not wanting to jump into marriage right after college. They asked her why she bothered with becoming a doctor. Then, when she was finally a doctor, people are now telling her she is arrogant about being a doctor and that she will never get married because men don’t want a woman who is more successful than them. Um…that doesn’t sound like it’s her problem. Sounds like some men are too insecure to be with a woman who has her shit together. That’s your problem guys, not ours.

I am not being unreasonable here. I am not saying men need to start carrying the child, and I am not saying women need to treat men the same way women were treated by men all these years- as second-class citizens and housewives. No, I am suggesting that women stand up and fight for what they believe is best for themselves, and for men to set aside their pride and old traditions to support these women. It is okay for a man to be proud of a woman who is driven, successful, and confident. It does not make you less of a man, I swear! But to continue to demean and degrade women who are making strides and following their dreams WILL make you look like less of a man.

I hope that with the emergence of social media and the plethora of stories and articles showcasing the achievements of great women, there will come a day when the question of gender roles will cease to exist. However, it could very well be that women will continue to make great strides while fighting this gender equality battle.

That, in itself, should show you how determined we will be.

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Don’t Hate Me Because I’m Busy

It seems that lately there’s been a pattern in my dating lifestyle. I meet a guy, we start talking, and within a week he’s gone. Reason? I’m too busy for him.

Seriously?

I can’t help it that I have a life filled with family, events, extra-curricular activities, and a consuming job. Now, before you roll your eyes and tell me I sound like a bitch, read on. This is not to say that when I have the time I don’t use it to connect with someone; I do. But to be punished for being busy is completely unfair. I am aware that meeting someone is hard, and I am willing to compromise certain things when the time comes. However, when you ask me to ditch my mom or skip a work call I have at night, I have to say that doesn’t put you in a favorable light.

I think this issue also goes back to the idea that over the years, women have usually had to make themselves available to men. A woman’s role is in society was that of someone who was ready to drop everything to be with a guy. Her career definitely came second, and if she ever tried to fight this role, she was categorized as unyielding and cold-hearted.

I have always tried to figure out why men expect that from women, and I have yet to figure it out. Let’s throw out an example for reference. If we were introduced today, and you wanted to hang out this weekend, I’d say no. I already have plans. But does that make me a bitch because I won’t cancel them? If they are important to me, shouldn’t you be able to understand that? I have a hard time thinking that I should skip an event I’d been planning on going to for months, just because we met today.

Now, you may be thinking “well, would you expect a guy to do that for you?” HELL NO. If a guy dropped everything just to hang out with me for the first time, I’d find it a bit desperate and irrational. And I’d never want someone to ditch their plans they’ve had for a while. If you have something planned, I’d understand. Just like I’d expect you to understand if the tables were turned.

So, what is the solution? I think it’s important that both genders realize that the roles have changed over the years. Women have taken on more responsibility and are focusing more on careers and personal interests. That does not make someone a bad person. I honestly would like to think that a guy would be impressed by that, or at least appreciative of it. Women also need to realize that men are not going to automatically drop everything for them, and since the role of women has changed, they have to take the change that comes with it.

There needs to be more dialogue between men and women. And men need to be receptive to listening to women and trying to understand where we come from. Just because a woman is focusing on her career and has established a lifestyle filled with activities, it doesn’t mean she will not welcome a partner when the time is right. But please try and be more understanding. It’s frustrating to us when we are constantly being punished for things not in our control. If you are important to us, we’ll make time for you.