1. Is it harder for men or women to defy gender expectations?
The definition of gender goes further than mere identification of the sex of an individual and the roles, which are stereotypically assigned to each gender. Nowadays the world is changing so fast that gender roles may vary depending on the individual and one’s personality traits. For this reason, I suppose that it is wrong to say that it is harder for men or women to defy gender expectations in contemporary society. Nevertheless, women, being more emotional than men, are much more concerned with how they are perceived and judged by their peers, whether men are more concerned with supporting their status for personal satisfaction. Both genders equally try to subdue to their gender expectations, thus each basing on their own reasons.
2. Is it more difficult for women to behave in ways assigned to male gender roles in our society, or is it more difficult for men to behave in ways assigned to female gender roles in our society?
Since the establishment of the feminist movement and fight for equality between men and women, it is often expected from women to subdue to some male gender roles. In addition, in today’s world women are also expected to lose some of their feminine traits in order to become closer to the male gender roles. Although, with the introduction of everyday changes into the gender roles, men are now also expected to enhance some of the female gender roles, such as tidiness, doing the chores and spending quality time with children. Some emotional female gender traits are also attributed to men: romantic insights, sensibility and sensitivity, interpersonal communication skills. I do not think it is difficult for both genders to pursue opposite gender roles, especially if they feel like it. It is good for the personal fulfillment of an individual to experience and develop both male and female sides of the self.
3. What concrete examples can you give that show it is harder for one gender or another to defy gender expectations?
I suppose it might be harder for a woman to defy the gender expectations for two reasons. First, women are expected to become a wife, a mother and a good householder, as it had been their role for centuries. A woman, who chooses not to have a family is still frowned upon. Whereas, a man who does not own a house, a car and has not yet found his place in society is just considered unlucky or still pertaining in the search of the meaning of the life.
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