Last Updated 23 Mar 2023

Gender Roles in fairytales

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Reflective Response: Analyzing Gender Roles Gender Bias is still very evident in our society and I believe it is also still present in Fairy tales. Despite how far we've come in equality between genders, children's fairy tales still tend to advertise the gender bias and stereotypes set upon men and women. Many of these stories depict their male heroes as powerful, tough, and dominant, and their female counterparts as selflessly dedicated and submissive damsels in distress. Children absorb these messages from a very young age, through their exposure to fairy tales in media such as storybooks, children's films and

TV shows. These messages give them the impression that the only way to be happy is to fulfill the traits of the ideal male/female figure. Little girls frequently dream of becoming the beautiful princesses while little boys strive to be the mighty brave knights, warriors and fighters. Many stereotypes appear in Disney movies, for example Cinderella displays apparent gender bias, stereotypes and discrimination. This movie shows the classic storyline; the courageous, fearless prince charming saves the helpless weak princess from doom.

Cinderella is characterized as a tender earted girl who passively accepts her fate which is to live with her evil step-mother and step-sisters. Her life doesn't change until prince charming takes an interest in her and swoops in to save her from her miserable life by becoming not only her one true love, but also her sole provider. This is an evident example of Disney portraying women as weak and docile. Cinderella does not stand up for herself but has to wait for a man to do it for her. This stereotypical storyline teaches young children how they must be to be accepted in society; boys must be strong, girls must be weak.

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This kind of message is engrained into young girl's minds that they have no control over their lives and must wait for a strong male fgure to save them. These tales teach girls to be passive and dependant because any female characters that break these norms are depicted as an evil. If a woman is strong, independent and speaks her mind (stereotypical male traits), she is seen as nothing but obnoxious or a "bitch". Not only are girls affected by these gender stereotypes throughout fairy tales but boys are taught to be the leader, to be strong, emotionless and aggressive giving many young oys aggression problems later in life.

These stereotypes give men the impression girls are weak and need some sort of saviour in their life leading them to treat women like they are doing them a favor by simply being with them. All these images help to construct a cultural norm of male dominance. The depiction of forceful and aggressive men and tender and loving women teaches children that these are the norms of society and this is how you should act, when in reality you can be any of these traits no matter what gender. Gender Roles in fairytales By frankiem29

Gender Roles in Society Narrative Essay

Gender Roles Gender roles are affected by the typical roles society expects both men and women to fit into because they determine how we should think, speak, dress, and interact within the context of society. Whereas I believe that men and women should be who they want to be. Society has many expectations on men; men are supposed to be brave and stronger than woman. An article on The Social Roles of Men and Women states “It is not enough for a man to be male; he also has to appear masculine. ” People believe that men should be bold, strong, and powerful but that’s not always the case.

Men should act the way they want! Just because society or their parents expect them to be masculine doesn’t mean they have to. Another example from The Social Roles of Men and Women adds “Traditionally, fathers teach boys how to fix and build things. ” I’m sure everyone expects men to teach their sons how to fix or build things. Some fathers don’t even follow this concept with their sons. Sometimes when these kids grow up and don’t know how to build or fix things there are looked at differently as if they are worthless.

Moreover from a different article Gender and Society says "Men have always been afraid that women could get along without them. " This quote is basically stating that men think that women can live without them, when in reality they can. Men are afraid of this because they believe that women should stay home, keep the house clean and have dinner waiting for them once they come back from work. Men shouldn’t be afraid that women can be independent; I think it’s great that women can be independent and not rely on anyone but themselves. Society also has many expectations on women too; women are usually looked at as being nicer than men.

The article The Social Roles of Men and Women says “A woman, in addition to being female, must also be feminine. ” Society believes that all women should be beautiful, smart, and lovely. I believe that all women are beautiful the way they are; they don’t have to try their best to look their best because having a beautiful heart is what really matters. Everyone in this world is smart in their own way so people in society need to stop judging because both men and women are smart. Another example from The Social Roles of Men and Women claims that “that women are naturally passive. I strongly disagree with this statement because women are definitely not lifeless and inactive. We women are very active and independent now a days. We support and raise our children without men. The last example is one that Thandie Newton mentioned “[We assume] that the self is an actual living thing, but it's not. It's a projection which our clever brains create in order to cheat ourselves from the reality of death. ” Newton shows us how she believes that society does have an effect on gender roles because she says our”self” is something created by our brains and ultimately society.

Although men and women have different expectations in society, they both are affected by typical roles society expects them to live by. For example in the article Gender and Society it states "costume, a mask, a straitjacket in which men and women dance their unequal dance. " I think this quote is telling us that gender is not real because it’s saying gender is a “costume”. Also when the quote says “dance their unequal dance” it means that no matter if you’re a man or woman, they both are unequal.

The last example from Gender and Society tells us “For instance, men and women who feel that they do not fit the masculine and feminine stereotypes, or who resent them as too restrictive, may also develop ambiguous feelings about their biological sex. ” I believe that people shouldn’t care about what society expects from them. Just because men are supposed to be masculine and women are supposed to be feminine doesn’t mean you don’t fit in. You should not be confused about your sex because all that matters in the end is that you’re happy for the real person you are not the fake person you’re trying to be to fit in.

To conclude gender roles are affected by the typical roles society expects us to fit into because they determine the context of society. Society has many expectations on men and women. Men are looked at as being strong, powerful, and bold; whereas women are looked at as being clean, smart and lovely. Although men and women have different expectations in society we should not care about what society thinks and care about what we think. Men and women should be able to be who they want to be! Not someone they don’t want to be. MLA “Gender and Society: A Matter of Nature or Nurture? Gender and Society: A Matter of Nature or Nurture? N. p. , n. d. Web. 06 Nov. 2012. ;http://www. trinity. edu/mkearl/gender. html;. "The Social Roles of Men and Women. " The Social Roles of Men and Women. N. p. , n. d. Web. 06 Nov. 2012. ;http://www2. hu-berlin. de/sexology/ATLAS_EN/html/the_social_roles_of_men_and_wo. html;. "Thandie Newton: Embracing Otherness, Embracing Myself. " TED: Ideas worth Spreading. N. p. , n. d. Web. 06 Nov. 2012. ;http://www. ted. com/talks/thandie_newton_embracing_otherness_embracing_myself. html;.

Gender Roles Critical Essay

The “long held stereotype of the typical family” has become a thing in the past. More and more do we see both men and women seeking work outside of the home in order to provide a stable household? In today’s society, a woman who stays home is often considered as lazy or useless, which is far from true according to the long held stereotype. Although men and women have had a history of pushing boundaries and breaking free of their specific gender roles in the past, our people as a whole haven’t learned from these courageous examples.

Instead, there are traditional ways in which our children are molded from long held ideals which have survived throughout many years and continue to segregate men and women apart. Certain occupations and many careers continue to devalue women and glue them as far away from greater opportunities. The media has also become the biggest influence in pushing men and women to conform to their gender appropriate roles. As a child, we are raised by the ideals and beliefs that our family and for many generations have considered to be important.

Such ideals include children identifying their sex and determining what is considered to be appropriate for their gender. For example, toy stores are typically segregated, often seeing the boy toys separated from the girl toys. The color trend is also apparent in which blue is identified with boys and pink will quickly be assumed for a girl. Boys are also burdened by a secret code, which is commonly titled as the “Boy Code”.

The Boy Code is a somewhat strict set of rules in which they are expected to be rough, independent and rather emotionless. On the other hand, parents tend to be cautious around young girls because they don’t expect them to be any of those manners. Typically girls are given the approval to be vulnerable, gentle and clumsy. Women are definitely taught that they live in a male dominated society. Education provides very little detail of how women have contributed to history and employers continue see less value in a woman than in a man.

Women are constantly cheated from what they deserve; especially women who earn less for the same job as her male counterpart. Not only do jobs lack equal promotional opportunities for women as well, institutions make it hard for a woman to keep her job or get one. For example, a mother is typically the first person a school or a daycare center will contact in regards to her child. Also, it is frequently the mother who stays home from work to care for a sick child or an ill relative.

These expectations and obligations pushes women to conform to society’s gender roles. The media is all around us from billboards, magazines, commercials and the internet, the media is wherever we go. The media continues to enforce specific gender roles and it is by far the strongest enforcement. For example, in commercials that pertain to cooking and cleaning products, women are often employed to model the product’s use. Secondly, young girls are rarely seen playing with action figures or toy cars on television as well.

Not only are women being taught on what is considered to be gender appropriate, but men are too. Men are often portrayed to be masculine in most types of media. Commercials frequently show a dozen women swooning over a man with body spray or handing a man a beer when he is doing something inappropriate for his gender. The “long held stereotype of the typical family” seems to be a practice that no longer exists. Although many families have strayed from this idea, it continues to be desired.

Times have progressed and our people have changed as well. Our people seem to have seen it all, from the end of women’s suffrage to the United States’ first black president. Unfortunately, our progress as a union hasn’t guaranteed equality to men and women. Children are continued to be raised by the ideals that have survived through the male dominated eras, work institutions devalue their women colleagues and the media subconsciously steers us towards gender appropriate roles.

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Gender Roles in fairytales essay

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