The customary role of the male in relation to the home as being the head of the household, the protector and the provider is slowly eroding. The male’s duty was unquestionably embodied in these three ideas until the 1970’s. The growing feminist movement began to question and displace these roles as solely belonging to men The traditional male role has seen significant changes in the family unit, society and personally.
In the past men were the sole breadwinners and they were left with the task of bringing home the money. It was their job to be financially sound so as to take care of their family’s needs. Being the sole breadwinner, it was the men who made all the major decisions in the home. Women on the other hand were left with the daunting task of being homemakers and taking care of the chores and looking after the children. I remember my grandmother talk about her father and how everyone in the house including her mother used to be as quiet as mice when their father came home as they were told not make any noise or the unthinkable would happen. Nowadays, it is just the opposite. The roles of both husband and wife have changed. Both the husband and the wife work to make ends meet. Most households cannot sustain themselves on just one salary.
As both the man and the woman are out earning a living, it is only natural that household chores and child rearing has to be shared. Another area that has seen change is indecision making. While in the past it was the man who made all the decisions about the family, now it is collaborative decision making. Most women are equally educated as men and are able to sit and discuss on an equal footing with their spouse on methods of childrearing and even other major family decisions. There has also been change in the role of man in society. In the past, men have always held prominent positions in the workplace. They were the ones who made the decisions on how to run their companies.
Women held minor positions such as clerks, stenographers and secretaries, while men were given positions such as directors, managers and CEO’s. You could see men working in corporate, financial, legal and political fields, Men held the full authority to run a family and the country from bottom to top. Now this is changing with many women breaking through the glass ceiling and taking on more powerful and significant functions in different aspects. With education, women have been able to rise to greater heights. We have women who are CEO’s politicians and even Prime Ministers and Presidents of countries.
Lastly, men from time immemorial have been pictured as being strong, fearless and successful. They have always been conditioned to not show any kind of emotions that could damage their role model image. Men were told that they should not cry and should always have a very stern character. Fathers were unapproachable and did not take an active part in their children’s emotional growth. This was left to the mother. But this is now changing. Men are moving away from being strong, silent and unfeeling. They are starting to express their feelings and taking on a more soft and thoughtful personality.
In conclusion, it must be stated that the changes in the role of the male species is here to stay and must be respected within the structure of the family unit, society and as an individual. In my opinion, I think I would like to see the world judged based on humanity rather than prejudged roles.