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Gender roles refer to the division of labor, duties and responsibilities of people in the society according to their gender. From time immemorial, gender roles have changed in different societies of the world with continued modernization. In most traditional communities, women are sidelined and oppressed by the existing gender roles. However, modernization ensures that this unfairness is eliminated. The Chinese culture offers an ideal example of such roles, as well as their trends. The roles preferred for each gender keep on changing from time to time.
In an ideal Chinese traditional society, a woman was not treated with respect. The women were oppressed while the men dominated. The women were seen to be subordinates who carried no much meaning. They did not have a say in the direction that their lives took. For example, marriage partners were chosen for them. Their only work was to serve their brothers, fathers and husbands. Therefore, their roles revolved around their homes. This means that they had no right to move about or the freedom to explore other areas. The Chinese women were referred to as “Yin”. This word meant receptive, yielding, soft, tranquil or passive. Therefore, women were viewed to be weak creatures that did not have any rights or privileges. Before the 1900s, women in the Chinese society were treated like slaves. No matter how hard a woman tried to impress the husband, she received no respect. Gender equality became an issue in China in 1949 when Mao Tse-tung got to power. He created policies that could eliminate gender inequality in the people of china. Over time, these gender roles have changed. In this 21st century, there are still some lingering discriminations. However, equality has vastly increased and improved. The modern people in Chine regard their women with respect. They have their rights and privileges. They can now access occupational and educational opportunities. Therefore, the modern Chinese community views and treats both genders equally.
The making of gender roles equal has caused mixed feelings and views from different people. It has some advantages, as well as disadvantages. However, the advantages seem to overshadow the demerits when one considers the traditional situation. The self confidence of women in the society has increased. They are not afraid to speak or air their views in public. This is because they have been given more respect. They are also not prevented from doing any job that they see fit. This has resulted to the full utilization of the labor resource. In the traditional setup, the women are viewed to be weaker. However, this generalization is not precise and accurate. This is because, the definition and understanding of strength is relative. There is physical strength, mental strength and emotional strength. The part that can be generalized is that of physical strength. Most men are more muscular than ladies. However, should this be used as a reason to prefer a man to a woman in an office job? Office work has nothing to do with muscles. Therefore, the fairness in gender roles has brought out the hidden talents in the female gender. These are talents which would have, otherwise, been hidden for good. It has brought out influential women for all to see. This proves that equality in gender roles is vital for any society. This is because it creates opportunities for women to discover their talents and abilities.
However, there are some disadvantages that have been pointed out by people over the years of change. To start with, the quest for women to fight for their rights has caused the boy child to be neglected. There are privileges and rights that are enjoyed naturally, only by men. This is a fact that most women do not want to accept. A man was created with a greater ability than the woman. This does not necessarily mean that the woman should be disrespected. Even in a basketball team, there are strong players, as well as weak players. When the coach puts the stronger ones first, this cannot be viewed as discrimination. Total equality between both genders is impossible. This is the reason as to why respect should be the issue and not the roles.
Only men in the society can carry out some duties. For example, in the defence of a country, the army mainly consists of men. Although there are some women, men constitute the larger population. There are also many other duties that men are able to carry out while women cannot. Therefore, some people think that this equality is impossible to achieve. It also serves to create conflicts between the two genders. Some of the arguments are valid. However, the consequences of this fight for equality cannot be compared to the disrespect that was given to the female gender. Therefore, it is necessary to note that change is never easy. It always comes with consequences and challenges.
From the essay above, the trend in gender roles is clear. Equality between the two genders keeps improving from time to time. From the past trends, it is correct to say that the fight for equality between the two genders shall continue. This equality is supported by some people while others criticize its effects. However, the ability or potential of a person should be judged from credentials and not gender. Respect should also be given to each and every person, irrespective of their gender. This can go a long way to make the world a better place for all its inhabitants.