Difficulties Placed on Women by American Society Expectations

The world revolves around demeaning women through the depiction of gender roles as fixed and irrefutable. Most women around the world feel that they are suffering an assault from conservative minds that try to keep them insignificant. In the United States, the restrictions imposed on women in regards to birth control and abortion is a clear indication of the struggle that American still face. American women continue to meet challenges that threaten their rights and dignity leading to the formation of movements such as Women in the World Foundation. Such actions seek inspiration from outside countries that are less developed than the US thus putting them to shame. Societal expectations caused by assumed roles for women tend to create challenges for women as they try to fulfill the cultural norms expected of them.

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Gender stereotyping resulting from differentiation of genders may seem ordinary to some while offensive to others. Gender being a cultural concept created by one’s culture tends to dictate the behavioral patterns, norm characteristics, and cultural expectations. From the moment a child is born, gender stereotyping clouds their world and they adapt to these American cultural expectations. When an expectant mother finds out that she is expecting a baby girl, the nursery is painted in pink, and Barbie dolls flood the room. As she grows up, she is supposed to be an emotional and sentimental person who is far from what a boy child is allowed to grow up to become. Career choices for her are determined by their ability to balance with her role as a mother, wife, and homemaker. Unlike a boy who can pursue careers in defense forces and civil service, she is already limited by society to professions such as counseling and teaching which are deemed to be flexible career options. Any woman deviating from this American societal construct brings to them a lifetime of criticism and discouragement.

The assumption that the different gender roles are equal is misleading as it the necessity and importance of gender roles. Each gender is relevant, and the characters they play are significant for the growth of the society. This line of thought assumes that women are comfortable with just the private functions of raising children and keeping their homes clean while men should venture out and conquer the world. These gender roles are far from the reality on the ground and limit people to specific boxes. Some men are more comfortable cleaning and cooking for their families while some women are very good at repairing cars. Women should be given a chance to choose what comes naturally to them rather than to be pushed into societal or cultural expectations.

History proves that women are not weak creatures as evidenced by leadership and power roles that some of them played. Some Native American cultures had women as rulers and not men. The notion that men should be visible in the public spheres while the women should only occupy the private areas of life came to be in the 1800s. During the colonial times, women engaged in trading activities as much as men involved in the primary role of the moral and religious upbringing of the children at home. Royal women such as Queen Victoria in Britain, Cleopatra, and Queen Nefertiti of Egypt prove that women are powerful once they take charge of leading roles.

Limiting women to specific roles and specific jobs robs them of their personalities and their freedom. Allowing them to explore their talents and strengths rather than forcing them into prescribed boxes helps in growing the American society. The American community needs to become aware of the bias that it has created for the American women and how negatively it affects them. The glorification of gender differences makes it hard to appreciate individual differences that could create opportunities for many American women. Women still get paid less compared to their male counterparts in the same job descriptions. Despite the existence of the Equal Pay Act for over five decades, women get underpaid by about 30%. The conversation about income inequality still goes unheard or with little effect to eliminate this income gap. There are far more similarities between men and women compared to the differences and such should be appreciated.

The presence of an American male is double that of an American female in the film industry. To make it worse, those women who venture into the film industries get lesser roles compared to the men who get significant roles. There are fewer women producers, film critics, and directors who are the determinant jobs in the film industry. Recent reports and allegations of sexual violence against women in the media and film industry prove the difficulties that women face. Most women have come out to show how their male superiors took or tried to take advantage of them sexually. Most of these cases are reported at the entry point when the women try to enter these extremely competitive industries.

Even when an American woman finds a way to get into employment and earn equal pay, she still faces discrimination in the workplace. Some workplaces are uncomfortable with pregnancy and do not accommodate the needs of a pregnant woman or a new mother. The schedule of a pregnant woman or a new mother should be less hectic to help them to accommodate the new life they are taking care of, but most employers deem this period as an inconvenience. Other women face body shaming as a result of pregnancy or weight gain. All these difficulties serve to increase the will of the American woman to thrive in the society.

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Difficulties Placed on Women by American Society Expectations. (2018, Dec 26). Retrieved December 1, 2022 , from
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