Gender Roles and Expectations

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In today’s society there are many contemporary issues humans face every day. A contemporary issue is an event, idea, opinion, or topic in a given subject that is relevant to current time (Reference, 2019). Some of these issues can easily be solved while others may take a while, or may not be solved at all. These resolutions are dependent on whomever is in charge, which is typically the state or countries government and their view on the issue. One of today’s most important and controversial contemporary issues that does not have a specific resolution is gender inequality, in which men are treated unfairly. Gender inequality, also known as gender discrimination is the acknowledgment of different treatment between men and women that has an effect on how the two sexes live.

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In reference to gender inequality there is one thing similar to it, Sexism. Sexism is prejudice or discrimination of one based upon their gender typically affecting women but, men as well which goes unnoticed. Men are treated unfairly, or lower than women in many areas such as their pay — careers/jobs, education, display of emotions, mental abuse, body shaming and family lives/household accountability. Many believe women are treated unfairly in their career/jobs due to some men being paid more as well as women being looked at as “not being able” to get the job done. But if a man has higher qualifications and gets the job done quicker and more efficiently, he deserves more pay. Also, if a man is more capable of doing whatever the job requires, he deserves it as well. Along with gender inequality in career/job area comes the term of Gender Economic Inequality. According to, “The global trend towards extreme wealth and income concentration has dramatically strengthened the economic and political power of those individuals – overwhelmingly male – at the top”.

Gender Inequality

There are many reasons why males are at the top but they are not being shown. Some of those reasons are that women having family responsibilities and the two sexes usually work different hours. According to Abby Hayes, writer for Dough Roller, women are given the responsibility of taking care of people including their children, or family members whom are usually their aging parents. That is true but, why are men not looked at as able to care for them as well? Along with taking care of them means having to take off work which is usually not paid time depending on where you work. Also, the two sexes working different hours plays a part in why men “get paid more”. “Women tend to work fewer hours per day then men, on average.” (Hayes, 2019). If you do not work, you should not get paid unless it’s for important reasons. April 2nd, 2019 was Equal pay day, a day that symbolizes how far women have to work to equal out how much men earned the year before created by the National Committee on Pay Equity (Pay Equity, 2019). This day is very biased because not all men are paid a lot like others. In the year of 1963, the Equal Pay Act was passed that prohibited sex-based wage discrimination between the sexes in the same establishment that complete the same things and are under similar conditions (DPE, 2019). The act did not break its main goal, to break the pay gap. This is because 53% of the workplace is men (DPE, 2019) meaning they are more employed than women, of course their numbers will be higher. “.. Women have been earning more bachelor’s degree than men since 1982.” (DPE, 2019). The inequality of more women receiving an education more than men is a huge concern. Education is the lead way for many things beginning with a job or career. Going to school helps you gain intellectual and technical skills while increasing your level of knowledge whether where you attend it is public or private. Within school’s women are there in larger numbers, not allowing men to gain these skills.

“Males are enrolling in higher education at alarmingly low rates, and some colleges are working hard to reverse the trend.” (Marcus, 2019). A study done in 2017 by Jessica Smith, a graduate student who was an orientation leader preparing to welcome freshmen at Carlow University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Smith’s observations were that at Carlow, women outnumbered men – six to one ‘There’s one.” Smith said in reference to it being very few men on campus. The six to one comparison was very surprising due to how many men were enrolled in previous years. “Where men once went to college in proportions far higher than women—58 percent to 42 percent as recently as the 1970’s–the ration has now almost exactly reversed.” (Marcus, 2019).

The numbers are now different and roles are now reversed due to men being looked down upon which is unfair. Men are now looked at as lazy, not wanting to do things or having low expectations and being uninterested. In Merced, California – the parents of the Vue family were asked about what they wanted their children to do and they responded they wanted them to go to college. Nita, the only daughter out of the nine children going to get a degree told Semuels that her brothers were less interested. “The way I grew up, the girls were more into schooling… and women tended to have higher expectations than men did”. That is seen as a norm, less men “not wanting” to receive and education. Instead of just saying men are uninterested and have low expectations, people including Nita should try to uphold men to certain standards and boost them. “Across socioeconomic classes, women are increasingly enrolling and completing postsecondary education, while, even as opportunities for people without a college education shrink, men’s rates of graduation remain relatively stagnant.” (Semuels, 2019). Men are considered the strongest but, also have down falls and need a little push and support along with women.

“This is a positive development for women, because a college education is increasingly important in today’s economy… but while women across socioeconomic classes are embracing the idea that education is important and are pursuing postsecondary degrees, many men from lower-income households are not”. (Semuels, 2019) This is followed by males in low-income families struggling in school and not. With the reasons for them not being supported and put out of school if they act out. Following men not receiving an education like women, another part of gender inequality is men having to hide their feelings, or not being able to display their emotions. Forcing men to hide their feelings comes from masculinity. Most, if not all men are considered masculine, having qualities or appearance traditionally associated with men, especially strength and aggressiveness. Being masculine means not being weak. Society has trained men to believe showing emotion is not okay. Not showing emotion has all negative effects including the start of bad habits, outbursts and break downs, eating/sleeping disorders as well as depression. In the instance of showing emotions, it is said to be okay for a woman to show hers but not for a man. If a woman was to break down or explain how she feels everybody will listen and understand her but not a man.

When men try to explain how they feel, they are looked at in a bad way because they have stronger voices. People understand and listen to women more too because of how many hormones they have and how often they chance but they forget men have hormones too just not as many but that does not mean they don’t matter. Not being able to show emotion goes hand and hand with how males are treated unfairly with mental abuse. “Mental abuse is a form of violence that affects the mind, often leaving the abused feeling worthless and lacking empowerment.” (Live Strong, 2019). There are two types of abuse that go along with mental abuse, verbal and psychological abuse. Both men and women are abused but men are abused more they just do not tell or report it so they do not look weak. Especially in a relationship. Men are usually blamed for most of the things that go wrong and are never heard out. Along with these abuses come drug and alcohol abuse. “Risk factors for mental abuse include “being a drug or alcohol abuser or having a partner who is one… being in a relationship in which one person is more dominant than the other…” (Live Strong, 2019).

Gender inequality plays a role in this as men are not recognized as much as women. Men are taught to be masculine but, respect women at the same time… Why are some women not taught to do the same? An example of mental abuse – verbal, is body shaming. Body shaming is the action in which one humiliates someone by mocking or making harsh comments about their body shape or sex. Body shaming is very common right now as many believe they have to look a certain way and others don’t do any good by insulting them as if they are not already confident. Body shaming is a cause gender inequality due to men being body shamed more than women. But, just like abuse society believes more woman are shamed more than men. Society believes more woman are body shamed more than men due to how much they are embarrassed to tell somebody else or react because they women may think they are overreacting or the man’s male friends as well. “We criticize men for their weight, their height, their baldness, their hairiness… It’s as if any of these things, or a combination thereof, make a man what he is.” (Moore, 2019). The things men are judged about they can’t change. It is not always about the body but the bodies features, like hair. If a woman is shamed about her hair, she can go buy hair pieces or products that may improve her beauty but if a man is shamed for his baldness he can’t go buy a product that will keep him looking right without somebody noticing.

Shaming does not just go away instantly it stays with the person forever especially men. “Shame not only hurts, but it’s destructive. Chronic shame has been linked to depression and addiction. In young men, shame can lead to destructive behaviors and violence”. (Moore, 2019) This shaming can be combatted with people being comfortable with themselves and not bullying others, recognizing whether somebody is being mean or trying to help, and also watching what you say to others not knowing how they might take it. The last example of gender inequality is the unfair treatment of men in their family lives/households with a high level of accountability. Although there are many stay at home mothers or wives, there are also men that don’t stay at home/work a lot but, are still held accountable for many things. Majority of the time men are expected to pay the bills, fix things, clean, and etc… Yes, we can do that but we are yelled at when we can’t do that or are too tired. We are thankful that woman do things and want to do things as well but there is a time where we can do and can’t do things.

Just like with the mental abuse, when things go wrong in the house women automatically turn to the man which sometimes can’t fix something but, will find a way. Instead of getting mad or saying a man is not good, try to help him and solve whatever the problem may be. We are not lazy, sometimes we want to relax and play the game after a long day which is never understood. In conclusion, men are held up to higher things and discriminated against in many different ways but because we are men we do not get as much recognition as women. Gender inequality is a problem that has been around for a while and although there have been laws and things put in place, it will never go away unless both sides are heard which they are not, men specifically.

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Gender Roles and Expectations. (2020, May 15). Retrieved March 22, 2023 , from

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