Sunday, April 27, 2014

Gender Roles, Role Gaps, and the "De-fanging" of a Generation of Men

My brother and I had a discussion this evening about men and women today versus how they were before. This discussion was brought about by another discussion I had with two other guys a few days prior regarding gender roles, and this time from the side of the men.

To summarize, here was what came up from the discussions.

On Gender Roles
Women empowerment today would see women succeed in male-dominated industries. It's all about equality. It's not a bad thing. But my guy friends' argument is, if women are celebrated for doing something that's previously a guy thing, why is it frowned upon if men choose to stay home and do the housework? Women today are given so much support by media and non-profit organizations. The Filipina has always been strong. And women empowerment have made them even stronger. But who's supporting the men?

Another thing one of my friends brought up is that women in his circle tend to impose on him their idea of how a man should be. My friends ask, who is to say how a man should or shouldn't be? If he chooses to be sensitive and non-confrontational, why is that deemed "not how a man should be?" If a girl takes control, and he chooses not to wrench that control from her, why does that make him less of a man? Somehow it seems that the scale is not a balanced one, but one that favors the women.

Is this what we want in our society? What exactly do we want?

The Role Gap
Women have taken on male roles. They are now in the workplace. They are now independent. But another thing that was raised was this: who's taking on the women's roles? My brother argues that somehow there is a role gap happening now that a lot of women have vacated their role in the home. Yayas and iPads have replaced what mothers used to do. What are the implications of this? Are we okay with this?

The "De-fanging" of Men
The third point raised is this (and I think a lot of girls will agree with this): The men haven't been as aggressive as they used to be.

The roles of women have changed over the years. Now, they can lead a company, make their own money, go virtually wherever they want. Many of them have become more successful than their male counterparts. And yet many of them still want to marry men who are more powerful than them in terms of finances and stature. And it seems so hard to find them nowadays. Just to try to verify, I checked out my own friends list and put in two lists my single girl friends and single guy friends. And I can't match them if I take into consideration career and position. Most of the girls on my list had higher positions than the guys on my list.

This, according to some guy friends, was because the women wanted to lead. And the guys, being gentlemen, wouldn't wrestle that power from the girls. And the women argue it's because the men don't take the lead when there's a situation, and so she takes the control because he doesn't. And the men argue the situation isn't even critical yet and the women worry too much and too soon. Guys, they told me, had a higher tolerance level for problems that girls. It hasn't even reached that threshold, the girls already panic and nag and take control. But in the guys' view, there's no problem yet. (Can you verify, guys?)

Others attribute the lack of drive to the lack of something to fight for. Women, when they think they're still treated less than the men, will strive for empowerment and equality. The gay, since a big part of society still hasn't accepted them, will strive for rights. But what of the men? What will they fight for? In the past, they fought to protect the family. But in this modern day and age, what is there to fight for?

I'd also like to know what men are fighting for these days. And what do you think it would take for men to grow their fangs back? Or would they even want to?

The above discussion is not meant to offend or put down any one gender. It is only a compilation of thoughts and opinions meant to discuss the topic of gender and roles of today, and I would appreciate your own thoughts on the matter. Feel free to post non-violent comments below. But discuss, don't fight.

1 comment:

  1. "But in the guys' view, there's no problem yet." To most guys, this is probably true. At least to me. Normally, I would take a problem or a situation piece by piece and solve each one of them in no particular order. Maybe that's why it looks like for guys, there's no problem at all.

    Another thought about this according to psychology (sorry I can't paste any link here as I forgot already where I read it), girls tend to be more emotional while guys tend to be more logical.

    And about what we are fighting for, we fight for the love of our lives. Be it our family, our friends, our girlfriend, our wife, our kids. Just Sharing! :)