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The problem with "gender-specific roles"?

Heh, my first journal entry shall be an idea that has bugged me for so long. One I wish to share to the world, because I know some of these ideas affect so many people.

Everyone is almost always made to believe that everyone is expected to act in a certain way, or not act in a certain way. One great example is at how "society" expects mothers and fathers to act. That mothers are "supposed to be kind, nurturing, docile, gentle, would love to cook and clean all the time", while the father role is "supposed to be strong, tough, manly, supporting, demanding, hard-working, mellow". That it's expected of a woman to know her place and be silent, and a man is supposed to be the big and strong one.

That kind of view seems to be especially big almost every country you look, that a women is just a relic made for nurturing, not a person. It infuriates me to the very core that this is what many young girls and women are being taught as I write this, that they are taught that they have no worth other than be submissive to their man. It's doubly infuriating that it is being taught to young boys and men that they can act however they want because a woman will always be there to clean up after them. It is a very primitive view, and it is very far from the truth.

I believe that there is no set "gender-specific" role. That nobody should expect a certain gender to act in a certain way. A woman doesn't have to be a "nurturer" if she chooses not to be; a man doesn't have to be a selfish jerk if he doesn't choose to be. Why are these roles in place? They should be put out, and allow more free thinking. It should be taught to the youth that they can be whatever they choose to be. For example, a girl can grow to be how she chooses. If she wishes to be a "nurturing role", or an "independent role", it is her's to choose. Not society's, not anyone else's, only hers. Nothing should be expected other than how she is raised. That her parents should raise her to have an open mind and know that there really is no such thing as a "gender-specific role" for herself.

Because seriously? When you break it all down, what really separates a "man" and a "woman" is how the body is built. The body structures are similar, but we as people shouldn't be.

So...hah, let me get to my point. I do not believe that there is any superior gender. Man and woman are equal. One should not suppress the other. We were placed in this life to love and care for another. Not as possessions. We need to see past our own shallow-ness, and know that one path to true peace and understanding is to accept each other. Respect each other. Teach that there is no "superiority vs inferiority", but strive for equality. It is my hope that someday, a woman won't be just a possession, and a man won't just be the all-mighty one. It is a role we all share. My hope, for gender-equality.

May my point have gotten across somewhere up there. I hope I provoked a thought or two...and thanks for reading.



olutosin's picture

Hi Faye, You are welcome into

Hi Faye,

You are welcome into the midst of those who understand you better, everyone knows the right thing, my prayer is that we are granted the ability to deliver in order to change our respective societies. You are lucky to live in a developed country, Africa is the worst hit when it comes to gender inequality, in some cases you think it is a curse to be a woman in Africa, because what you say may not matter especially when you are struggling to send an important point across/prove your point, else you just accept what you do not want/imposed on you by others for peace to reign.

In Africa, it is usual for a woman to feed the husband and the children, competing with rivals on who will out do one another, we have been brainwashed by our parents that amn can marry as many as possible but a woman must not be caught with another rman, that is why a man has 86 wives in Nigeria and amongst the wives are 18 year old girsl!

Then the issue of gender mainstreaming comes in , can you visualise a woman, who strapped her child on her back, carried a load on her head and dragging another toddler while struggling to board a bus, women are the only ones who can liberate their fellow women, we can do it if we are keen, this is our time, nothing is impossible if we set our mind to it.

In the Bible, God pointed to the power of unity in men, when He said let us go down and confuse their language, because wha thtey purpose in their heart they can achieve. With one voice, women can liberate other women, we can not continue to believe that women are women's worst enemies. We are our best friends and we can be!

Once again you are welcome into our midst,

God Bless all Pulse Wire members.


Olutosin Oladosu Adebowale
Founder/Project Coordinator
Star of Hope Transformation Centre
512 Road
F Close
Festac Town


aliĝngix's picture


Hello! Your view is very stunning in it's honesty and coherent-ness. I'd like to hear more from you.
I, too, believe that gender-roles are rubbish and that we are all meant to be equal to one another. You put it so well, I have nothing else to say except by saying this out loud in a non-bias way, you set a path for others a follow along.
Thank you and with many smiles, Aliĝngix.

Maria de Chirikof's picture

to a better future

I also agree it is so important that equality be reached and it is slowly happening where woman are learning to speak up about these issues and be heard. I also think that woman encouraging and letting other woman know they feel they are equal to them that things will improve. I love that feeling of coming here and seeing that we are just not talking but also listening to each other since each woman does have value and can teach us something.

Please keep posting and sharing your ideas with us!


Gender specific roles are negative to the extent that they form a basis for women and girls being viewed as fundamentally of less value that men and boys, as a basis for violence against women, as a basis for discrimination against women. While there is nothing wrong in being kind, gentle, nurturing, etc there is everything wrong with being violated for not fitting these social constructions. While there is nothing wrong in being strong, demanding and tough, there is everything wrong in using these to violate the rights of others. Failure to fit into social constructions of gender doesnt mean that you are less of a woman or less of a man or less of a human being, it is just what how you choose to define yourself, and no one has the right to define you otherwise or treat you on the basis of their definitions.


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