Society has segregated the world between two worlds. Pink and blue sort the world by how it should think and behave. There are certain expectations set by society that dictate how each individual should live based upon their physical gender. Girls dream of getting married and are expected to do so by their late twenties, or early thirties. Boys are not chastised either way by their decision and are assumed to be “driven”, and “busy with work” if personal relationships do not interest them. If these gender roles were not so heavily taught in the lives of small children and teenagers, we could decrease the ever growing problem of hypermasculinity in the male community.
In 1848, the First Women’s Rights Convention in Seneca Falls, NY, several women wrote a list of grievances, most famously known for the desire for the right to vote. One of these grievances was also that women no longer wanted to be limited to the home. Female representation is much lower in math and science fields, as well as the political field, and other elected offices. This discouragement does not just take place upon the application for jobs, or college graduation with degrees, but begins in primary and secondary school levels. Society discourages women to pursue jobs that will make family building inconvenient. However, the opposite occurs for men. Males are not expected to consider this factor as heavily as women are. Men are traditionally the “bread winner”, the one who provides for the family financially, and are expected to be able to do so.
In the wise words of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, in reference to the political representation of women in the Judicial Branch, “People ask me sometimes, when do you think it will be enough? When will there be enough women on the court? And my answer is when there are nine”. People think this notion is overbearing and “feminazi-esque”, but Ruth Bader Ginsberg explains, “No one questioned anything when there were nine men”. Society makes being a woman harder than it is being a man.
Girls are held to a standard of what they’re “supposed” to be in life as far as appearance, occupation, and personal life. But, guys are not exempt from certain standards, either. In fact, on the opposite side of the spectrum, society will find the same symptoms to an equally pressing problem. This problem is called hyper-masculinity. Characteristics that are normally associated with masculinity are coldness, hostility, and complacency in personal feelings. Things that are encouraged to achieve “manhood”, usually marked by puberty and development in age, is what begins the process of perhaps brainwashing boys into thinking they need to fit a certain mold to justify their gender or sexuality.
Terms such as “Like a girl”, are used to degrade teens, promote gender roles, and undermine the differences children wish to have in opposition to the norm. The overuse of these terms, and the gender roles heavily influencing the young male demographic leads to a problem called hypermasculinity, which is when a community or family values men over women, which can lead to domestic violence disputes caused by the aggression men are expected to have. Domestic violence is the second leading cause of female homicide deaths in America. Gender roles are the cause for hypermasculinity, and hypermasculinity is the cause of most domestic violence disputes.
Gender roles are a highly debated topic in American society. Limiting our current society to these standardized molds of how humans should interact with each other is limiting the possibilities to do the unthinkable; to spark innovation and go places the human being has never gone before; for that is what American society is “supposed” to look like. These amazing steps for mankind are all being limited because men value dominance and women value presentation. By breaking down these walls, America is breaking down the obstacles that are preventing us from having a better, more productive and innovative America.