#3: Let's Play House:
They tell me I need to be submissive.
They tell me I'm too dominant, too strong, too forward.
Their actions show me they assumed that I'm something I'm not.
The idea of gender roles is not just held by sex, but the social and behavioral norms that are influenced or composed through attire, gender, profession, culture, and style linked to that specific gender. We have used gender roles to create an image of idealistic, socially created traits making our expectations/judgments of individuals and relationships change.
It's proven, that many of the traditional, feminine gender roles have become less relevant especially in terms of woman in politics, professional environments, business, medicine, and other areas that would normally seem unorthodox. Most people assume that gender roles have become irrelevant when it comes to interactions, friendships, and especially relationships. I think otherwise. Or simply, gender roles have fluctuated but society fails to publicly acknowledge it. Individualism has become more and more apparent at all levels of society. However, even with this, we subconsciously continue to entertain stereotypical gender roles.
The typical gender role for a male highlights their masculinity, dominance, and simplicity. These three areas describe every aspect of an individual. In society, we think men should be strong, handy, able, willing to fix things, and simply come to a woman's rescue. We expect a man to be stable, mentally, financially and physically, taking control and establishing some type of order over things. We desire strength in silence, compassion through presence, and joy in their existence. Yet all that we expect, desire, and want sometimes becomes dreams, when we fail to accept reality.
The Magic Wish List:
A rough around the edges kind of man,
A street smart, but not in the street kind of man,
A been there and done that kind of man,
The intellectually stimulating man,
The I'm not afraid to protect you kind of man,
By any means necessary man,
Quiet, shy, low key eyes on the prize kind of man,
Keep a job no matter what man,
Just wants a hot meal kind of man,
Always meeting me half way man,
Keeps me smiling at the oddest times kind of man,
Young yet wise,
Mature yet playful,
A easy mystery,
A difficult to keep away kind of man,
Reminds me of my brothers man,
Honest for every reason kind of man,
In tune with himself man,
Knowing the meaning of compromise, complacent, and contentment,
More important understanding the difference man . . .
While the typical woman is expected to be a silent thunder, strong at all times but only visible when necessary. The mother, the protector, the matriarch, the glue behind the seams of everything. She is domesticated, able to whip up a full course meal from random items in the house, having super powers to heal any wound, and comfort any sad moment. She keeps daddy happy and the kids content. She knows how to take orders, and politely give them, often seen as docile, yet overly misunderstood. A bundle of emotions, bottled by curves, hips, and hugs. She is desired by many. A silent blanket of hope, passion, and determination yet molded with spunk, and modified by moods.
The Magic Wish List:
She is the fantasy in your reality kind of woman,
Your little secret type woman,
Cooks like grandma and cleans like a maid
She knows she is a queen,
Yet, she's not conceited
Would be a great mother,
But for now she is the best lover,
Keeps you balanced kind of woman,
Knows how to curse you out with style type of woman,
A gem, diamond, pearl, and sometimes a unpolished kind of woman,
A female MacGyver,
Manipulating the impossible,
Flying fairy dust of miracles,
Her love is solid as a rock,
There's no distance in between her love,
Your image is enough.
That has it all
Something like this kind of woman.
And what does this have to do with playing house?
I don’t have a great memory of my childhood, but one thing I do remember is playing house in first grade with my peers. The young ladies would pretend to cook at the stove while the little boys were either hard at work or heading home. We would simulate roles of typical scenarios based off the images we saw at home, on TV, in society, or were being taught. Even before I realized it, I placed everyone in magic boxes of constraints based on society's desires and unwritten rules. These constraints were glamorized with words such as individualism, freedoms, and self identity. The concept of personality desires were molded into character needs for those around us. And the observations of others slowly turn into judgments and critical analysis. All of this is from a continued cycle of playing house, perpetuating gender roles, and allowing these concepts to control our relationship with those around us creates a path of searching for that perfect scenario.
Far too long have we allowed (whether subconsciously or purposely) gender roles to perpetuate different ideas, alter our perceptions and dictate what we expect from others. Most woman are taught at an early age to be submissive, domesticated, and supportive. Most males are taught to be strong, fearless, dominant and a provider. This is what we are bred to desire in people.
My personality traits of being independent, dominant, a “go-getter”, forward, and simply not stuck in the typically ideals of what a lady, woman, or female should do is considered unattractive by most males (whether they admit it or not). There is an innate imaginary superiority complex between male dominance and female submissiveness that I do not always adhere to. In other words, I can often hold my own when compared to a man, which is against popular expectations and desires.
Ultimately, it is okay to have a concept of qualities, characteristics, goals, and preferences you want to see in those around you. However, these ideas shouldn't be a make or break deal on whether or not you interact with an individual or be based of what is considered the “norm” within our society. We must be realistic with what people come to the table with, your expectations of them, and whether or not the two balance with your own standards and goals of yourself. Before you hold others to such a high standard and rule book, make sure you are holding yourself to that same light.