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How Gender Norms Have Evolved in America

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Darian Geisendorff

English 1320

Ms. Schiely

March 21, 2014

How Gender Norms Have Evolved in America

        Have you ever thought to yourself what it was like to live in America back in the day? I’m sure everyone has thought about that at some point in his or her lifetime. It is scary to think that the world can change so much in just a short period of time. Needless to say, America has transformed quite a bit since then. Gender norms have really evolved over the past 50 years in America; For instance, women can make their own salaries, men have become more family oriented, and even the way of parenting has changed drastically.

        As a result of the changing of gender norms throughout the years, women are now available to work out of the house and make their own money. Back in the day women were very limited to what they could or could not do. They usually had to stay at the house all day and cook, clean, and take care of the children. Women had to rely on men to make the money and keep their family stable. This is something that caused a lot of problems. Most men farmed, and on some years there was drought so their crops brought in little income and the family was left to starve. Now days, women have the opportunity to work out of the house and to help support their family by making their own income. This has its fair share of ups and downs. An up side to women making their own money is that they do not have to rely on a man for anything. One of the downs is that there are a lot of single women out there today because of this. Back then some families did arranged marriage and the daughter was forced to marry a guy that her parents had picked out for her. In today’s generation, there are more single women than there are married women, some are single moms. Being a single mom is tough because you are required to take care of you child on your own. My mom is a single mom and she does an amazing job at it. She has a job and makes her own money to support us. She has never needed a man to depend on to keep us with a steady income. With this being said none of this would have been possible if America hadn’t evolved over the years. This transformation has allowed women to succeed in life and to bring their courage up and finally to become independent.

        Now that the gender norms have evolved over the years, men are spending more time with their families than in the past. A man’s day back then consisted of waking up really early, going out to work, making the money, coming home really late, eating dinner, and finally heading off to sleep. They had no time to spend with their families. Most of the time when they got home their kids were already in bed and fast asleep. Today men are becoming more involved in family stuff. Some dads like to coach their kids in sports or even just playing outside with them. When a child is young all they want to do is please their dad. They know that their mom will forever love them. They either want to be “daddy’s little girl” or even his little superstar. It is every girls dream for their dad to be their best friend. They can take them hunting or fishing. They even get to walk them down the aisle on their wedding day. Even the boys want to be really close with their dad and have them coach their little league team or go camping. Children look up to their dad as their role models in life. Having the men more family oriented can bring a family closer together and help take a lot of stress off of the mom as well. This is a positive attribute to the world evolving; Men are now more family oriented.

        Everybody was raised and punished a different way while they were growing up. Parenting is another factor of the gender norm change. This is a factor that has changed very drastically over the years. Back then parents were very strict on their kids and they weren’t allowed to do very much. They had arranged marriages and certain things they had to do. Today some parents don’t even care what their kid is doing and whom they are hanging out with. I feel really sorry for these children because I am sure they are getting in quite a bit of trouble. There are many different types of parents and their methods of parenting. Everybody is raised differently and this can make him or her view the world in a different way than other people. For instance, if you are abused as a child you might grow up becoming a very violent person. Parents that are really strict and ones that do not allow their children to make their own decision can raise children that are very scared and they might depend on their parents way too much. Another parenting view can be gay or lesbian. “They might raise their children differently based on their beliefs and how they view the world” (Gender Roles and Gender Differences). Needless to say that everybody is raised differently and everybody has their own beliefs and that is the reason for who they are today.



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