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The Myth of Male/Female Roles

Updated on August 17, 2013

The Myth

We are in the world.We make an impact. We don't have to qualify the impact we make in the world. We have to just be.

Men are compromised by being stereotyped in the role of providers and they are subject to the myth that they have to be brave and strong and keep a lid on their emotions. Men, like women are first and foremost human beings and deserve to be treated as such rather than being subject to the expectations of society and culture. This stereotyping is a myth and the sky won't fall down if we widen our horizons and replace that myth with a better attitude.

Casting women in the role of caregivers and nothing else is a myth too and it is far from reality. It is better to treat people as human beings than have prejudices about the roles of men and women getting in the way.

For example, it is widely assumed that women are primarily caregivers who are expected to thrive on taking care of others.Women do thrive on taking care of others when they are respected and appreciated but it is reciprocal-men can do it too. Even though society has come a long way in this regard,it is a fact that the only difference between men and women in this instance is that a woman gives birth. After that either sex can take on the role of caregiver and fulfill it well. Many men do this.Therefore it is a myth that women thrive on cooking,washing and cleaning up after other people. It is merely a chore a lot of the time. If the woman is treated with respect and appreciated it is a pleasure to do these things but the "myth" dictates that it is the woman's place in life to do these things and be taken for granted for doing so.

Indeed, in many circumstances the caregiving in a family is shared equally between the two parents and this is what works best.

The Reality

We are all human beings first and foremost. It doesn't have to be that we are stereotyped into different roles as men or women. With an attitude of trust and respect, there is room for everyone to have their place and have their voice in whatever role we choose. The important word here is "choose". We all have a choice about what role we play in our homes and in society. Self-respect is very important in choosing that role and it cannot be undermined by others under any circumstances or for any reason. Other people's expectations are not our business. We are only obliged to do our best on a daily basis and that must be enough. It is a good rule of thumb not to ask or expect anyone else to do something we are able to do ourselves.

It is also important not to focus too much on what we expect of others.It is better to set a standard of behavior for ourselves. In that way, we can expect to be treated with respect. Even if this does not happen,our own self-respect remains intact.

Perhaps you have heard the proverb "Treat people as you would like to be treated yourself".

This does not always happen because some people whose self-respect is not intact try to undermine someone else's. It would be a better world if we could treat everyone the way we would like to be treated but if their self-respect is not intact it is not possible to do so therefore all we can do is maintain our own and adapt accordingly.

Men and women are human beings first and foremost. The myth of stereotyped roles has no place in our homes or in society and we are all better off without it.


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    • Kate Mc Bride profile imageAUTHOR

      Kate McBride 

      5 years ago from Donegal Ireland

      That is a very good way of putting it Denise and we have indeed come a long way in this regard.It is a matter of negotiating the everyday routine which is different for every couple. Thanks for your feedback and glad you liked the hub :)


    • Kate Mc Bride profile imageAUTHOR

      Kate McBride 

      5 years ago from Donegal Ireland

      Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment DDE. Your feedback is much appreciated

    • denise.w.anderson profile image

      Denise W Anderson 

      5 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      I believe that there are primary and secondary roles. The primary roles are biological based on our gender, and the secondary roles can be assumed by either. It is necessary for a couple to determine how these roles are fulfilled within their relationship for the sake of their family unit. It cannot be assumed that one person or the other will automatically take that responsibility. Our society has become so flexible in this regard, that there can be any combination of preferences. Your hub points that out very nicely.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      5 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Every individual thinks different and has the right to do different male or females it is just how life is one has to put up with it or fail at it.


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