The Gender Roles Essay Example

Gender roles are a certain set of characteristics or behaviors that distinguish between male or female. These differences are what society uses to determine what a specific gender should or should not do in life. Although these roles are held over a person's head throughout his or her life, there are multiple movie characters that show the world that there is more to a person than their gender role.

One of the major gender roles that women have is that they are supposed to be stay at home moms. Women should be the ones who cook, clean, and raise the children. Society believes that the man is the one who should be providing for the family. Wonder woman, Diana, did not understand the views of society. Since Diana grew up without having men in her life, she always believed that it was the woman's job to take care of herself and her family. After saving the life of a man, Steve, she was introduced to a new world. A world where men did the fighting and women stayed home. In time, Diana showed Steve that it is possible for women to participate in the act of taking care of the family and fighting in the war.

Gender roles define not only a woman's place in the family, but they also define what a woman is supposed to look like. Women are supposed to be thin and graceful with long hair while wearing skirts, and men can be muscular with short hair while wearing pants. Mulan was one woman who was not going to let her appearance keep her from doing what was right. She knew that her father was too old to represent her family in the Imperial army, so, as she was an only child, Mulan felt responsible for upholding her family's honor. She cut her hair and dressed like a man to convince the army that she was the male representative from her family, instead of her father. Although she seemed to be the weakest man in the army, Mulan worked hard to learn the ways of battle and earn the respect of the men around her. Even though she had the physical appearance of a man, the others still underestimated her strength. In the end, Mulan did the one thing that no other man could do. She completed an "impossible" task during training and proved that looks do not determine the strength of a woman.

Even though women tend to be more affected by gender roles, men are stereotyped as well. Men are expected to be tall, muscular, and even intimidating. When it comes to characters like Spiderman, people do not think of qualities like these. Spiderman is seen as the underdog most of the time. He may have superpowers, but he is neither muscular nor intimidating. In Spiderman: Homecoming, Tony Stark participates in establishing gender roles as he tries to tell Spiderman that he is just not ready to go on important missions. Stark tries to tell Spiderman that he is not prepared for the responsibility that comes with bigger missions. After proving Tony Stark wrong, Spiderman reveals that size does not determine a man's ability to complete a mission.

As these characters, and many others, live his or her life the way that they felt was right, they prove to society that gender is not important. Just because society says that a gender should be a certain way does not mean that they are required to be that way. One does not have to base their life off of their gender of male or female. If a woman wants to be the family provider or the one who fights against the bad guy, nobody should tell her that she cannot do either of those things. If a man wants to be the homebody or the successful underdog, his gender and physical appearance should never keep him from doing those things. Male or female is simply a description of a person and gender roles are merely an answer choice in a list of determining who you want to be in life.


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