A Fine Line

Essay by wanxtrCollege, Undergraduate October 2014

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James Wester


English 50

5 October 2014

A Fine Line

For the last hundred years there have been many changes to the roles that are to be expected between a man and a woman; stereotyping of genders is the result of the popular culture. I have recently spent some time learning about this phenomenon from several classes that I have taken- psychology into human sexuality and cultural anthropology. My Human Sexualities class taught me that gender roles are synonymous with gender stereotype, in that it is based on the assumptions of societies expectations of how men and women should behave based on their physical gender. In Cultural Anthropology I learned, ethnocentrism: belief in the superiority of one's own ethnic group. This shows that what is a normal activity for one person could be barbaric to another. In our culture, for instance, we believe that it is normal to see a man providing for a woman, in the kingdom of Dahomey in Africa from around 1700 AD till 1900 AD the role of a soldier was filled by women.

This kingdom is now modern day Benin. Many of these changes occur not only place to place but from time to time. Our countries history for the last one hundred years has seen many changes. Three areas I would like to focus on are the 1950's, 1960's, and 2000's. I believe these three points show the most changes in expected roles between genders.

In the 1950's we see what is known as a nuclear family which has a father, mother, children and a nice white picket fence. The idea of that time period, according to Pam Stickles of whom I interviewed for this essay, was the man was to work and provide for the household and protect the family; the wife...