Rina Factor/ Contributing Writer
Gender roles have played a major role in families. I remember when my mom first started working, my dad would come to pick us up from school and someone jokingly remarked, “Hey Mr. Mom.”
Men are not traditionally seen as responsible for making a home or taking care of the children. Their traditional role is that of the bread maker. But nowadays, many women work, and many families rely on a double income to pay the bills.
In today’s society and American culture, women are expected to work, and this has shifted family dynamics and parental roles, thus changing our concept of gender roles in the family.
In the television show “Mad Men,” women’s lives are regulated by marriage and children. These two factors are a large basis for how the world judges them.
Women who are married and good mothers are viewed as respectable women fulfilling their role in society. However, women who are working hard but are not married are viewed as if something is wrong with them.
Men are no longer seen as the primary breadwinners because sometimes their wives earn a larger income. Now both parents are expected to contribute equally to the family. Women are no longer the only ones responsible for their children.
Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook, took a month-long leave immediately after the August 2017 birth of his second daughter, August.
“I’m going to take advantage of Facebook’s option to take leave in parts,” the CEO said at the time, as reported by The Guardian. “At Facebook, we offer four months of maternity and paternity leave because studies show that when working parents take time to be with their newborns, it’s good for the entire family.”
Zuckerberg also took a two-month parental leave following the birth of his first daughter, Max, in 2015.
His actions and familial role is an example of how the gender roles have been redefined to encompass women’s changing role in society.
As a result, the man’s role in the family has changed to encompass a larger role. Now both men and women are expected to spend equal time with their children while earning money.
Times as shifted and as more women enter the workforce, gender roles have not entirely switched, but are starting to balance the scales in terms of both the woman and the man being the breadwinner.
As a result and because of today’s American culture, both the mom and dad are expected to work and take on bigger familial roles. We no longer expect men to take on one role while women take on the other. We now expect both parents to contribute equally.
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