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Gender Roles and Identification

As soon as one is born, he/she is prejudiced by gender messages. Your ideas about gender were passed to you probably by the people who were most close to you as you grew up. This highly affected your way of understanding gender. As one grew up, he/she may have chosen to acknowledge or castoff some of this ideas. The community into which you were born also played a role in defining your gender views. Gender identity is the internal sense of being a woman or a man, while gender stereotypes are fixed ideas many people have towards a particular person but which are not factual in veracity. In the last centuries, the female stereotypic role was viewed as getting married and giving birth, serving other family members interest before hers; the woman is expected to be loving, nurturing, and get time to feel gorgeous. The male role is to be the breadwinner, competitive, bold, and not emotional; he is also the one to make the first move in dating a lady.

In the book “No Name Woman” by Maxine Hong Kingston it is said that the community has a lot of female stereotypes. The women married to the men of that community were left at home as their husbands went to work. This is a result of the gender roles in that community where men are the only ones allowed to earn properties and to be breadwinners. Kingston’s aunt is referred as a “no name woman” for having expressed her private needs to another man who was not her husband and bearing a child out of her legal marriage. The villagers destroyed their family house together with the livestock. In this community, women have no power or choice. They also cannot resist the choices they make in life. Their parents get them married off when they are very young to men whom they have not chosen themselves. She lost hope for her child living in the cruel community and opted to kill her too.

In the book “Girl” by Jamaica Kinkaid, gender roles and their representation are deeply highlighted in the guidelines from her mother on what to do; this is what the community expects from the girl child. The women are men subjects. They are bullied; it is obvious and one has to be ready for this, yet the men and women are equal, that their biological characteristics differ. The community favors the males and proves them more superior to the females. This is very unfortunate as this child grows up with the mentality that her roles are tied around the home issues resulting in the fact that the girl has very shallow mind about life issues.

It can be a drawback when gender is represented in literal forms since the readers of the same may get the information which may cause conflicts later in life because the boy child believes to be superior over the girl child.

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