Gender Roles; Who Needs Em’?

A lot of people aren’t yet comfortable with the direction society is taking. Slowly but surely, gender roles are fading out. Moms no longer do all the “mom” things. Dads do more than just “dad” things. It’s unsettling to some, but let me explain the greatness that will come of it.

Growing up, I had a mom and a dad. My mom was my rock. I didn’t even realize how attached I was to her until I got a little bit older. She did absolutely everything and anything for me. Having my mom by my side was as natural as the hair on my head. She was essentially my shadow. My dad on the other hand, was quite the opposite. I saw my dad every other weekend and a few times during the week (if he felt like it). This only lasted until second grade, then it seemed like the older I got, the less important our relationship became to him. He was a “call me if you need anything” dad. Not a “I’ll be there” dad. The few times I did call him when I “needed” him, he was so annoyed that I even called in the first place, I  eventually never “needed” him again.

Gender Norms

I would say the majority of fathers are just like this. Growing up, even my friends who had parents that were still married, had part time dads. The dads always worked or had other things to do. I didn’t even know one of my best friends had a dad until over a year of us being friends, and her parents were still married! It’s safe to say that it is more likely to know people who don’t have dads or don’t have active dads than it is to know people with dads who are just as much apart of their lives as their moms.

It’s not that this isn’t normal, it totally is. From the beginning of time, back to cavemen, the fathers hunted and spent the majority of time away from the kids while the mother stayed home and protected them. The sad thing is, this was the norm thousands and thousands and thousands AND thousands of years ago! Why has this not changed yet?! Gender Roles. Gender Roles have played a huge role in why fathers are still not as active as mothers. Just like the cavemen, fathers used to always be the bread winners. Even if they wanted to be just as important to the children as a mother, they really didn’t have a chance until it became normal for women to work just as much as men.

The seventies is when we saw a real gender role “turn of events”. Women got their full rights and they became busy worker bees just like dads. So wouldn’t men and women take just as much part in their children’s lives? NOPE. Even after women took an active role in the work place, women were still responsible for the children and the house work just as much as before. Dads sort of got this free pass while moms felt the pressure of both work and home.

Fast forward to today. More than forty years later, and gender roles are finally fading out. Gender roles, as far as parents go, is unhealthy. Moms should not have more responsibilities than dads and dads should not have more responsibilities than moms. Children should feel like they can run to either parent for anything. Sure moms are better for girl things and dads are better for boy things, but kids should feel like no matter what, mom and dad will be available.

Gender roles will always be there if people feel more comfortable with them but they are not needed for parenting. Every one has things in their childhood they aren’t happy about, but if you have a child it is no excuse to be absent or irresponsible. Being a parent means both mother and father put everything aside and step up for the children. Gender roles will eventually abolish the stigma of part time dads. Neither parent gets the right to be a part time anything. Acknowledging parental responsibility will help everyone no mater what role their gender plays. So dads; be there. And moms; be there. Every child deserves you.


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