Gender Roles in the 21st Century

| 02/27/2012 | Comments (1)


Do you wear the pants in your relationship? It’s always fun to poke fun at the various guys that I know that are definitely whipped to the point of…well…passive submission. The guy is willing to do anything the woman wants to do, and every time they get on the phone with each other, the man’s voice changes from husky masculine to high pitched feminine. “Hey honey, how are youuuuuuuuuu.” VOMIT.

The stereotypes and media portrayal definitely do not help the perceived roles and personalities that all men are supposed to have. Men are supposed to be the “leaders of a relationship”. Men are supposed to be the ones that dominate, that dictate the terms of what a relationship should be and look like. HAH. Haven’t seen too many of those types of relationships, or at least, those types of relationships that actually last.

The problem with these types of gender roles is that they rely more on stereotypes as dictating guidelines for how relationships should be, and not function and personality types. Look, the reality is there are a lot of women who want a guy to “lead” them and be the “man” (as society deems a man should be) within a relationship. However, there are also a lot of women who just…well…like to wear the freaking pants. They like having control, they like being the one in the drivers seat.

And honestly, what’s wrong with that? That’s who they are at their core essence, what they like to be. They are ambitious, independent, strong willed, stubborn…etc. Power to the feminists!

We’ve been so inundated with movie, after movie, after movie and show, after show, after show where the “family” is defined by the man making all the money, and the woman staying at home taking care of the house. Of course, everyone knows that these trends have been changing as of late, and the idea of the “manwife” is now an accepted phenomenon. Furthermore, it’s very common now to see that the woman doesn’t do all the cooking in a family (Damnit I hate this change!!! DAH!!!), and either families rely more on buying food…or…they just starve. To death. Because real men don’t cook. Except stuff you can grill. And Spam.

But honestly, at the same time, I think that common perception often gets in the way of practicality. This is because we feel like we have to fulfill these certain “roles”, even when we are not equipped (either in personality or function) to fulfill these roles. And, when we don’t fulfill these roles, we feel like we are somehow falling short of who we are supposed to be.

But dude. There are just some guys in this world that are not that Aggressive/dominant in personality type. They don’t want to be the ones leading. And so who the hell cares if he decides, within his non-aggressiveness, that he wants to date/marry a woman who does have those qualities of leadership and strength? Honestly, opposites attract–only one person in the relationship can wear the pants, and if the woman more naturally functions as a leader, then why is it such a big deal for her to do what she’s good at?

I believe that Gender Roles in the 21st century should be dictated more by function than by stereotype. Fulfill roles in your relationship that need to be fulfilled based on your strengths, and not on what you’re “supposed” to be doing. If you try to be a person that you’re not, then you’re going to be unhappy and the relationship is going to be a strain. Do what you’re good at, and find someone who complements you. You can’t have two people who are super dominant personalities, because you’ll just end up killing each other before the end. Use myers briggs! Find an “ideal mate”. Or join Eharmony, cause that’s what they specialize in.

And why do men have to make all the money? Shoot. I want to marry a rich woman who’ll take care of my every financial need. Single, rich and available? Give me a call.

Okay, honestly, I’m actually more conservative and traditional in this respect, and DO expect to be the one in a relationship that wears the pants. But that’s because that’s the way I function, not because I feel like I have to fulfill some stereotype. I am normally a dominant personality, and like to be the one in control. But honestly, I wouldn’t feel like any less of a man if my future wife (girlfriend) makes more money than I do. Okay…well maybe a little. Damnit, media. I hate you.

With that being said, we all know that these stereotypes are undeniably inescapable. Even as I write this article, I can’t help but be tempted to think that the man who lets the woman wear the pants in a relationship is less of a man, even though I know it’s not true. Gawd stereotypes are bad. I’m asian, and I swear I drive well.



(c) Tobe Hitch (October 2010). Tobe enjoys writing funny posts on his observations about relationships. Read more posts on his blog Relationship Theory at

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  1. zipporah says:

    the ONLY way we could erase GENDER STEREOTYPES is if we create an ARTIFICIAL UTERUS and TEST TUBE BABIES……besides, when the man/woman thing is ‘done well’ and you see it, its VERY BEAUTIFUL–him opening doors for her–her in apron over a stove for christmas etc….what i could see if these men continue to be slackers, is POLYGAMY making a comeback

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